Leftist activists in Britain are demanding the removal of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Leicester.
A petition to remove the statue of the independence leader of India, which targets him for "well-documented anti-black racism," has received almost 5,000 signatures, reports the New York Post.
Although Gandhi is remembered and honored for leading the Indian people in nonviolent resistance against British colonialism, Gandhi held openly critical views of black Africans during his brief stay in South Africa toward the end of the 19th century in his youth.
“Gandhi too was an imperfect human being, [but] imperfect Gandhi was more radical and progressive than most contemporary compatriots,” Faisal Devji, an Indian history professor at Oxford University, said.
The effort to remove Gandhi comes as Black Lives Matter protests have spread across the globe, where statues and buildings have been vandalized and destroyed.
“[Gandhi] is a fallible man as all men are, but to lump him in with slave owners, that’s a bit much,” Devji said.
Some have charged Black Lives Matter with presentism—the fallacious practice of judging historical events through the lens of present-day social, moral, and cultural norms.