Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii: Gandhi Statue

Bronze statue of Mohandas K. Gandhi, under a large banyan tree, was donated by an controversial non-profit organization that liked to donate Gandhi statues, among other activities.
Address:
Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI
Directions:
Kapiolani Park, at Monsarrat Ave. and Kapahulu Ave. in front of the Honolulu Zoo.
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Gandhi statue. Gandhi Statue

Statues for the tourists are strung all along Waikiki Beach, from the towering Duke Kahanamoku "God of Surfing" statue, to a dolphin and kid from a popular children's book, to various historical leaders of the islands. But here's a strange one: Cross the street inland, walk past the mass grave and towards the zoo, look under a large banyan tree, and you'll see a bronze sculpture of a bow-legged, scrawny guy. It's Mahatma Gandhi.

The figure of the Hindu spiritual leader, in sandals and strutting with his walking stick, was erected in 1990. It was donated to Honolulu by the Gandhi Memorial International Foundation, a non-profit group run by Yogesh K Gandhi, which was subsequently investigated by the FBI for mail fraud and by the US Senate for contribution laundering. His organization would hand out Gandhi World Peace Awards to prominent world leaders, and spring for the occasional nice Gandhi statue. He apparently closed up shop in 1999.

The statue's origin seem to be mostly forgotten, and the picturesque spot is used for gatherings about world harmony -- Gandhi's son was here spreading a "message of peace" in March, 2011.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 04/10/2011]

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