Professors at a university in Ghana's capital are campaigning for the removal of a new statue of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi.

An online petition launched this month takes issue with what it calls Gandhi's "racist identity" and controversial references to Africans in his writings. The petition had more than 1,100 signatures by Thursday morning.

India's President Pranab Mukherjee unveiled the statue during a visit to Ghana in June.

Gandhi, a lawyer, traveled to South Africa in 1893 and stayed for two decades, fighting to expand rights for Indians there.

The petition quotes writings from that period in which Gandhi refers to black South Africans as savages.

The petition says the campus should instead feature statues of "African heroes."