Amitabh Sharma, Contributor
He is India's most famous citizen, his lessons on non-violence and civil disobedience inspired freedom and civil rights movements across the world; Mohandas Gandhi, or Mahatma (saint) as he is called, is now immortalised in the Inspiration Garden of the Faculty of Education and Humanities at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.
The bronze statue, gifted by the Government of India by the high commissioner of India to Jamaica, Mohinder Grover, encapsulates Gandhi's persona and simplicity.
Sculpted by Indian sculptor Anil Sutar, the lifelike 6' 4"-high statue has Gandhi in a brisk walk pose - clutching his tall walking stick, a shawl draped over his shoulders and a pocket watch dangling from the loin cloth.
Sutar has, through his intricate detailing, captured the mahatma's simplicity, exuding the aura of the man himself. As the rays of the sun fall on the silhouette, Gandhi's statue manages to radiate a sense of peace, and his striding pose reminisces of the constant move for non-violence and equality.
The figure of Gandhi emulates his trademark walk and resilience. He and his followers, on March 12, 1930, set out on a nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India. This historic walk, called the Dandi march, covered 240 miles in 23 days.
This statue of India's 'father of the nation', atop a pedestal with his quotes inscribed on three sides, is an exact replica of the statue, which also was sculpted by Sutar, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, where Dr Martin Luther King Jr was the pastor.
The statue was unveiled on July 12 in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, the Indian high commissioner, principal of the University of the West Indies, Professor Gordon Shirley, among others.
"Gandhi's ideals represent, manifest and vividly articulate the finest expression of humanism," said Grover. "His greatness lay not only in his philosophy, but also his ability to translate his beliefs into actions."
Bapu (or father, one of the names Gandhi is called in India) shares the space in the courtyard with 'Heaven and Earth' by Basil Watson and 'The Woman with the Carnival Skirt' by Denise Forges.
Gandhi perhaps has the distinction of being the only leader in the world, who never held any office, but has touched the hearts and souls of millions across the world. There is perhaps no country in the world where his statue or bust is not installed, or a road is named after him.
His words and persona are now etched in timeless glory, adorning the UWI campus, serving as an inspiration and also epitomising one of the greatest human beings to walk on earth.