This past Saturday we have seen Mahatma make his iron presence visible in the prestigious Parliament Square. The Square is packed with monuments to men who defended the British empire which Gandhi helped destroy.
Gandhi’s statue will be positioned close to that of Britain’s former wartime leader Winston Churchill, the man who pushed to thwart Indian independence and who despised Gandhi and everything he stood for. Churchill famously called Gandhi “a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the viceregal palace.”
Mahatma Gandhi’s statue was on Saturday unveiled at London’s Parliament Square. India’s Finance minister Arun Jaitley and Bollywood’s leading actor Amitabh Bachchan were present alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Cameron and Jaitley unveiled the statue, opposite the British parliament, to mark the 100th anniversary of Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa to start the struggle for self rule. “It also marks an important, historic moment celebrating the strong bond between our two nations,” Jaitley said in a statement before the unveiling. “India and the UK share the same values and we are a partnership of equals. This lasting friendship is just one of many legacies left by Gandhi.”
The statue will be lower than others on the famous square, a deliberate decision made by the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust to reflect the fact that Gandhi considered himself a man of the people. The idea, the trust says, was that the statue would be among visitors to Parliament Square. The square also includes statues of former US President Abraham Lincoln and South African President Nelson Mandela.