New York: The White House and New York City Mayor on Wednesday strongly condemned recent cases of vandalism of Mahatma Gandhi statues in the country, with the latest one being in New York.
“Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, has an enduring message of truth and nonviolence, serving as an inspiration. As you said, the President has spoken to this directly and specifically. Any act of vandalism should be condemned in the strongest terms,” White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference.
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Eric Adams along with several city leaders visited the site of vandalism of the Gandhi statue in New York. The city has seen two incidents of vandalism of the Gandhi statue in a month: August 3 and August 16.
“Hate has no place in Richmond Hill. Hate has no place in New York City. Hate has no place in our country,” Adams told reporters as he visited Tulsi Mandir in Richmond Hill, the site of the latest vandalism incident. The event was organized by New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar.
“We are not going to stand back and allow attacks on our houses of worship. They play a crucial role in closing the gap between the government and the needs of the people. We will not allow an individual to participate in this hate going unapprehended,” he said.
The New York Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“The Gandhi statue may be gone, but we will continue to spread his message of peace and love throughout the city, the state, and the entire nation,” Rajkumar said. “I stand here today before you with pride as the first Hindu-American ever elected to the New York State Office,” she said.
The event was also addressed by India’s Consul General in New York, Shri Tulsi Mandir founder Pandit Lakhram Maharaj, US Congressman Gregory Meeks, and Hindu-American Foundation Executive Director Suhag Shukla.