NEW DELHI: The UK on Tuesday announced its plans to install a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at London’s prestigious Parliament square.
The announcement was made by the visiting UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Chancellor to the Exchequer George Osborne at Gandhi Smriti, the site where Father of the Nation was shot down.
Gandhiji’s would be the 11th statue in Parliament square, standing alongside Winston Churchill, who once called him a “half-naked fakir”, and South African Prime Minister Jan Smuts, who promoted apartheid. Smuts was ruling South Africa when Gandhiji began his political agitation against segregation and was forced into jail. “As the father of the largest democracy in the world, it’s time for Gandhiji to take his place in front of the mother of Parliaments,” said Osborne. The statue is expected to be installed next year. The two British ministers are on a major charm offensive during their visit to India, with Osborne even echoing PM Narendra Modi’s “acche din” slogan for India-UK ties.