“Ghandi Must Fall” Gandhi not racist - Granddaughter

Her comments come on the back of agitations by some academics at the University of Ghana for the statue of "racist" Gandhi to be pulled down.

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Mahatma Gandhi was not racist or communal, his granddaughter Ela Gandhi has said.

Her comments come on the back of agitations by some academics at the University of Ghana for the statue of "racist" Gandhi to be pulled down.

The statue glorified a man who was “uncharitable in his attitude towards the Black race,” and allowing it to remain made the university appear to hold double-standards, wrote three academics from the University of Ghana.

READ ALSO: Will Gandhi Fall? Over 1600 sign petition to remove Gandhi statue

The campaign dubbed “Ghandi Must Fall” and “Ghandi for Come Down” was started by a number of professors, students, alumni and some Ghanaians with Prof. Akosua Adomako as its leader.

But in a letter responding to the ‘Gandhi Must Come Down Movement and made available exclusively to The Hindu, the granddaughter of Mahatma said: “People have differing views about others. Indeed not even Jesus Christ has been spared from detractors so why should they not have differing views about Gandhiji?”

“If they do not want his statue then by all means remove it. But I would suggest very humbly do not discard the notion of non-violence, of compassion, of ubuntu and of respect for fellow human beings and for nature and the whole of the universe simply because these were the ideals Gandhiji stood for and was assassinated for,” Ms. Gandhi, who is also a former Member of Parliament in South Africa and peace activist based in Phoenix said.

Ms. Gandhi argues that Mahatma Gandhi must be judged not by words made as a young lawyer, but as the man who stood up to British imperialism worldwide.

“So do we regard him as racist? Do we judge people from one or two statements especially when there are many other quotes which point to the exact opposite?” Ms. Gandhi said adding that, “The claims…are based on opinions expressed by a few scholars who have interpreted some quotes he made in his younger days and in the context of the work he was doing at the time and the ethos in the country,” she added.

The statue was erected on June 14 this year at the recreational quadrangle, it was donated by India's president Pranab Mukherjee when he visited the campus.

Since then there has been agitation from many students, alumni and Ghanaians over the statue being on campus.

The online petition has been addressed to the members of the University of Ghana Council and the chairman Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi. So far it has collected 1,700 signatures.

The University of Ghana has said in an interview with Pulse.com.gh it would consider the petition, and that it encouraged intellectual debate.

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