A statue of Mahatma Gandhi, who is the inspiration to non-violent movements worldwide, is to be installed in London's Parliament Square alongside his adversary Winston Churchil by summer 2015, the British government said on Tuesday, 8 July.
Gandhi-led non-violence movement ultimately earned independence to India from the colonial British Raj in 1947.
A statue of Gandhi has already been installed in London's Tavistock Square near King's Cross in 1968. However, installing statue of the father of India at London's Parliament Square, is indeed an honour and tribute. Installation of Gandhi's statue will become the 11th statue in the Parliament Square.
The statue's erection is to be funded by donations and sponsors. Renowned sculptor Philiip Jackson is to create the statue. The statue of Mahatma will join statesmen of British and other foreign leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela.
Relevance of installing Gandhi's statue in London's Parilament Square, next to British Parliament, is that the Square is the place for people's protests and demonstration.
British Foreign Minister William Hague and Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne, who were in India on a two-day trip on Monday and Tuesday stated that Gandhi remains a towering inspiration and source of strength.
The British government will honour him with his statue's installation alongside those of other great leaders in Parliament Square, the duo said.
Gandhi is a figure of inspiration, not just in Britain and India, but around the world, Hague said.
Osborne recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invocation of Gandhi during his (Modi's) inaugural speech to the Indian Parliament, when he became the Prime Minister in last May.
"I hope this new memorial will be a lasting and fitting tribute to his memory in Britain, and a permanent monument to our friendship with India," PTI quoted Osborne.
The British Foreign Minister and the Chancellor made the announcement in New Delhi, while visiting the Gandhi Smriti, the Gandhi memorial, on Tuesday. Gandhi Smriti is the place where he was assassinated.
Hague and Osborne said Britain's statue tribute to Gandhi will become a mark of his continuing legacy inspiring non-violent movements around the world. The British Minister reminded that Gandhi studied in London.
The British High Commission in India released a statement, which said: "A monument in a location of symbolic value for our democracy is a fitting tribute to this great man, which will inspire us all to uphold his ideals and teachings ahead of important anniversaries of key moments in his extraordinary life."
When installed, the Gandhi statue will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's return to India from South Africa to start Independence struggle in India.
Meanwhile, London Mayor Boris Johnson tweeted, "Delighted at news of plans to erect a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in London's Parliament Square - fitting tribute to father of Indian democracy," quoted Leading Britain's Conversation.