London To Commemorate Gandhi in Parliament Square

Mahatma Gandhi standing outside 10 Downing Street, London, 1931 Photo: Life Magazine via Old Indian Photos

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi will be unveiled in London’s Parliament Square on March 14th, the BBC reports.

The privately financed statue was commissioned after the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust and its chairman Lord Desai successfully reached the target of collecting £1 million in donations.

Inspired by a photograph of Gandhi on a visit to 10 Downing Street in 1931, the statue created by the Scottish sculptor, Philip Jackson, will depict the Indian independence campaigner wearing a traditional Indian dhoti skirt and shawl.

British Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, said “It is right that Gandhi’s teachings and work are not forgotten and the statue will keep his legacy alive and inspire many young people to learn his incredible story.”

Lord Desai, chairman of the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust added, “On behalf of the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust we thank all who made it possible for us to exceed our target of a million pounds within six months. As Gandhi said, ‘If the cause is right the means will come.'”

The revered civil rights leader earned a law degree in London, before returning to his homeland to lead the resistance against British colonial rule. He was assassinated in January 1948, only months after India gained independence from Britain.

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, spoke admirably of Gandhi’s stoicism and advocacy of peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience. He told the BBC, “Mahatma Gandhi is an inspiration. His approach of non-violence will resonate forever as a positive legacy–not just for the UK and India, but the world over. The statue in parliament square not only marks his huge importance in the history of both our countries, but will enrich the firm bond of friendship between the world’s oldest democracy and its largest.”

Gandhi will be the first Indian and the only person never to have been in public office to be honored with a statue in the square.


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