Cleveland, Ohio | October 2nd, 2019
Braving the heavy rain this evening, The Federation of India Community Associations of Northeast Ohio (FICA) celebrated the 150th year of Gandhi Jayanti at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, Cleveland, Ohio.
As per the Cleveland Historical Organization
- India Cultural Garden was dedicated in 2005. The Indian Cultural Garden was the first to be added to the chain of gardens since 1985, when the Chinese Cultural Garden was inaugurated.
- The Federation of Indian Community Associations of Northeastern Ohio, established in 1981, serves as an umbrella group for Clevelanders dedicated to the regional, cultural and social interests of the Indian population.
- On October 1, 2006, a ten-foot tall, one ton sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi was dedicated in the Cultural Garden. Sculpted and cast by Gautam Pal in Calcutta India, Gandhi’s figure stands ten foot tall and is made of bronze with a lead base. The granite base upon which the sculpture stands is approximately seven foot high and is inscribed with a Gandhi quote on its eastern side: “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”
- In 2007 the six granite Heritage Pillars were dedicated. Each Pillar represents a different tradition and commemorates people of note. The Artistic Traditions Pillar commemorates composers Thyagaraja and Miyan Tansen, musicians M.S. Subhalakshmi, Ravi Shankar and Zakir Hussain, conuctor Zubin Mehta, writers Rabindranath Tagore and Kabir, painter Raja Ravi Varma and filmmaker Satyajit Ray. The Connections Pillar is inscribed that “India and the United States are joined by shared philosophical beliefs. The Upanishads, a sacred Hindu text, influenced American writers, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s commitment to nonviolence. Gandhi, in turn, had been influenced by the writings of Thoreau.”
In honor of Mahatma Gandhi and celebrations of the 150th year of Gandhi Jayanti, the FICA Executive committee layed a wreath at the statue during the event.
This historic moment was celebrated together at The Cleveland Cultural Gardens, far away from the homeland.
The non-violence approach and philosophy of satyagraha that Gandhi had practiced and spread during the fight for India’s independence was shared by the FICA members.
FICA is an organization dedicated to serving the needs of the Asian Indian Community in Northeast Ohio.
From its humble beginnings as a student association in 1962, it has grown to be the voice of a diaspora of over 20,000 and on the increase. FICA helps Asian Indian families assimilate into the mosaic of greater Cleveland. Its community service arm, known as Project Seva, and the India Cultural Garden have been instrumental in building bridges and in promoting a greater understanding of Indian culture.
Learn more about FICA and community engagement here