DAVIS, California, USA—A proposed statue of Gandhi in California is causing outrage. The Davis, CA statue joins many others around the world – almost all of which are paid for by the Indian government! One African activist connects Gandhi to atrocities in modern India. Jada Bernard links Gandhi’s legacy to a supremacist system that kills minorities:
In the middle of this peace garden, we see a statue to Gandhi. And on Gandhi’s, it says: “My life is my message.” This is not from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech because he was rejected five times for it. He participated in every major war of his lifetime. He was divisive, racist, and classist — oppressive even toward his own people.
And to erect a statue like that, to erect the tons of statues that we see all over, to continue to propagate him as a man of peace is a slap in the face.
The statue says his life is his message, and that is the sad part because his life is something that has not been told correctly.
What we’ve been told is that his statue would fit perfectly next to Mandela’s and to Churchill’s because the political Gandhi very much so fits that picture, but the real Gandhi was a hateful Gandhi.
In South Africa, he was actually very much so instrumental in that apartheid system that was set up in the early 1900s to the point where he’s thought of as being the father of apartheid. He was very much unsympathetic to the cause of the native South Africans, which is why he was denied the Nobel Peace Prize five times. He hated the South Africans, the natives, he thought that the “Kaffirs” were uncivilized. He compared them to animals. He always fought for whites to be superior and for blacks to be inferior.
In this country, the same system — the same Brahmanist system — that oppresses the Indians oppresses us here. I’m from Louisiana, and in Louisiana, David Duke was a member of the KKK. Not just a member, but a Grand Dragon. This white supremacist was an elected politician.
So I’ve experienced white supremacy. I’ve never experienced Hindu supremacy first hand. I’ve experienced what it’s like to be treated like a nigger, which has caused me to devote my life to civil rights. But I’ve never been treated like a Dalit before. I’ve never been treated like an Untouchable. Not until yesterday.
Yesterday, Narendra Modi made his rockstar appearance. September 27. Stepping in. Making history. The first time we’ve hosted a world leader from India since the 40s!
My voice is still hoarse from protesting yesterday in San Jose where rockstar Modi made his appearance. 18,000 people filled up the SAP Center in San Jose. There were even thousands more in the park, waiting for him to show up, including about 3,000 protestors is what the police estimated.
Electing David Duke governor of Louisiana is no different than electing Modi prime minister of India after what he did in Gujarat. When he was chief minister of Gujarat, the violence that he committed and the Hindu nationalist that he was labeled as has been forgotten. The violence that he committed has been forgotten. It’s not been mulled over. Now we seek to reestablish his tarnished reputation.
2002 pogroms. The Gujarat riots, in which elected officials, high-ranking officials, appointed officials were out there leading these riots, and leading, and inciting violence against non-Hindu people. Citizens!
These were people who were children pulled out of their homes, hanged, and burned. Women were raped. And the police stood by and did nothing, for the most part. There are reports of them joining in on the carnage, but there are no reports of them helping. They always told the people: “We have no orders to help you.”
Bringing Modi to a position of prime minister is no different than bringing David Duke to the position of governor, and if you’re going to start bringing in Hindu nationalist to bring in their Hindu ideologies to this country, what else are you inviting?
The word “holocaust” means burnt offering, and if Indian nationalism is making a burnt offering, what are they giving an offering to? What they’re doing is they’re offering up these people groups, just as during the Third Reich the Jews were offered up as a burnt offering, in favor of progression to a new system. And this new system is the Indian state being in totalitarian control of the people down to their religious choices and even their ethnicity.
Learn about these genocides that go on today. Learn about the people who can’t go to the court system for help, who can’t go to the police for help. Who can they go to for help?
We’re going to have one common enemy. That is the enemy that has served to kill thousands of Muslims, served to bomb Sikh temples. That has hanged and burned Christians in the street. That has kicked Nigerians out as they came in for educational visas. This same system — we’re going to fight it together.
My voice is hoarse. I don’t have a voice because I’ve been out there screaming for people who don’t have a voice. I’m not gonna stop yelling until somebody listens. Raise your voice with me. There’s one Mulnivasi. Black power. We’re all here together.