Plan for Gandhi statue in terror-hit Manchester
Shrimad Rajchandra Mission (SRMD), the charity organisation behind the project, said the city had demonstrated Gandhi’s “values of non-violence and compassion” following the May 2017 Arena attack, which had killed 22 and injured several.Updated: Jul 28, 2019 09:51 IST
Plans to instal a bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Manchester are in an advanced stage with local authorities, groups and international organisations lending support to the campaign in a city hit by the May 2017 terror attack that killed 22 people.
An application has been made to local authorities for permission to instal the statue in Manchester’s Medieval Quarter, a popular tourist attraction that houses some of the city’s oldest buildings, such as the Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s Library.
Subject to planning permission, the 9ft, 800kg statue by Indian artist Ram V Sutar will be installed in November, according to the charity organisation behind the project, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur UK (SRMD UK).
The project is supported by the Indian high commission, Manchester Cathedral, Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Lieutenancy office and the Manchester India Partnership, besides local business owners and religious and non-religious bodies in the city and beyond.
It will be the fifth Gandhi statue installed in a public place in the UK, after those in Tavistock Square, London (1968), Belgrave Road, Leicester (2009), Parliament Square, London (2015) and Cardiff Bay, Cardiff (2017).
Gandhi briefly visited Manchester in 1931 on way to the textile mills in Lancashire to meet mill workers and explain the Indian perspective on the boycott of British goods. He was widely welcomed and the visit was prominently covered in the British press.
SRMD UK, which is registered with the Charity Commission, is focussed on the ‘advancement of Jain religion’, and is part of the Gujarat-headquartered spiritual organisation named after Shrimad Rajchandra, who was one of Gandhi’s spiritual guides.
The organisation said: “Following the 2017 Arena attack, Manchester’s unique civic pride displayed the values of non-violence and compassion. We are inspired by the people of Manchester for their strength, decency and community in the face of this unparalleled tragedy”.
“A statue of Gandhi in central Manchester will ensure that the heart of our politics and democracy can all be blessed with his ethos and wisdom today, tomorrow and for generations to come. Gandhi taught all to not use war and violence, but instead, use peaceful protests”.
First Published: Jul 28, 2019 07:32 IST