Washington: Leaders of the Indian-American community condemned the desecration of Mahatma Gandhi statue in New York, saying it was an insult to Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
A life-size bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in New York’s Union Square was defaced. The Consulate General of India strongly condemned the incident and termed it as “disgusting”.
Consulate General of India in New York had said that an eight-foot statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Union Square near Manhattan was defaced by some unidentified persons.
“As an African American professing Hinduism, I am deeply saddened that someone has disrespected the Mahatma Gandhi who inspired MLK (Martin Luther King) to follow the path of non-violence, who has made great strides in society. Inspired changes that still have a positive impact on our lives today.” Hindupact executive director Utsav Chakraborty said this is not the first incident of damage to a Gandhi statue in the US.
Ajay Shah, convener of the American Hindu Against Defamation (AHAD), said in a statement that Gandhi and the independence movement led by him inspired King and the American Civil Rights Movement.
“There is an area dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in the MLK Memorial in Atlanta. It is no coincidence that Gandhi’s statue has been defaced during ‘Black History Month’.”
“The perpetrators of this act and their sponsors are sending a message that they have not accepted peace, human rights, liberty and equal rights for all,” he said.
America has the largest number of statues of Mahatma Gandhi outside India. The Consulate General of India in New York had said, “The matter has been taken up with the US State Department for immediate investigation and requesting them to take appropriate action against those responsible for this heinous act.”
Significantly, earlier in January last year in California and in December 2020 in Washington DC, statues of Gandhi were also damaged.