Terror-hit Manchester clears Gandhi statue
The Manchester City Council on Friday granted planning approval for the installation of a bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi on November 25 in the city that suffered a terror attack during a music concert in May 2017, killing 22 people.
The 9ft high, 800kg statue crafted by artist Ram V Sutar will be installed outside the Manchester Cathedral in the popular Medieval Quarter that houses some of the city’s oldest buildings, such as the Chetham’s Library.
The statue project is an initiative of the UK branch of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD), a Gujarat-headquartered spiritual organisation named after Shrimad Rajchandra, who was one of Gandhi’s spiritual guides.
The statue project costs are met by the Kamani family in memory of their grandfather Bhanji Khanji Kamani (1888-1979), the people behind the project said.
The project is supported by Manchester Cathedral, Manchester City Council and the Indian high commission, besides support from local business owners and representatives of religious and non-religious organisations in Manchester and beyond.
During a 1931 visit to the UK, Gandhi visited the textile mills in Lancashire, travelling from London to Blackburn via Manchester, to meet with mill workers and explain the Indian perspective on the boycott of British goods that was damaging their industry.
Manthan Taswala of SRMD UK said: “We are delighted to have received planning approval from Manchester City Council. Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings remain as potent today as when he first said, ‘be the change that you want to see in the world.’”
“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.
“The statue of Gandhi will celebrate the universal power of his message. A statue in Manchester will ensure that the heart of our politics and democracy can all be blessed with his ethos.”