Leicester mayor refuses to tear down statue of Mahatma Gandhi following online petition
Sunday 21 June 2020 3:07 AM UTC
LONDON June 21: The mayor of Leicester has refused to tear down a statue of Mahatma Gandhi despite claims he was a ‘facist, racist, sexual predator’.
Sir Peter Soulsby’s words come as an online petition, which has gathered more than 6,000 signatures, was set up calling for the statue of the Indian independence leader to be removed. Academics have suggested Gandhi held racist views and was prejudiced about black people, claiming he accepted white minority power and referred to black Africans as the derogatory term Kaffirs.
A petition on Change.org has called for the removal of a statue to Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, which was erected in 2009 following a campaign and fundraising drive.
The campaign on Change.org has received more than 6,000 signatures from people seeking Gandhi’s removal.
Mahatma Gandhi has been criticised for his views on black Africans while living in South Africa between 1893 and 1914.
Earlier this month residents formed a ‘ring of steel’ around the statue to stop it from being vandalised or toppled as it was revealed it could be a target.
Among those defending the statue was former Labour MP Keith Vaz, who was involved in efforts to commission the memorial
They were joined by former Leicester MP Keith Vaz who was involved in efforts to commission the memorial.
Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi at Porbandar in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
In 1883 he was married off by his parents to Kasturba Makanji when the young couple were both aged just 13. They went on to have four children.
Between 1888 and 1891, Gandhi studied law in London before he left to work as a lawyer in South Africa.