Keep on walking.
Right outside our window on Union Square is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. It serves as a reminder to us, as publishers of many books with a vegetarian message
, to keep on walking the talk of ahimsa
. The statue's unusual because, like the man himself, it is at ground level and not on a plinth. It was sculpted by Kantilal B. Patel and donated by the Gandhi Memorial International Foundation
in 1986. It is placed at the southwest corner of the square, where, a few years ago, the island of green on which it was situated was expanded. Now Gandhi can be seen, marching north, out of a sea of shrubbery into the future.
You know, if Gandhi were alive today, I think he would have been pretty pleased with what he's surrounded by. Of course, he would probably have been appalled by the excess and commercialism, but he'd have been pleased that Mighty Mutts
is often placed at the south side of his little bit of green, asking people to adopt homeless dogs, and that on his left hand side, across the street, the United Homeless Organization
is doing its bit for homeless people by getting homeless people to organize their own begging
. He would have been thrilled by the Greenmarket and the artisans' stands, helping small businesses thrive. He was a great supporter of local industry
. He would have also have been very happy to see the amount of social protest
that takes place all the time at Union Square.
On Gandhi's birthday, October 2,
some Indian officials and the odd Sri Chinmoy
singer, and myself and my colleague Gene go out and celebrate Gandhiji's birthday. It's a pretty low-key affair. But then we don't need a birthday to remind us of his message: he's there all the time telling us to keep on walking, no matter how far the destination.