Protesters demand removal of Mahatma Gandhi statue in England
Activists in Britain are demanding the removal of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the city of Leicester. A petition to remove the Indian independence leader, which calls him out for “well-documented anti-black racism,” has nearly 5,000 signatures
Though he is most remembered for leading his people in nonviolent resistance against British colonialism, Gandhi also held publicly critical opinions of black Africans during his stint living in South Africa in the late 19th century.
“Gandhi too was an imperfect human being, [but] imperfect Gandhi was more radical and progressive than most contemporary compatriots,” Faisal Devji, a professor of Indian history at Oxford University, told the British news service.
The drive to remove Gandhi comes as Black Lives Matter protests have swept the globe toppling or defacing statues they deem to be racist. Earlier this week, BLM protesters in Bristol toppled a statue of 17th-century merchant and slave trader Edward Colston into the harbor.
“[Gandhi] is a fallible man as all men are, but to lump him in with slave owners, that’s a bit much,” Devji said.