The Statue of one of India’s finest was unveiled by the Prime Minister in Parliament square today.
In a ceremony to honor the great Mahatma Gandhi, David Cameron described it as “a magnificent tribute.”
The ceremony was attended by the Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley , Gandhi’s grandson, the former governor of West Bengal, Shri Gopalkrishna Gandhi, and actor Amitabh Bachchan .
The Sculptor Philip Jackson, had reservations about the statue looking like Ben Kingsly, who substituted for Gandhi in the award winning film ‘Gandhi’.
Cameron said of Gandhi’s teachings: “They remain as potent today as when he first made them”. “This statue is a magnificent tribute to one of the most towering figures in the history of world politics and by putting Mahatma Gandhi in this famous square we are giving him an eternal home in our country,” he said.
From ITV News:
He added: “Our ties with India have remained close throughout history and continue to go from strength to strength – through mutual respect as equals, co-operation and trade, and of course through the one and a half million Indians who do so much to make Britain the country it is today, bringing our two countries closer, to the benefit of both.”
The sculpture was created by Philip Jackson, inspired by a 1931 photo of Gandhi at No 10 Downing Street, where he met the then prime minister Ramsay MacDonald.
Mr Jackson said after the ceremony: “Starting a sculpture is really like starting a book. “I read everything I could about him, I looked at all the available images there are of him. I watched the famous Gandhi film – only once, because I didn’t want it to start looking like Ben Kingsley.
Mr Jackson is known for statues of the Queen Mother and the Bomber Command memorial.
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