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'Living Bridge' Between India & UK, Gandhi Moves North With 5th Statue in Manchester

The Gandhi statue in Manchester was designed by Ram Sutar who designed the Statue of Unity of Sardar Patel (Photo: News18/Sanjay Suri)

The Gandhi statue in Manchester was designed by Ram Sutar who designed the Statue of Unity of Sardar Patel (Photo: News18/Sanjay Suri)

This fifth statue, in bronze, was gifted to Manchester by the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur. Its founder Shrimad Rajchandraji was believed to be a spiritual guide Gandhi had looked up to.

Sanjay Suri

London: The four Gandhi statues in Britain until this week didn’t of course have to wait for any special anniversary. But the fifth unveiled outside Manchester cathedral on Monday was a timely arrival. And as it turned out, after some misgivings expressed earlier, a warmly welcomed arrival in the November chill.

Gandhi, by way of his statues, moved north after the two Gandhi statues in London, one in Wales and one in Leicester. This fifth statue, in bronze, was gifted to Manchester by the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur. Its founder Shrimad Rajchandraji was believed to be a spiritual guide Gandhi had looked up to.

The statue was designed by Ram Sutar who designed the Statue of Unity of Sardar Patel. The nine-feet 800 kg statue in Manchester was paid for by the Kamani family in honour of Bhanji Khanji Kamani (1888-1979), according to a statement from the Manchester city council.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham was among the many guests present at the unveiling on Monday.

“This statue of Mahatma Gandhi, a leader who tirelessly championed the power of peaceful protest, will find a welcome home in Manchester,” Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said in a statement. “In the turbulent times we live in, his legacy of peace is one we can all appreciate and reflect on.”

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport and chair of the Manchester India Partnership, said: “The unveiling of this statue is the latest example of the ‘living bridge’ that exists between Greater Manchester and India. A huge amount of work has gone into forging closer ties between the two since the formation of the Manchester India Partnership 18 months ago. I would like to congratulate all those involved in the Mahatma Gandhi Statue project, it is a welcome addition to our city and is sure to prove popular with everyone who visits the city centre in the years ahead.”


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