Gandhi branded racist as Johannesburg honours freedom fighter. It was supposed to honour his resistance to racism in South Africa, but a new statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Johannesburg has triggered a row over his alleged contempt for black people.
The 2.5 metre high (8ft) bronze statue depicting Gandhi as a dashing young human rights lawyer has been welcomed by Nelson Mandela, among others, for recognising the Indian who launched the fight against white minority rule at the turn of the last century. But critics have attacked the gesture for overlooking racist statements attributed to Gandhi, which suggest he viewed black people as lazy savages who were barely human.
Newspapers continue to publish letters from indignant readers: "Gandhi had no love for Africans. To [him], Africans were no better than the 'Untouchables' of India," said a correspondent to The Citizen. Others are harsher, claiming the civil rights icon "hated" black people and ignored their suffering at the hands of colonial masters while championing the cause of Indians. Gandhi in South Africa: timeline. Gandhi and South Africa. Afrique du Sud : Méditer dans la maison de Gandhi.