Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Letter of Day | Time to remove statues of racist Gandhi

Published:Monday | October 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Recently, the University of Ghana and the Ghanaian foreign affairs ministry have agreed on the removal of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from that university. I must applaud them.

It is a fact that the hero of India's quest for independence was offensively racist towards Africans, especially South Africans. Currently, Africans living in India are facing racism at all levels. Several months ago, a Nigerian national was killed in India.

India, with its melanophobia, has failed to protect people of colour, even those visiting the subcontinent. Its caste system has stood firm, and it is no different from the apartheid regime. We should not ignore that.

The world tends to point fingers at European racism, especially that demonstrated in ex-colonies and regions where European, especially British, French, Belgian and Portuguese settlers have controlled and expropriated lands belonging to other ethnic groups.

What is hardly attacked or criticised is the racism of other ethnicities, such as that of Indians and other non-Caucasians.

It is an insult to have Mahatma Gandhi's image, purporting to support world peace and justice, while history has documented his insulting attitude and discriminatory behaviour towards people of Africa.

Jamaica does not need statues of selfish bigots. It needs statues of freedom fighters such as Paul Bogle, Marcus Garvey, George William Gordon and Sam Sharpe.

Jamaica needs to follow the University of Ghana and remove the statues now located on the University of the West Indies' Mona campus and the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library.


Aboukir, St Ann