A statue of Mahatma Gandhi is seen at Gandhi Square in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 11, 2020.(REUTERS/ FILE)
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi is seen at Gandhi Square in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 11, 2020.(REUTERS/ FILE)

Links with slavery? Welsh govt audit puts Mahatma Gandhi on a list of controversial individuals

The audit was commissioned in July by Labour’s Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales, following George Floyd’s controversial death in the US
By Prasun Sonwalkar | Hindustan Times, London
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2020 04:40 PM IST

An audit published by the Welsh government on the historical links of Wales with slavery has included Mahatma Gandhi on a list of controversial individuals whose statues are located across Britain, adding to similar reviews prompted by the Black Lives Matter campaign.

The audit was commissioned in July by Labour’s Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales, following George Floyd’s controversial death in the US.

Several councils and organisations across the UK have since initiated such reviews, at times provoking surprise and anger with the inclusion of names such as former British PM Winston Churchill.

There is no suggestion that Gandhi’s statue installed in the Welsh capital of Cardiff in 2017 would be pulled down, but the audit’s objective is to “identify issues for a possible second stage”.

The list includes colonial India’s officials with Welsh links such as Robert Clive and Edward Clive.

The audit says that Gandhi’s role needs examination after his controversial views were highlighted by campaigners. Besides Gandhi, the list of “international” figures in the audit includes anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, explorer Christopher Columbus and artiste Paul Robeson.

On Gandhi, the audit says his “personal culpability (is) uncertain”, but goes on to add, “The leader of the Indian independence movement (was) famous for his promotion of anti-colonialism, non-violent resistance and satyagraha or the force of truth. After studying law in London he went to practise in South Africa 1893-1914.

“He fought anti-Indian discrimination in Africa, but has been accused of complicity in continuing racism against Black South Africans. His comment in a speech in 1896 that whites were degrading Hindus and Muslims ‘to a level of Kaffir’ is taken as suggesting that he believed Indians to be better than Black Africans.”

The audit further says, “Historians have taken a range of views of his culpability, saying that it would have been premature to expect equality in turn-of-the-century South Africa or identifying Gandhi as having turned a blind eye to brutality against Africans. Nevertheless, Gandhi’s later leadership in India inspired leaders in Africa, including Nelson Mandela. A statue of Gandhi in Pietermartizburg was unveiled in 1993 by Desmond Tutu.”

Gandhi’s life-size statue produced by Ram Sutar and Anil Sutar was installed in Cardiff Bay in 2017 in an event attended by Drakeford and Indian diplomats, among others. It is one of several Gandhi statues across the UK, including two in London.

Drakeford said after the audit was published, “While the tragic killing of George Floyd happened almost 4,000 miles away, it sparked global action that shone a light on racial inequality in society today.

“That inequality exists in Welsh society too and we must work towards a Wales which is more equal. To help us do this, we need a clear understanding of the legacies of the slave trade and the British Empire. This audit provides important evidence which helps us establish an honest picture of our history.

“This is the first stage of a much bigger piece of work which will consider how we move forward with this information as we seek to honour and celebrate our diverse communities.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Chinese embassy in US(@ChineseEmbinUS/Twitter Photo)
Chinese embassy in US(@ChineseEmbinUS/Twitter Photo)

Twitter says locked account of China's US embassy for Xinjiang-related tweet

Reuters, Shanghai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:39 AM IST
'We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity," a Twitter spokesperson said.
Close
US President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in during the 59th presidential inauguration in Washington, DC.(Bloomberg)
US President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in during the 59th presidential inauguration in Washington, DC.(Bloomberg)

'Battle is perennial': 10 memorable quotes from Joe Biden's speech

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kunal Gaurav
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 12:51 AM IST
US President Joe Biden’s call for unity bears significance in the aftermath of Capitol riots as he took oath amid grave security concerns.
Close
Amanda Gorman delivers a poem after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)(AP)
Amanda Gorman delivers a poem after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)(AP)

Youngest Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman: 'Even as we grieved, we grew'

Reuters
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 01:35 AM IST
"Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It's the past we step into and how we repair it," Gorman said, in a short poem that was greeted with a hail of critical acclaim on social media.
Close
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California in 1964 to an Indian mother and an African-American father from Jamaica.(REUTERS)
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California in 1964 to an Indian mother and an African-American father from Jamaica.(REUTERS)

Over 6 million followers and counting: A look at Kamala Harris’ Twitter handle

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 12:35 AM IST
Harris, 56, who is the 49th Vice President of the US is also the first African-American and Indian-origin woman to hold this position.
Close
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20 in Washington. (AP)
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20 in Washington. (AP)

Biden assumes US presidency with a rousing call to unity

By Yashwant Raj , edited by Vinod Janardhanan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 12:24 AM IST
Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice-President before Biden, marking a series of firsts that will secure her a unique place in American history as the first woman, African American and American of Indian, South Asian and Asian descent ever elected to the high office that will put her just a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Close
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan(AFP file photo)
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan(AFP file photo)

Imran Khan says he is looking forward to work with Biden for 'promoting peace'

Written by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 12:10 AM IST
Khan mentions regional peace as one of the areas Pakistan wants to work with the United States. In 2018, Donald Trump had stopped all financial and security aid to Pakistan
Close
US Vice President Kamala Harris (REUTERS)
US Vice President Kamala Harris (REUTERS)

'Ready to serve': Kamala Harris' first tweet as US Vice-President

Written by Prashasti Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 11:32 PM IST
Harris made history by becoming the first woman, first African-American, and first Asian-American to become the Vice-President of the US after taking oath in a historical swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday.
Close
US President Donald Trump(REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump(REUTERS)

Trump says farewell at airbase send-off, leaves a note for Biden

Bloomberg, Washington
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 10:34 PM IST
Trump didn’t mention Biden by name in his remarks, and he becomes the first U.S. president since the 19th century not to attend his successor’s swearing-in ceremony.
Close
As Donald Trump waved the last good bye as the commander-in-chief, Greta Thunberg took to Twitter to pen down how she felt. (via REUTERS)
As Donald Trump waved the last good bye as the commander-in-chief, Greta Thunberg took to Twitter to pen down how she felt. (via REUTERS)

'So nice to see': How Greta Thunberg reacted to Trump leaving

Written by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 09:33 PM IST
This is similar to what Donald Trump had tweeted after Greta's speech at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019.
Close
Kamala Harris (HT_PRINT)
Kamala Harris (HT_PRINT)

Kamala Harris remembers her mother ahead of inauguration as US Vice President

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 09:06 PM IST
Posting a video on Twitter, Harris captioned it: "I'm here today because of the women who came before me."
Close
A nearby nursing home was evacuated although no injuries have been reported among the residents.(AFP )
A nearby nursing home was evacuated although no injuries have been reported among the residents.(AFP )

Madrid blast: Mayor says 2 people dead, explosion apparently linked to gas leak

AP, Madrid
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 08:52 PM IST
José Luis Martínez Almeida, who visited the site of the blast, told the local Telemadrid news channel that he couldn’t confirm how many people had been injured.
Close
"It's a new day in America," Biden said on Twitter ahead of his inauguration.(AP)
"It's a new day in America," Biden said on Twitter ahead of his inauguration.(AP)

'It's a new day in America' tweets incoming US President Joe Biden

AFP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 08:41 PM IST
Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States after the inauguration ceremony in Washington.
Close
"It is my greatest honor and privilege to have been your president," Trump said. "We will be back in some form."(Bloomberg)
"It is my greatest honor and privilege to have been your president," Trump said. "We will be back in some form."(Bloomberg)

'Will be back in some form': Donald Trump's parting note at Washington

AFP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 08:35 PM IST
Speaking to a small crowd of supporters, staff and family members at Andrews after a 21-gun salute and a serenade of "Hail to the Chief," Trump said "this has been an incredible four years."
Close
Last year, Edward Snowden had said that the president should end the war on whistleblowers at the stroke of a pen.(Reuters File)
Last year, Edward Snowden had said that the president should end the war on whistleblowers at the stroke of a pen.(Reuters File)

'Not disappointed': US whistleblower Snowden after he goes unpardoned by Trump

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kunal Gaurav
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 08:19 PM IST
Hours before leaving the White House, Trump pardoned 73 people, including his former aide Steve Bannon and other allies, but left the whistleblower out of the list.
Close
The deal was signed by Iran and six other nations in 2015.
The deal was signed by Iran and six other nations in 2015.

Rouhani hopes Joe Biden will return to Obama-era Iran nuclear deal

ANI, Tehran
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 07:09 PM IST
Trump pulled out from the deal in 2018, though the agreement itself continues to exist, with Iran, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, China and Russia all still party to it.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP