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article imageMahatma Gandhi statue to come up outside British Parliament

By Sravanth Verma     Jul 15, 2014 in World
New Delhi - The British government plans to establish a statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the British parliament. Gandhi was one of the architects of Indian Independence from Britain, and is known for his use of non-violence or ahimsa during the Independence movement.
The announcement was made by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, George Osborne, the Chancellor, and Sajid Javid, the Culture Secretary, during a visit to the Gandhi Memorial in Delhi, during the second day of their visit to India. Gandhi's statue will join those of Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln. The statue is set to be unveiled in Parliament Square early next year.
The statue will be installed in time to mark the centenary of Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa, to begin the struggle for Indian Independence. Gandhi's 70th death anniversary and 150th birth anniversary are also coming up in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Osborne explained why Gandhi was chosen for the honor, "As the father of the largest democracy in the world, it's time for Gandhi to take his place in front of the mother of parliaments. He is a figure of inspiration, not just in Britain and India, but around the world. New Indian Prime minister Modi invoked his memory in his inaugural speech to parliament.
I hope this new memorial will be a lasting and fitting tribute to his memory in Britain, and a permanent monument to our friendship with India."
Gandhi is known in India as the "Father of the Nation." His struggle for Independence through non-violence or ahimsa inspired millions of Indians to join him in the Independence movement. Gandhi is also known for his attempts to reform the Indian caste system on the basis of Sanatana Dharma, the fundamental bedrock of the Hindu way of life. He was lauded as well as criticized for his efforts. He was assassinated by Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948.
Hague said, "Gandhi's view of communal peace and resistance to division, his desire to drive India forward and his commitment to non-violence left a legacy that is as relevant today as it was during his life.
He remains a towering inspiration and a source of strength. We will honor him with a statue alongside those of other great leaders in Parliament Square."
Philip Jackson, the sculptor of the RAF Bomber Command memorial statues in Green Park, has been approached. The government will be seeking donations and sponsors to finance the project.
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