Don’t mess with Gandhi


The Mahatma Gandhi statue in San Francisco is often the target of vandals and pranksters. They find it particularly thrilling to snatch the spectacles off the Mahatma’s face, much to the dismay of city officials. "The last pair lasted two months," senior registrar Allison Cummings recently told C.W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle. As one commenter on the Chronicle’s website wrote: “First, Gandhi gets stiffed for a Nobel Prize, then gets his glasses ripped off. What's a holy man gotta do to get some respect?”

The solution is simple: Give Gandhi a mechanical arm, one that comes down hard on the head of any vandal. Smack! That'll teach 'em.

What's that you say? Gandhi believed in non-violence? He wouldn't hurt a fly? Okay then, let's put two mechanical arms on him, so he can give the vandal a big hug – and hold him tightly until the police arrive.

Photos by brothergrimm and William Hartz

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. I find it alarming that Gandhi is being disrespected but your post has me in splits.
    I guess i just cant stop imagining the horrified vandals when the stone Gandhi suddenly smacks them!

  2. hahaha! What an awesome idea! 😉

  3. Gandhi would be happier without his glasses. The world is not even close to what he wanted it to be.

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