Mahatma Gandhi’s Statue Unveiled In Malawi

A bust of renowned Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi was on Friday unveiled in Lilongwe, the Malawi capital city despite protests from some locals.

The Indian High Commission in Malawi unveiled the statue at the Chancellery’s office in Lilongwe with Malawi Foreign Affairs minister Mkaka in attendance

In 2018, critics had prevented Gandhi statue from being erected in the southern city of Blantyre. Those who kicked against the erection of the bust two years ago had formed the Gandhi Must Fall movement.

The critics accused Gandhi of using racial slurs against black Africans and took the matter to court. They won and stopped the Indian Government proposal to erect Gandhi’s bust on the junction of Mahtma Gandhi Road and Masauko Chipembere Highway in Blantyre.

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However, this time, in Lilongwe, the intention to unveil the bust was not announced in advance and the Indian diplomats got around any possible objections by siting it within the grounds of their offices.

The unveiling comes on Gandhi’s birthday, October 2. The revered leader was assassinated in 1948 at the age of 78.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by Malawi’s Foreign Minister Eisenhower Mkaka who praised Gandhi.

“Mahatma Gandhi, who led India’s freedom movement through non-violent struggle, is not only an icon for India but also a global icon that set the ball rolling for emancipation from the colonial struggle,” he said.

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There’s been no immediate reaction from the Gandhi Must Fall Movement.

Indian High Commissioner to Malawi Anurag Bhushan said Mahatma Gandhi, who led India’s freedom movement through non-violent struggle, is not only an icon for India, “but also a global icon that set the ball rolling for emancipation from the colonial struggle.”

He said: “Gandhi made his mark in Africa and gave a message that it is possible to defeat colonialism without violence.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Elsenhower Mkaka witnessed the unveiling of the statue and said it will promote Gandhi’s values of social uplifting and the fight against social evils.

The government of India has provided a grant of $10 million (about K7.3 billion) for the construction of the Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre at Chichiri, Blantyre opposite Golden Peacock Five Star and International Convention Centre.

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