[Inscription on base of statue - West Side:]Mahatma Gandhi
"My Life Is My Message"
Gandhi led India to freedom from British rule in 1947. He is hailed as the father of the nation. Crusader for human rights and liberty, thinker, writer, reformer, apostle of truth and non-violence (ahimsa), Gandhi succeeded in uniting millions of people of all faiths across India in a mass movement of civil disobedience. On Gandhi's seventieth birthday, Albert Einstein wrote, "Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."
A gift from the people of India and the Indian-American community.
[East End - Panel 1:]
"I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt or when self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the faces of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melting away." 1947.
[East End - Panel 2:]
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) was a pivotal world figure of the twentieth century. Gandhi renounced all worldly possessions, devoting his life to work for the dignity and uplift of the downtrodden. To his people, he was a mahatma (Sanscrit for "Great Soul"), as proclaimed by the great Indian poet, Tagore. He kept purity of means and peaceful resistance (satyagraha) at the heart of the campaign against racial discrimination in South Africa from 1893 to 1914. He led a famous march to the sea against the increase of salt tax in India in 1930. A charismatic leader of millions, Gandhi was the central figure in India's struggle for freedom from British rule. Gandhi was inspired by the world's great religions and influenced by the writings of Ruskin, Thoreau, and Tolstoy. His life and message inspired great leaders internationally, notably Jawaharlal Nehru, Martin Luther King, Jr., Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, and Aung San Suu Kyi. Gandhi is revered by people of conscience in all walks of life around the world.
[East End - Panel 3:]
"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible, but I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. I refuse to live in other people's houses as an interloper, a beggar or a slave." 1921.
"Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?" 1938.