Ghana-Gandhi sentences of the day

Ghana has said it will remove a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from a university campus in the nation’s capital where it had sparked protests over the leader’s allegedly racist attitudes.

The statue, which was unveiled by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Ghana in June, was meant to symbolize friendship between the two countries, according to Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But professors and students at the University of Ghana called the statue “a slap in the face” because of Gandhi’s “racist identity.” They started an online petition calling for the statue’s removal.

The petition, which had more than 1,700 supporters on Thursday, cited letters Gandhi wrote during his time in South Africa as evidence that he advocated for the superiority of Indians over black Africans. It also took issue with his use of the derogatory term kaffir to refer to native Africans and criticized the lack of statues of African heroes and heroines on campus.

Here is the full story, noisy video at the link, via the excellent Samir Varma.

Comments

Fair criticism. I do remember from "My Experiments with Truth" that a lot of Ghandi's early work in Africa was aimed at getting the British to treat the Indian residents like fellow Europeans rather than treating them like the African natives. Not to say that he approved of the way they treated the Africans, just that that wasn't his focus.

Are you sure about that?

I have found many Asians to be extremely racist.

He made no claim that Gandhi wasn't racist.

"Not to say that he approved of the way they treated the Africans, just that that wasn’t his focus."

Strong implication that he was not racist, and just didn't focus on Africans.

I guess, he could have been racist but still disapprove of their treatment....but unlikely.

Actually, maybe not so unlikely. White man's burden, etc. Racist but caring.

@Harun: "Not to say X" does not mean "X is not true".

I am still miffed at Estonia for removing the statues of Stalin after the break up of the Soviet Union. What about remembering their heritage?

Yeah, Ghandi and Stalin, not a hair's breadth of difference between them.

Estonia is a legitimate part of Russia and will eventually return to the Motherland.

Not according to the Estonians.

They are wrong.

Don't worry, soon o Brasil will be reabsorbed back into Bolivia, where it belongs.

It is a lie. Brazil is fated to lead all natios into the glorious futurw of mankind. The Prophet Bandarra has written that Brazil will rise like a lion and strike the serpent with its heel.

Stop impersonating me! I will not ask a second time.

Brazil is a legitimate part of Portugal and will eventually be returned to the Motherland

Stop impersonating me! I've decided to ask a second time. Really it bothers me. I need this. God I need this so much. It's my only outlet of self-expression. I'm trapped in a loveless marriage and nobody at work respects me. I need this online persona to make me feel like a man.

"What about remembering their heritage?"

Pretty easy: it isn't Estonia's heritage.

" it isn’t Estonia’s heritage"

Apply this to what's going in the US....

Many of Ghandi's proscriptions and comments regarding violence (as opposed to non-violence) are also either forgotten or misrepresented. He was not as opposed to violence as people think he was.

The human act of deifying their heroes has this unfortunate effect. I would prefer to have more human stand-outs, warts-and-all.

Although I actually dislike Indians a lot so it's actually hard to know who to root for.

Gandhi pretty clearly changed his views on a number of things over the years. Gandhi was a fairly conventional guy in his youth and wanted to find ways to improve the status of Indians within the British Empire but became more radical and committed to the idea of nonviolence later in life.

Correct.

Trump: "I like people who weren't captured."

Does he prefer statues of people who didn't lose their war.

I believe he has said that he only chose nonviolence because it was the best weapon they had, and something to the effect that if they had had nukes they would have used them.

Clearly, you've played "Civilization".

“But as I have already said, we adopted it [nonviolence] out of our helplessness. If we had the atom bomb, we would have used it against the British. ” – Speech (16 June 1947) as quoted in Mahatma Gandhi: The Last Phase (1958) by Pyarelal Nayyar, p. 326 [2]

If you look up the full context, he is criticizing Indian society, not stating a personal preference or moral principle in that quote. He is lamenting the rise in communal violence and conceding that he was not successful in convincing his fellow countrymen to embrace nonviolence as a way of life.

"The petition, which had more than 1,700 supporters on Thursday, cited letters Gandhi wrote during his time in South Africa as evidence that he advocated for the superiority of Indians over black Africans."
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/19/world/asia/murder-small-town-india.html?mcubz=0

Will, at some point, the USA show that savage regime one-thousandth of the wrath it shows against Castro (not the dead one, the young one) or the ayatollahs?!

Good one thomas

It is sad hopw Brazilians are treated so shabbily.

"But as I have already said, we adopted it [nonviolence] out of our helplessness. If we had the atom bomb, we would have used it against the British. " - Speech (16 June 1947) as quoted in Mahatma Gandhi: The Last Phase (1958) by Pyarelal Nayyar, p. 326 [2]

Oops this was supposed to be a reply to DBN above.

DBN? Are you referring to DragonBall Noir?

It will be many years before the earth is flat, but eventually it will be. Of course, this entire discourse is ridiculous. A few hundred years ago civilized Europeans were burning people at the stake for heresy, for God's sake. Why Europeans advanced at one pace and Africans at another is either confirmation of the racist's view that African's (or Austrians, Jews, Muslims, whatever) are inferior or an intellectually challenging question as to why different regions or people advanced at different paces. I know Harvard graduates who are stupid and high school graduates who are highly intelligent, just as I know white people who are stupid and black, brown, and yellow people who are smart. The greatest challenge to white racists is that one day the earth will be flat.

"A few hundred years ago civilized Europeans were burning people at the stake for heresy, for God’s sake." You're wrong there; it was Roman Catholics doing the burning.

surely no Protestant has ever done something so savage as burning a witch?

FDR statues need to be coming down.

I can well imagine in a few years Ta-Nehisi Coates pushing over FDR's bronze wheelchair statue in the Washington Mall as vengeance for FHA redlining during the New Deal.

You have an overactive imagination LOL

I'm pretty sure he's being sarcastic.

I don't know. Joan of Arc statue has been vandalized already.

Lest we forget that the Mahatma loved to sleep nude with his nieces

This Martin Luther King Jr. vs Gandi video is outrageous and I am surprised it was not taken down, over four years later. Note the last scene (Gandhi going down on Dr. King).

"with protests and women the same advice goes, always stay away from the HOSE [sounds like 'hoes']"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6G6CZT7h4k Gandhi vs Martin Luther King Jr. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2

Outrageous? I thought you liked interracial hookups....

The dictionary defines racism as: "the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race"

What I find confusing, is that the movement that wants to tear down statues of anyone with allegedly racist attitudes, is in itself a very racist movement.

It is sort of the core of the identity analysis, is that ones identity does indeed define you. That as a white person you can't help but exude "whiteness" and benefit from "white privilege". It sort of is impossible to have some good old identity politics, without first assuming that a group is homogenous in at least some dimension, like interests, values, preferences or life experiences.

Beyond the comedy though. The key issue here isn't logic, but the subjugation of all other consideration to a single one: equity. It sort of doesn't matter A) Friendship with India and Indian peoples B) Ghandi's other strengths, like nonviolence or C) That it is a beautiful statue.

No, if you can even somehow put together a more or less coherent reason for why this person transgresses the identity-equity equation it's game over. You can put as many valuable things as you want in the other scale, it's still racist and must be torn down for that reason alone and that's enough.

Echoes Chomsky's old description of how the postmodernist analysis hit the poorer countries the hardest.

We need to ban the Democratic Party, or at least insist they change their name, so as to overcome their long-time legacy of and association with slavery and racism, the KKK, etc...

Once that's completed nationally, then we can consider minor details like the odd historical statue here and there.

It's their country. They can choose to idolize the heroes they want. More power to them.

Gandhi is wrongly idolized. My stock reply to the constant posting of his quotes: "I refuse to accept as wisdom the words of a man who believed drinking his own urine to be a good idea."

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