For some members of Generation Z, Mohandas Gandhi is just another bigot who should be canceled.
As a Change.org petition demanding the removal of Gandhi’s statue from California State University-Fresno approaches 5,000 signatures on Wednesday night, the president of the public university has refused to give in.
Joseph Castro reminded students last week that it was their own initiative that created the Fresno State Peace Garden 30 years ago. It now features Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., labor activist Cesar Chavez and early feminist Jane Addams, “who dedicated their lives in the pursuit of equality, social change and justice through peaceful methods,” he wrote:
“All four individuals recognized in the Fresno State Peace Garden … embodied the spirit of peaceful and constructive activism. This transcendent quality is what the garden memorializes. It does not necessarily honor every facet of their lives.”
The petition, created by a local high school student named Akhnoor Sidhu, said the statue’s continuing presence on campus “make[s] us appear to hold double-standards.” (It’s replete with references to “we” and “our” despite Sidhu being a rising senior at San Joaquin Memorial High School, not even an incoming Fresno State student.)
The petition says Gandhi supported the caste system, campaigned for the segregation of Indians from blacks and oppose the Zulu civil rights movement in South Africa. He was “deeply prejudiced against all minorities,” took advantage of young girls and used “nonviolence merely as a tool of political expediency”
It’s unclear how much of the petition support comes from the Fresno State community. The Fresno Bee reports that the Jakara Movement, “a Sikh youth organization that supports social justice causes,” is organizing in support of the petition. Its Fresno State chapter is planning its own letter against the statue and hopes to gain the backing of professors against President Castro.
Full story at The College Fix.