Time to re­move stat­ues of racist Gandhi

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE ED­I­TOR, Sir:

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 ex­colonies 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. MAU­RICE CHRISTIE christiemau­rice@ya­hoo.com Aboukir, St Ann

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