AFRICANGLOBE – A former Director of the Institute of African Studies, Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo, has started a campaign asking for the removal of the statue of Indian independence icon, Mahatma Ghandi, from the University of Ghana campus.
Prof Adomako Ampofo is urging members of the University of Ghana Council to heed her petition arguing among other things that, Ghandi was racist against Black people and honoring him set the wrong example for students.
In June 2016, the statue of Ghandi was erected on the University campus to the dismay of some members of the university community aware of the apparent racist overtones Ghandi exuded.
Prof Adomako Ampofo cites some of these examples of racism in her petition, like this quote from 1894. ”
“A general belief seems to prevail in the Colony that the Indians are little better, if at all, than savages or the Natives of Africa. Even the children are taught to believe in that manner, with the result that the Indian is being dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir.
It should be noted that, the word Kaffir, is a derogatory term for Black people with roots in Apartheid era of South African history.
No racists symbols on world class universities
The petition also contended that, if the University of Ghana sought to be a world class university, it should not be seen to be honoring former bastions of slavery, apartheid and white supremacy.
In other high profile universities, symbols edifying persons associated with controversial stances like white supremacy have been removed.
Prof Adomako Ampofo notes one such example in her petition when in October 2015, “Rhodes University [in South Africa] established a renaming team to remove the name of Cecil Rhodes, former prime minister of the Cape colony, and one of the founders of apartheid.”
The first senate and then the Council of the University of Cape Town, also voted to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes early in 2015, after protests by some students. With these arguments, Prof Adomako Ampofo urged the University of Ghana Council to “do the honourable thing by pulling down the statue. It is better to stand up for our dignity than to kowtow to the wishes of a Third World super-power.”
Find below her full petition
Dear Honourable members of the University of Ghana Council:
Re: Petition for the removal of the Statute of Gandhi
We the undersigned bring this petition for the removal of the statute of Gandhi to the esteemed Council of the University of Ghana Council for your consideration.
On 14 June 2016 a statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi  was erected at the Sam Aboah quadrangle[DOK1] . This is the only statue of an historical personality on Legon campus, and soon after it came to the notice of members of the University community and the general public, calls for its removal began within the University community and beyond.  We, the undersigned associate ourselves with that call for the reasons outlined below.
Rationale for Removal:
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s racist identity:
Below we provide just a few citations from his own writings to illustrate this.
Before Dec. 19, 1894
“A general belief seems to prevail in the Colony that the Indians are little better, if at all, than savages or the Natives of Africa. Even the children are taught to believe in that manner, with the result that the Indian is being dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir.” ~ Vol. I, p. 193
Before May 5, 1895
“In the face, too, of financial operations, the success of which many of their detractors would envy, one fails to understand the agitation which would place the operators in the same category as the half-heathen Native and confine him to Locations, and subject him to the harsher laws by which the Transvaal Kaffir is governed.” ~ Vol. I, pp. 224-225
Before May 5, 1895
“So far as the feeling has been expressed, it is to degrade the Indian to the position of the Kaffir.” ~ Vol. I, p. 229
Sept. 26, 1896
“Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.” ~ Vol. I, pp. 409-410
Before May 27, 1899
“Your Petitioner has seen the Location intended to be used by the Indians. It would place them, who are undoubtedly infinitely superior to the Kaffirs, in close proximity to the latter.” ~ Vol. II, p. 270
June 1, 1906
“The Boer Government insulted the Indians by classing them with the Kaffirs.” ~ Vol. V, p. 59
Source: Gandhi and South African Blacks ( http://www.gandhiserve.org/e/cwmg/cwmg.htm)
*(NOTE-The term kaffir is considered a racial slur used in reference to Black South African natives.)
Gandhi also campaigned against the efforts of the Dalits, The Black “Untouchables” of India, and for the maintenance of the caste system right up to his death.
Supplementary Reading and Links:
Petition calls for Gandhi statue to be removed from Ghana UniversityProfessors say late civil rights leader was racist and considered Indians to be ‘infinitely superior’ to black Africans | Thursday 22 September 2016 17.54 BST | Ruth Maclean |
Ghana: Call to remove Gandhi statue over ‘racist views’
Campaigners urge removal of Indian social activist’s statue from university, saying he was racist towards black people.
#GandhiForComeDown: Ghana to remove Gandhi statue because of his anti-black racism
Lecturers and students began campaigning for the Indian nationalist leader’s statue to be removed shortly after it was installed.
08 OCT 2016 10:14 | MAIL & GUARDIAN ONLINE REPORTER AND REUTERS
Ghana’s problem with ‘racist’ Gandhi
22 September 2016
Was Mahatma Gandhi a racist?
17 September 2015 | India
The truth about Mahatma Gandhi: he was a wily operator, not India’s smiling saint
The Indian nationalist leader had an eccentric attitude to sleeping habits, food and sexuality. However, his more controversial ideas have been written out of history
By Patrick French | 7:50PM GMT 31 Jan 2013 |