January 30, 2021

CONTROVERSIAL STATUE OF GANDHI RIPPED DOWN, VANDALIZED IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA PARK:

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi that has generated controversy in Davis’ Sikh community for several years was ripped from its base in Davis’ Central Park early this week.

According to Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov of the Davis Police Department, the statue, broken off at the ankles and the top half of its head broken off, was found by a park worker around 9 a.m. Wednesday. Investigators are still unsure of when exactly the statue was torn down or what the motive may have been.

“Seeing as it’s a cultural icon to a portion of the people in Davis, we are taking it very seriously,” Doroshov said. “If anybody from the public has any information as to who did this and why, we’d really like to hear from them.”

The 6-foot-3, 650-pound bronze Gandhi Statue of Peace has stood in the park since 2016. It was a gift from the Indian government. But its installation was met with protests and outrage from Sikh residents and activists, who have accused Gandhi of genocide, racism and molestation.

Gandhi is often revered as a figure of peace and nonviolent protest, but questions have emerged in recent years over his beliefs on race and sex. In 1903, as a lawyer in South Africa, Gandhi wrote that Black people were “troublesome, very dirty and live like animals.”

And although he promoted getting women into politics, he also regularly slept naked next to his grandniece, then a teenager, when he was in his 70s. He claimed he wanted to test his willpower to remain celibate, but most people today would call such action abusive.

In a statement, the California Sikh Youth Alliance board of directors said it did not support how the statue was removed, but added it opposes monuments that lionize Gandhi.

Violence is never the solution, no matter how damning the Commentary movie review. (Text also online here, if article is behind the subscriber paywall.)

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I was told this was about Confederate generals.

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