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article imageStatue of Mahatma Gandhi to be unveiled before British parliament

By Sravanth Verma     Mar 13, 2015 in World
London - A statue of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi will be unveiled in London's Parliament Square on March 14, Saturday.
The sculpture of the popular leader, endearingly referred to as "bapu" or "father" in India, is based on images of him taken when he visited London, and paid a visit to 10 Downing Street in 1931. The statue was funded by donations from the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, and cost around a million pounds.
The 9-feet-high (2.75m) bronze sculpture joins and will stand alongside those of former US president Abraham Lincoln and South African leader Nelson Mandela. The statue will make Gandhi the first Indian, and the only person who has never been in public office, to have a statue dedicated to him in the square.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who is on an official visit to India, visited the Gandhi Darshan museum in New Delhi on March 12, and paid tribute to Gandhi, who is considered the "Father of the Nation" in India, for his role in the Indian independence movement against the British. Accompanying Hammond was James Bevan, the British High Commissioner to India.
Hammond said, "That statue will be a tribute to the inspiration Gandhi provided, not only to India, but to the people of the world." He also wrote in the visitor book at the museum, "It is fitting that the man who founded the world's largest democracy, should look across the square at the world's oldest parliament."
The statue stands right opposite Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, and several notable Indians have been invited. India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will be unveiling the statue, who issued a statement, "The statue will help ensure that the legacy of Gandhi lives on for future generations. It also marks an important, historic moment celebrating the strong bond between our two nations.... This lasting friendship is just one of many legacies left by Gandhi."
British MP of Indian origin, Meghnad Desai, also a noted economist played a key role in raising the money. Important donations came from auto-industrialist Rahul Bajaj in India, who donated £200,000, while the board of IT giant Infosys added another £200,000.
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