Anonymous miscreants have vandalized and demolished a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in a park in the US state of California, shocking and offending Indian-Americans across the nation, who have necessitated that the officials investigate it as an incident of hate crime. The 6-ft tall, 650-pound (294 kg) bronze sculpture of Gandhi, in the Central Park of the City of Davis in Northern California, to have been chopped off at the ankles and half its face was split. The vandalized figure of Mahatma Gandhi was spotted by a park worker in the wee hours of the morning of January 27, the police said. The statue is being transferred and will be stored in a secure place until it can be assessed.
Inspectors are still doubtful of when precisely the statue was ripped down or what the reason may have been. The statue of Gandhi, which was bestowed by the Indian government to the city of Davis, was established by the city council four years ago between objections from anti-Gandhi and anti-India organizations. Organization for Minorities in India (OFMI), which created these protests and defended the installation of the statue. The City of Davis had still decided to go forward with the installation. Since then OFMI had started a drive to remove the Gandhi statue.
Indian-Americans have shown intense distress and shock at the event.“An atmosphere of hatred was being created by many anti-India and hinduphobic radical organizations like OFMI and other Khalistani separatists for many years now,” “They have not only run hate campaigns against Indian icons but have been at the forefront of attempts to push Hinduphobia and erase India from California school textbooks,” said Guarang Desai of Friends of India Society International (FISI).
“We condemn this cowardly desecration and call upon the Department of Homeland Security and FBI to investigate this hate crime, as it was likely done to intimidate the Indian American community. Make no mistake, this is not about the legacy of Gandhi as a person, but about intimating India and Indian Americans. We urge local police to apprehend the perpetrators and call upon the city council to resurrect the statue as a statement that such destructive acts are not in harmony with our community standards,” said HAF California Advocacy Director Easan Katir, a retired member of the Davis Business and Finance Commission.
The destruction was glorified on Twitter by a pro-Khalistan group in California, who shared photos of the destroyed statue, and others who stated “Today is a good day.”This is not the first time a statue of Gandhi has been dishonored. In December 2020, Khalistani-supporters had profaned a Mahatma Gandhi statue in Washington, DC in front of the Indian Embassy.