Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna condemns destruction of Mahatma Gandhi statue in California

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna on Tuesday condemned the vandalisation of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the US state of California and urged the people to take the time to talk instead of resorting to public vandalism. Earlier this week, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Central Park of California`s Davis city was vandalised and desecrated by unknown miscreants. 

“To see the desecration of this magnificent statue only underscores the need for more people to study Gandhi`s teachings, not unilaterally erase him from the public discourse. This was a shameful act. At a moment in our history when disagreement needs to be managed with tolerance and patience, I urge everyone involved to take the time to listen and talk instead of resorting to acts of public vandalism,” Khanna said in a statement. 

“As the Democratic Vice Chair of the India Caucus, I will continue to work with my colleagues to build bridges across these divisions,” the US Congressman added. In a statement by Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov of the Davis Police Department, the statue, broken off at the ankles and the top half of its head broken off, was found by a park worker around 9 am (local time) on Wednesday. 

In protest against the vandalism of a Mahatma Gandhi statue in California’s Davis, Indian Americans on Sunday held a vigil and demanded reinstallation of the statue. The vigil was also met with protests and outrage from some, who accused Gandhi of genocide, racism, and molestation. 

“Pro-Khalistan radical groups from neighbouring towns outside of Davis tried to intimidate the attendees in an attempt to stop the event and tried to assault a lady speaker at the event,” Bhaskar Vempati, President of the Indian Association of Sacramento, one of the cohosts of the event told news agency ANI. 

The Consulate General of India in San Francisco has separately taken up the matter with the City of Davis and local law enforcement authorities. The 6-foot-3, 650-pound bronze Gandhi Statue of Peace has stood in the park since 2016. It was a gift from the Government of India.

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