Account Login/Registration

Access KelownaNow using your Facebook account, or by entering your information below.




Privacy Policy

Petition to remove Gandhi statue from Canadian university over 'racism' gathers momentum

A petition to remove a statue of Mohandas Gandhi from a Canadian university campus because of his comments about black people has gathered steam.

It was created in the wake of the killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis by police, which intensified discussions of race across most of the Western world.

Jimi Aribido, who created the petition, highlighted Gandhi’s “racist and misogynistic views” as the reasons the Carleton University statue should come down.

“We as an institution cannot claim to champion diversity and seek to eradicate institutionalized racism while symbols like this are still present on our campus,” he explained.

According to a 2015 book by Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed, Gandhi – when he lived in South Africa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries – was disparaging of the black population.

<who> Photo credit: Contributed

He is said to have used abusive epithets (including “savages”) to refer to black people and categorized Indians with the English as “Aryans,” in contrast to Africans.

Gandhi is also known to have shared his bed with naked young women as a means of testing his own commitment to celibacy.

Among those women were his grandnieces, who were in their late teens while Gandhi was an old man.

“Why an institution would continue to yield the statue of an individual who was publicly anti-black, referred to Africans as savages, likening them to animals, and someone who slept naked with his grandniece to "test his willpower" is inexplicable and inexcusable,” Aribido wrote in his petition.

He added: “The time for action is now. However revered a figure he may be in the world of academia, we must acknowledge the pain and discomfort this statue causes our students. We must remove this statue from our campus.”

Aribido added in a later note that he would like to see the statue replaced by someone else from South Asia.

If you get value from KelownaNow and believe local independent media is important to our community we ask that you please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter.

If you appreciate what we do, we ask that you consider supporting our local independent news platform.

Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to

webcam icon







current feed webcam icon

Recent Livestream

Top Stories

Follow Us

Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Youtube Listen on Soundcloud Follow Our TikTok Feed Follow Our RSS Follow Our pinterest Feed
Follow Our Newsletter
Privacy Policy

Quick Links