New Delhi: A statue of Mahatma Gandhi which was recently unveiled by President Pranab Mukherjee at a premier university in the African nation of Ghana, faces demolition after he is accused of being 'racist'.
A group of academics has reportedly accused him of having racist views about Africans when he was alive.
According to the Washington Post, the racist argument has gained widespread attention and almost 1,000 people have recently signed an online petition which calls for the statue's removal.
The Post said the petition was written by five members of the faculty at the University of Ghana in Accra which claims that “several writings of the Indian leader described Africans as 'savages' and also made other “insults”.
"How will the historian teach and explain that Gandhi was uncharitable in his attitude towards the Black race and see that we're glorifying him by erecting a statue on our campus?" the report said quoting the petitioners.
The authors reportedly argue that it is "better to stand up for our dignity than to kowtow to the wishes of a burgeoning Eurasian super-power."
The report further said that since the statue was installed in June, many Ghanaians have used hashtags such as #GandhiMustComeDown, #GhandiForComeDown and #GandiMustFall to voice criticism of the statue on social media.
A student of the university also alleged that Gandhi was an "unrepentant racist whose contemptuous view of blacks is well documented," the report said.
Some critics have referenced the #RhodesMustFall movement that called for the removal of statues of 19th century British imperialist Cecil Rhodes.
Mahatma Gandhi had lived in South Africa from 1893 to 1914, before returning to India, where he eventually led the country's independence movement.
He was widely respected by many on the African continent, including Nelson Mandela, the renowned South African anti-apartheid leader.
According to the Post, “Ghana isn't the first African nation to see a recent backlash to Gandhi. In South Africa, white paint was splashed on a statue in Johannesburg last year while protesters held placards that read "Racist Gandhi must fall."
The University of Ghana's statue of Gandhi was unveiled June on 14 by President Mukherjee during a visit.