A life-size bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi was vandalized in a New York neighborhood on Saturday, an act strongly condemned as “despicable” by the Indian Consulate General here.
The 8-foot-tall statue, located in Union Square in Manhattan, was defaced by unidentified people, the Indian Consulate General said.
“The consulate condemns this act of vandalism in the strongest terms,” he said, adding that the matter had been raised with local authorities.
“The matter has also been raised with the US State Department for immediate investigation and called for appropriate action against those responsible for this despicable act,” he said.
The incident shocked the Indian-American community here.
The statue was donated by the Gandhi Memorial International Foundation and was dedicated on October 2, 1986 to mark the 117th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth.
US civil rights leader Bayard Rustin delivered a keynote address at the ceremony.
Incidentally, the statue was removed in 2001, retained and reinstalled in a landscaped garden in 2002.
This is not the first time a statue of Gandhi has been desecrated in the United States.
In January last year, unknown miscreants vandalized, smashed and tore from the base a statue of Gandhi in a park in the US state of California, evoking a strong response from India calling for a full investigation and appropriate action against those responsible for the “despicable act.”
The 6-foot-tall, 650-pound (294 kg) bronze statue of Gandhi, in Central Park in the northern California town of Davis, had been sawn off at the ankles and half of his face was cut off and missing.
The vandalized statue of Gandhi was found by a park employee in the early morning hours of January 27, 2021, police said.
In December 2020, Khalistani supporters desecrated a statue of Gandhi in Washington, DC in front of the Indian Embassy.
Then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the incident “terrible”.
“No statue or memorial should be desecrated and certainly not one like that of Gandhi, who truly fought for the values America stands for of peace, justice and freedom.
“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.
Also in June 2020, unknown disbelievers vandalized the statue of Gandhi outside the Indian Embassy in the United States with graffiti and spray paint, prompting the mission to file a complaint with security forces. local order.
The vandalism of the Apostle of Peace statue occurred during the week of nationwide protests over the May 25 murder in custody of African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis.