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Layla Warsame

Gandhi statue unveiled at Carleton University

In celebration of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s 142nd birthday, and in recognition of the strong relationship between India and Canada, a statue of Gandhi was unveiled in front of Carleton University’s new Canada-India Centre on Sunday, 2 October.Carleton University students and visitors viewed cultural performances, exhibitions and several speeches. The event was organised by individuals including India’s High Commissioner to Canada, S.M. Gavai, and the president of Carleton University, Roseann O’Reilly Runte.The River Building will be hosting the Canada-India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy. This project reflects the mutual interests of Canada and India in promoting technological developments in the fields of trade and communication.However, some do not see it that way. There has been some controversy surrounding the Gandhi statue in front of the River Building. Some students appeared not to understand why it was necessary for the statue to be erected to begin with.Sarah Merad, a second-year Communications Major, remarked, “Why Gandhi, and why now? He is an important figure, yet I assumed they would place a statue that had to do with Carleton University itself.”On the other hand, some find it appropriate. Karissa Tsevi, a fourth-year Political Science Major, believed it to be a nice gesture: “[Gandhi] was a citizen of the world and it is arguably reflected on campus!”Surprisingly, the statue managed to attract some political detractors. The website stopgandhistatue.com has published an open letter to Carleton University, characterizing Gandhi as “a hero only to a select group of upper-caste Hindu Indians” who ignore his faults. Among other things, the letter alleges that Gandhi had incestuous relationships with his grandnieces.However, the statue’s detractors failed to gain much support, and the statue was unveiled on schedule. Read More