Malawians have expressed their anger over Blantyre City Council’s (BCC) permission given to Indian community to erect a Mahatma Ghandi statue in the country.
The Malawi Government through the BCC permitted Indians living in this country to erect a Mahatma Gh
andi statue near Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Ginnery Corner in the commercial city of Blantyre.
It is reported that this is in honour to the man who led India to independence and is widely regarded as a man who stood for peace.
However, the development has not gone well with some Malawians who says this is a sign of racism and that there is need to change the decision permitting the Indians to erect a statue of their hero.
Commenting on our Facebook page on the importance of erecting the Ghandi statue in Malawi, several people said regarding the fact that Ghandi was not a Malawian there is no need to erect his statue in Blantyre.
Other people says the country has got so many individuals who need to be recognised other than this man who did nothing to the Malawian society.
Aubrey Juma commented on the post saying: “No need to erect a statue of him. Let them do that in their country and if we go to India that statue is almost everywhere. No benefit for us here, he was not a Malawian.”
“My BIG “NO” PLEASE. If we need one I suggest Chilembwe. It doesn’t matter who will fund it koma we don’t need it because it has no value in our history as a country,” Samuel Richard said.
Commenting on the same, Wesley Pedrovasco said BCC’s decision shows ignorance and madness since the Indian government cannot allow Malawi to erect statue for a Malawian hero in their country hence there is no need to proceed with the project which will not benefit Malawians in anyway.
The debate has even crossed to some WhatsApp group chats where people say they don’t even know Ghandi and others are referring to the development as a sign of end of time, quoting a holy Bible verses on Deuteronomy 28 verse 43-44.
A photo of the verse is making rounds on WhatsApp with comments describing Malawi as the owner of the land who has lost powers to a foreigner.
It reads: “Foreigners who live in your land will gain more and more power, while you gradually lose yours. They will have money to lend you, but you will have none to lend them. In the end they will be your rulers.”
Recently, social and political commentator Humphrey Mvula criticised Blantyre City Council (BBC) over the Ghandi statue project saying Malawi cannot erect a statue of a person who never contributed to the country’s development.
“I do not see the reason that the City of Blantyre should glorify Mahatma Gandhi either in Malawi development spectrum or Malawi politics, even in the health sector. I feel that there are several Malawians who can be honoured or given a statue,” Mvula recently told the local media.
He said the fact that the Indian Embassy will fund the statue does not justify erecting it in Blantyre but rather it would make sense if it were built at the premises of the embassies.
Blantyre City Council spokesman Anthony Kasunda said the Indian government is bankrolling the project which will also have a Mahatma Gandhi International Conference Centre and he said $10 million has been released.
Gandhi was born on 2nd October, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat in India and was assassinated on 30 January 1948 in Delhi by Nathuram Godse.
He was often called “Mahatma”, which means “great-souled”, or, in India, “Bapu”, which means “father” as he protested against the oppression of India’s poorest classes.