What’s Gandhi Doing in Winnipeg?

I was surprised on a walk in my new Winnipeg neighborhood to bump into Gandhi, the political leader famous for his acts of civil disobedience against British colonial power in India’s fight for independence. There is a statue of Gandhi right in the center of the laneway just south of where the new Human Rights Museum is being built. Gandhi looks like he’s out for a brisk stroll with his signature cane and fits right in with the other Winnipeggers walking down the street.  I wondered what a statue of Gandhi was doing in Winnipeg. 

gandhi human rights museumI discovered the art work was a gift from the Indian government to the Friends of the Canadian Human Rights Museum in 2004, but it was only unveiled in its permanent spot in June of 2010.  The statue has caused some controversy because there is talk of renaming the portion of the street on which it stands after Gandhi as well.  Some people are upset by this because Gandhi is known to have made statements affirming Arab rights to Palestine in the late 1930’s. A Winnipeg Sun columnist says renaming a street near the Human Rights Museum after Gandhi would be the height of hypocrisy. 

On a recent trip to Saskatoon I spotted another statue of Gandhi in the down town area. This statue was also a gift from the Indian government to the city of Saskatoon and was created by Ram Vanji Sutar, the same artist who made the Gandhi sculpture in Winnipeg. 

What next? I think I’d like to dig up a paper I wrote in university for my Religious Studies degree comparing Gandhi’s ideas with those of John Howard Yoder, a Mennonite theologian.  It would be interesting to see what kind of writer I was almost forty years ago and how the ideas I had then about Gandhi would compare with those I hold now after visiting India.  

Posts about India…..

The Taj Mahal At Dawn

Tiger Safari

India Assaults The Senses

Beggars Everywhere


8 Comments

Filed under Canada, Culture, History, India, Winnipeg

8 responses to “What’s Gandhi Doing in Winnipeg?

  1. https://maryloudriedger2.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/img_25721.jpg?w=770&h=200&crop=1

    Hi there,

    I am currently working on a blog and I reference Gandhi and the banner image you have used here is awesome! Is it yours? Would you be okay sharing it? If it’s not yours, would you happen to know form where it comes and whether it can be used with Creative Commons?

    with respect,

    Richard

  2. Hi MaryLou,

    That sounds great! I do not – however – see a link. Am I missing something?

    with respect,

    Richard

  3. Hi MaryLou,

    Thanks! I have sent an email.

    with gratitude,

    Richard

  4. https://mayawalk.ca/blog-a-deacons-musing-vignette-sophia/

    Thanks again MaryLou! I hope my use of your image meets with your approval!

    with thanks,

    Richard

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