Debate over Gandhi statue rages on

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The move to erect a statue for Indian prominent activist Mahatma Gandhi in Blantyre, Malawi is still raising unending debates.

The Indian Government wants to erect the statue at Ginnery Corner in the commercial city of Blantyre as a condition for constructing a US$10 million conference centre in the city.

However, the move has faced swift criticism as the main argument is that Gandhi had done nothing for Malawians and another criticism is that he spearheaded racism in South Africa where he lived for years.

Site of the Gandhi statue

Another top figure to speak on the issue is former Vice President Cassim Chilumpha who says the statue makes no sense to Malawi because Gandhi was ‘not a hero’ for the African nation.

Meanwhile, the erection of the Gandhi statue has been suspended and a grouping that is opposing the construction earlier this week obtained an injunction against the erection of the statue.

Malawi24 understands that workers at the site are unaware about the date when the project resumes.

The workers are also not aware of which office called for the halt and also when they would be paid for the initial tasks.

Minister of Information Nicholas Dausi has since said his ministry does not know the people behind the decree to halt work at the site.

On its part, the Blantyre City Council has said the council only had the mandate to give the space for the erection of the statue.

Born and raised in a Hindu merchant caste family in coastal Gujarat, India, and trained in law at the Inner Temple, London, Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights.

After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination.

 

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