Kambon, Ọ., & Appiagyei-Atua, K. (Forthcoming). Why Gandhi Must [Still] Fall In A. Nettleton & M. F. Alubafi (Eds.), Exchanging Symbols: Monuments and Memorials in Post-apartheid and Post-colonial Africa. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.
ABSTRACT: In June 2016, the University of Ghana erected a statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on university soil without prior consultation with the university community. The circumstances under which the statue got erected provoked a debate about the relevance of monuments to the Ghanaian identity and whether the Gandhi statue represents a memorialisation or, in fact, an anti-memorialisation. To answer this question, the paper discusses the hidden past of Gandhi and the policy rationale informing the decision of the Indian government of Norendra Modi to have his statue erected, not only in Ghana, but across different parts of the globe. The paper adopts a deconstructive approach to deny a place for Gandhi on Ghanaian soil by arguing that Gandhi’s statue is rather an anti-memorialisation project, representing a neo-colonial public relations gimmick by the Indian government to cover Gandhi’s pro-Indo-Aryan side at the expense of Black dignity. As a reconstructive alternative to our deconstructive proposition that Gandhi must fall, then lays down arguments to support our proposal that Gandhi be replaced with one of the innumerable Afrikan=Black heroes/sheroes (none of whose statues can currently be found on the University of Ghana campus) in the ancient and rich Afrikan=Black tradition of memorial statues in commemoration of historical figures.