The statue of Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi, still stands in its glory at the Sam Aboa Quadrangle on the University of Ghana, despite protests some six months ago to get it down.
The erection of the statue some eight months ago generated waves of criticism as proponents of the #GandhiMustFall movement argued that he was unfit for the honour due to his radical stance against blacks during his lifetime.This was after the Prime Minister of India Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the University.
But soon, a counter movement #GandhiMustStand arose. They accused proponents of #GandhiMustFall of been intellectually dishonest by cheery picking Gandhi’s public life to dishonor him.
The debate raged on. Social media was agog with passionate debates for or against the existence of Gandhi’s statue. Soon, the tidal waves of criticisms reached the international stage piquing the interest of the international media from Europe across to Asia.
Meanwhile, in the midst of all these currents, some unknown individuals defaced the statue, plucking off its iconic spectacle.
Fearing that some anti-Gandhi fanatics might destroy the statue overnight, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration under the leadership of Ms. Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, issued a communiqué which will eventually quell the feuding sides.
While respecting the views of proponents, the statement decried the attacks on the statue arguing that the act had likely diplomatic implications between Ghana and India. Assurances were given to relocate the statue to save the nation any further embarrassment.
That statement could be said to be a diplomatic Trojan horse that silenced the fierce weapons of Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo, former director of the Institute of African studies and her army of scholars. She and her team managed to generate more than 2,000 signatures from the World Wide Web demanding the immediate demolishing of the statue.
But eight months on, the government of the then Foreign Minister has lost power. And Gandhi’s statue’s stands 2 feet, basking in its glory and unfazed by the waves torrential criticism waged against it.
Interestingly, the University has since stationed a security man by the statue fearing another attack.
Students and the public are barred from taking selfies by the statue. The daily presence of a security guard is albeit against a woefully inadequate security force as halls of residence and lecture theaters on a normal day do not have desired security presence.
By: Caleb Kudah/citifmonline.com/Ghana