A new appeal is calling for change at Ottawa's Carleton University. One online petition is urging the university to remove the statue of Gandhi that stands on campus. According to the petition, Gandhi was a misogynist and a racist, who was “publicly anti-black and referred to Africans as savages.”

A new online petition has garnered thousands of signatures, after it called for the removal of a statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi from the Carleton University campus.

According to the Change.org petition, Gandhi held “racist and misogynistic views,” and was “publicly anti-black, referred to Africans as savages, likening them to animals.”

The appeal also says that Gandhi “slept naked with his grandniece to ‘test his willpower.’”

The statement says that “in recent days” the Ottawa-based university has publicly condemned racism, and committed to addressing any racial injustices faced by the student body.

To this end, the petition calls for the figure to be removed ASAP, to end “the pain and discomfort this statue causes our students.”

As of June 17, organizers had garnered over 2,000 signatures.

The discussion about the controversial figure has resurfaced in recent weeks, as anti-racism movements have been reinvigorated by the death of George Floyd.

Across the world, people have been calling for the removal of statues and monuments that pertain to controversial historical figures.

In Montreal, a similar petition is gaining traction. The appeal demands the removal of a James McGill statue, the founder of McGill University, as he was known to be a slave-owner.

In Vancouver, several famous statues have been splashed with paint this week, all of whom have racist histories.

Per CBC news, Carleton University has not committed to removing the statue at this time.

"Debate and discussion about Gandhi and his legacy have taken place at Carleton from time to time, as it has at many institutions worldwide,” confirmed Carleton University’s media relations officer in a statement. 

"Universities must be a place where debate on contentious subjects is open and respectful, whatever the point of view of the individuals or groups. As you know, many view Gandhi as a man who meant a great deal to India and the world." 

Students at Carleton previously made efforts to take down the Gandhi statue back in 2018, but the university took no further action at that time.

It remains to be seen whether the institution will consider removing the figure this time around.

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