Individuals protest the unveiling of a Gandhi statue in Davis.
DAVIS, Calif. (Diya TV) — A new statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled in Davis on Sunday afternoon, but the ceremony was met with protesters who had fought the installation of the artwork.
While official plans for the statue were approved to be placed in Davis Central Park months ago, a group stated that there’s more to Gandhi than his reputation as leader of the Indian independence movement and peaceful protester.
Instead, the group claims, Gandhi has a history of racism and abuse, as well as sexual misconduct, according to the Davis Enterprise.
“It is undisputed that Gandhi was a hero to many, but it should be (noted that) he was also a bigot and predator of members of his own family,” said Sacramento businessman Amar Shergill.
The Davis City Council, at one point, were considering a review on the decision to place the statue, but that was voted down and the installation went forward as planned.
“I don’t think this is a peaceful action for the city … for (Indian immigrants) to be reminded what their family members have to deal with every day, people that are fighting against the caste system,” said Granal Pringh, a freshman at UC Davis, to the Davis Enterprise.
The statue was acquired after almost a year of planning efforts by a local citizens group and was donated to the city by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, an affiliate of the government. The overall cost of the statue, installation and shipping expenses is $22,000. There is no cost to the city.
Those who worked in arranging the funds necessary for the statue and its placement said Gandhi served as an inspiration for millions in so many different areas of the globe.
“He inspired millions around the world, he lit up a fire for freedom in so many remote places,” said statue committee member Medhavi Sunder and law professor at King Hall law school at UC Davis, to local broadcast station Fox40.
The statue was unveiled on Sunday, in honor of what would have been Gandhi’s 147th birthday. The day has also been declared an International Day of Peace.