New Delhi: The vandalism of an eight-foot-tall statue of Mahatma Gandhi in a New York neighborhood on Saturday drew condemnation from the Consulate General of India.
The bronze statue in Manhattan’s Union Square was defaced by unidentified people, an act that was strongly condemned as “despicable” by the consulate, which added that the matter had been taken up by authorities.
According to the consulate, the matter has also been raised with the US State Department for immediate investigation and requested appropriate action against those responsible.
The vandalism of the statue, donated by the Gandhi Memorial International Foundation and dedicated on October 2, 1986 to mark the 117th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, shocked the Indian-American community here.
Notably, the statue was removed in 2001, retained, and reinstalled in a landscaped garden in 2002.
This is not the first such incident where a statue of Gandhi has been desecrated in the United States.
In January last year, unknown persons vandalized and tore a statue from the base of a park in California, prompting a strong reaction from India.
The 6ft bronze statue of Gandhi was sawn off at the ankles and half of his face was missing. He was found by a park employee in the early morning hours on Jan. 27, 2021, police said.
In another incident in December 2020, Khalistani supporters vandalized a statue of Gandhi in Washington, D.C. outside the Indian Embassy, the act which was described as “terrible” by the press secretary of the White House at the time, Kayleigh McEnany.
It is appalling that this has happened more than once and we believe Mahatma Gandhi’s reputation should be respected, especially here in the US capital, she said, as quoted by PTI news agency. .
In June 2020, unidentified people had desecrated the statue of Gandhi outside the Indian Embassy in the United States with graffiti and spray paint, leading the mission to file a complaint with the security forces. local order.
The vandalism of the statue took place during the week of nationwide protests against the in-custody killing of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.