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Save Gandhi Statue From Warehouse - A Call To Indian Americans

Press Release
06/07/2007

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi stands in Sherborne, MA as a symbol of the philosophy of Peace and Non-violence for humanity. This statue, in the familiar Gandhi pose with a walking stick, proclaims one of his famous quotes, “My Life is My Message” and is a part of a Pacifist Memorial. Gandhiji’s life was dedicated to peace, nonviolence and justice, and the Pacifist Memorial celebrates this message. It is perhaps the only statue of Gandhiji in New England. It is surrounded by quotations about Peace from all major religions, as well as important personalities like Gautam Buddha, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy, etc.

The statue is part of “Peace Abbey”, an institution dedicated to peace and non-violence. The Peace Abbey has fallen on hard times, because of its ideological leanings, such as a installing a monument to unknown civilian killed in wars. The Peace Abbey which also teaches “deaf and dumb children” has lost state subsidy for teaching these children. It is not in a position to pay mortgage for the property. It has therefore decided to sell its complex. The possible foreclosure of the facility will lead to removal of statue of Mahatma Gandhi, and its possible shift to some warehouse.

The Peace Abbey needs about $218,000 to pay the debt for the land that covers the Pacifist Memorial and convert it into a public park. The memorial, which features the Gandhi statue and an Animal Rights Statue, will be placed into a private trust that will be separate from the remainder of the  Peace Abbey campus.

Gandhiji’s statue is a symbol of truth and seeking justice through peaceful and nonviolent methods. Gandhi perfected the technique of achieving this through peaceful non-cooperation. and this technique has been used all over the world, including in USA, South Africa, Poland, and many other countries. This statue is a monument to history and culture of Indian Americans. It is also a link connecting India and New England, for Gandhi utilized Henry David Thoreau’s ideas about non-cooperation and acted upon these ideas to fight injustice both in South Africa and in India. It will be a shame to lose this statue to condos or office space.

Indian Americans in many cities have worked hard to raise funds and convince local authorities to install a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in a public place. Indian Americans have also raised funds from the community and established trusts to maintain the statue.  We are fortunate that such a statue already exists, and was installed by an American Pacifist. All we need are funds to maintain the statue and acquire this land.      

The Indian American community in New England has a special interest in ensuring that the statue is retained at its present location as a public park. We must come together and raise funds to ensure this. The population of Indian American community in New England may be about 100,000. Few Dollars per each family member will help in saving this statue and making it a permanent part of New England landscape.

Please consider making a donation to preserve this monument to the “Father of our Nation” and to a man about whom Einstein said that “In years to come, people will not believe that a man such as Gandhi existed, and walked on this earth”. Indian Prime Minister Nehru compared him to a ray of light that showed a way to fight injustice and announced his death to the world with the statement “Light has gone out.”

You can learn more about the Statue at the Peace Abbey’s website and by contacting Lewis Randa, founder of Peace Abbey at their website www.peaceabbey.org or at (508) 650-3659.



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