This statue of Mohandas Gandhi was created by Kantilal B. Patel and dedicated on October 2, 1986. The dedication included a speech by civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, a close friend and trusted advisor to Martin Luther King. The ceremony coincided with the 117-year anniversary of Ghandi's birth. The monument was installed at Union Square because of the tradition of protest associated with the park.
The champion of nonviolent protest and Indian independence from Britain, arguably one of the most important figures of the 20th century, is seen here grasping a staff in his right hand, looking towards a point on the horizon, and walking forward. Clad in sandals and a cotton dhoti, Gandhi’s dress illustrates his Hindu asceticism as well as his support for Indian industries. After its installation the monument became an instant pilgrimage site, with an annual ceremony taking place on Gandhi's birthday, October 2.