The sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi is located between the Academic Complex and Sullivan-Harrell Hall. Unveiled in 2003 and gifted by the India Association of Mississippi, the statue is a familiar sight to students, who pass by it on the way to class or the cafeteria. It comes, therefore, as a surprise that this iconic landmark is to be refashioned.
A Millsaps representative spoke out: “I think we can all agree that the Gandhi statue is well-loved. I understand that it comes as a shock to the Millsaps community that the statue is to be refashioned. Perhaps some students will be dismayed. The Millsaps administration is aware that students will miss the statue as it exists now, but we’re confident that our community will understand the need for, and appreciate, the changes that are to come.” A photograph of the representative posing beside the Gandhi statue was tacked to the wall of their office. They continued, “I remember a professor fondly recounting an incident where students brought out a sport uniform or bib of some sort, and wrangled it over Gandhi so that the statue was wearing it.” It’s clear, as in this anecdote, that the Gandhi statue is an integral part of our campus and community. But the events of this spring have made it clear to us that the status quo simply will not do.
What will the refashioned statue look like? Students can rest assured that the statue will remain recognizably Gandhi, and revisions to the statue are not expected to take long. The main cause of delay, says the Millsaps representative, has come from choosing the right material for the statue; alterations will not be made using the same metal that the current Gandhi statue uses. “In consultation with the original sculptors, industry-leading designers, and textiles researchers, we have concluded that the new Gandhi statue will include alterations using Gore-Tex.”
Gore-Tex? As in that stuff in hiking shoes and water-proof jackets? That’s right. “The material is breathable, water-proof, lightweight, and long-lasting”, says Millsaps representative, and perfect for weathering the changes in Mississippi temperature throughout the year. “We’ve already sent in an order to manufacturers for a Gore-Tex winter coat according to Gandhi’s size specifications.” The coat was, of course, initially designed to be Millsaps-purple. Unfortunately, the tiered pricing of dye-colors offered by manufacturers and the limitations of Millsaps’ budget mean that the final design is now slated to be a pattern of alternating blue and red stripes. The Millsaps representative seemed less sure about this: “From what I understand, I think the idea is that if you squint and look through your eyelashes, and maybe shake your head a little, the colors will blur and look like purple?” According to anonymous sources, members of Millsaps’ administration were caught in a deadlock over calling this color pattern “Imitation Purple” versus “Innovative Purple”. The administration summarily dismissed “Painful Bruise” as a contender.
The Purple & White was able to secure an exclusive interview with the Gandhi statue. “Honestly, I really appreciate the College’s efforts,” he said. “From what I’ve been told, they’re ordering a sort of North Face-esque Gore-Tex jacket for me, but tailoring it to be a winter coat for my size. I guess the freezing weather this spring really set off alarm bells for them—my skin certainly felt brittle under the snow!” When asked about the reaction of the student body, Gandhi replied, “I know, I know, people like my robe.” Gandhi picked at the sleeve on his right hand—his left arm was largely bare, a condition he couldn’t fix despite his best efforts to pull the robe tighter around him. “But you know, it’s just really, seriously, horrifically, cold. This stuff was made for Indian weather, and I assure you, it doesn’t snow in India.”
Gandhi has the following message for students: “The world is full of suffering, and as you develop into young adults, no doubt you feel that the world has become a crueler, scarier, more painful place. Have faith—you are young, and you have both power and time. Look to your community, and ask yourself, ‘What can I do?’ You can make this world a better place.”
To Millsaps’ administration, Gandhi said, “Thank you for the winter coat, I really appreciate it. It’s like an early (or late) Christmas! Not that I celebrate Christmas, I’m a Hindu. By the way, I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but I have one other request besides the coat. I’ve been here since 2003, and it’s been eighteen years. I hate to admit it, but an old man like me has failing eyesight. Could my next update be some corrective lenses in my glasses? Thanks.”
Students can expect to see a new winter coat covering Gandhi’s shoulders following April 1st. Inside sources suggest that maintenance crews will affix the new coat in the late evening, when temperatures fall, and students are less likely to be around to see Gandhi change his clothes.
*The above article is part of our 2021 April Fool’s Day Issue. Content is not factual and should not be taken seriously.