Amid the wave of the anti-racism protests followed by the custodial death of African-American citizen George Floyd, where several statues of historical persons perceived as ‘racists’ have been demolished and vandalised by activists, another similar incident has been reported from Amsterdam. Unknown miscreants vandalized the statue of Mahatma Gandhi with graffiti and spray painting in the capital of the Netherlands.
As per reports, the statue of Mahatma Gandhi located at the Churchilllaan in Amsterdam was desecrated by the unknown miscreants with red paint, and just like other similar incidents, the word ‘racist’ was found written on the pedestal of the statue.
Mayor of Amsterdam Alderman Rutger Groot Wassink said the municipality will file a declaration on the matter. The official was quoted by saying by the Ad.nl, “Obviously, we are opposed to any form of vandalism and daubing of these things is completely unacceptable. It is logical that we will file a declaration, the image will be cleaned.”
As per reports, an old man who noticed the daubs on the statue called the municipality. He said, “I have lived here for forty years and I have never experienced this. I have been watching the statue for years.” An employee of the Kunstwach, who takes charge of repairing and maintenance of the statue said the cleaning work can take hours.
Embassy of India in Hague expressed displeasure
On the incident, the official Twitter handle of Embassy of India in Hague tweeted, “We are sad and distressed to know about the vandalization of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Amsterdam. We strongly condemn those responsible for this incident and call upon concerned authorities to take action against culprits responsible.”
We are sad and distressed to know about the vandalization of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Amsterdam. We strongly condemn those responsible for this incident and call upon concerned authorities to take action against culprits responsible.@DrSJaishankar @MEAIndia— IndiainNetherlands (@IndinNederlands) June 17, 2020
Statues of Mahatma Gandhi vandalized earlier amid the BLM protests
Amid the #BalckLivesMatter protesters in the US and elsewhere, some unruly elements vandalized the statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the Indian Embassy in Washington DC. The statue was inaugurated in 2000 in front of the Indian Embassy in Massachusetts Avenue. Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had inaugurated the statue in September 2000 in the presence of the then US President Bill Clinton.
After this incident, miscreants desecrated another Mahatma Gandhi statue on Parliament Square, London. The miscreants defaced the statue with scribbling ‘racist’ on its plinth and splattering it with white paint. They also taped placards with anti-racism messages on it.
Dutch Activist wrote ‘killer’ and ‘thief’ on the statue of Piet Hein
It is pertinent to note that since the controversial death of George Floyd in Minneapolis followed by the Worldwide protests, the debate on naming the streets and monuments by the name of those linked with a colonial past is going on.
As per reports, recently dutch activist scribbled ‘killer’ and ‘thief’ on the statue of Piet Hein in Rotterdam and daubed the statue with red paint.
The Dutch newspaper metro reported that these are the expressions that follow the death of George Floyd in the custody of White police officers. Gandhi was a champion of human rights and non-violence but in his twenties when he was in South-Africa, he made regressive remarks against black people.
The statue on Churchilllaan was installed on October 2, 1990, in light of Mahatma Gandhi’s 121st birthday. The design of the statue was made by the sculptor Karel Gomes, who died in 2016. The plans for the statue was given by the Hindu organization Trivedi.
Mahatma Gandhi is depicted walking, featuring robes around the body, slippers on the feet, a book in one hand and a stick in the other.