Replace the Gandhi Statue at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

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In June 2010 a statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was unveiled at the entrance of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

This is the only prominent statue of an historical personality outside the Museum.

The statue was donated by the Indian Government, at the behest of the Indian Chapter of Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. It is not clear what additional financial incentives were gained by accepting this ‘gift’.

We call upon the Museum to remove this statue as:

  • Gandhi was a racist who considered blacks as sub-human, often calling them kaffirs (a pejorative term for black people), uncivilised, and believed whites should be the predominant race in South Africa.
  • his well-documented view on marginalized Indian communities, like the Muslims and Dalits, has had a detrimental impact on them in how they've been treated within post-colonial India.
  • even though the West lauds him for non-violence, in actuality he used it as a weapon against Colonialism only. His use of hunger strikes caused untold misery to others and was used as a political tool against the marginalized within India.
  • the museum entrance has no statues of human rights heroes from within Canada. The museum should have the entrance remind guests of the struggles of the Indigenous, blacks and others.

The museum sought no input from the broader community on the installation of this Statue. Rather, it allowed the business interests of a foreign nation to influence it. Since it’s inception, the museum has been embroiled in controversy due to its own inactions in addressing racism, homophobia and the genocide of indigenous people in Canada.

We petition the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to replace the Statue of MK Gandhi with an indigenous or black hero from this land.