On Monday 25th November, a bronze statue of the iconic spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled outside Manchester Cathedral in commemoration of his 150th birth anniversary. Members attending the event included Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Sir Richard Leese, Leader, Manchester City Council, the Right Reverend Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester and Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, Founder, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD).
Gandhi, who has been praised by the whole world as a messenger of non-violence, will ever remain indebted to the teachings of Shrimadji. Thus, this initiative was undertaken by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur during Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary Year.
The costs to install the 9ft high, 800kg statue, by renowned Indian artist Ram V. Sutar, in the city’s Medieval Quarter were sponsored by the Kamani Family in memory of their grandfather Bhanji Khanji Kamani (1888-1979). Ram V. Sutar is the man who has designed Statue of Unity, world’s tallest sculpture. The project is supported by Manchester Cathedral, Manchester City Council, the Manchester India Partnership and the High Commission of India. This will be one of world’s tallest statue outside of India.
“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 inspired with his ethos. 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,” said a spokesperson from SRMD UK.
“This statue of Mahatma Gandhi, a leader who tirelessly championed the power of peaceful protest, will find a welcome home in Manchester,” said Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council.
National planning and development consultancy Turley provided expert planning, design and heritage services for the Mahatma Gandhi statue. 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 Cottage industry. During this visit, Gandhi attracted large crowds of admirers and received a warm welcome.