This statue of Mahatma (Mohandas) Gandhi is by Zlatko Paunov. Presented to the City of San Francisco by the Gandhi Memorial International Foundation, it sits on the water side of the Ferry Building. Its location is intentional, as to honor Gandhi’s “Salt March to the Sea” Its objective is to foster principles of nonviolence.
Zlatko Paunov was born in Tryavna, Bulgaria and emmigrated to New York during the communist era.
This seemingly benign statue is not without its critics.
In 2010 the Organization for Minorities of India asked for the removal of the statue that has been in its place since 1988. The group — which seeks to publicize the oppression of Christians, Buddhists, Dalits, Muslims, Sikhs, and other Indian minorities — claimed Gandhi was a racist with violent urges.
“The popular image of Gandhi as an egalitarian pacifist is a myth,” Bhajan Singh, one of the organizers, reportedly said in a statement. “We plan to challenge that myth by disseminating Gandhi’s own words to expose his racism and sham nonviolence.”