Mahatma Gandhi is set to be the first nonwhite person to feature on the British currency. The move has come after Chancellor Rishi Sunak started considering proposals by campaigners to have influential BAME (Black And Minority Ethic) people featured on a set of coins.
The British Government is making efforts to celebrate the achievements of non-white individuals such as Indian-origin British spy Noor Inayat Khan and Jamaican British nurse Mary Seacole too.
Last year, a proposal was made by Sajid Javid in October about putting Gandhi's image on a British coin.
Mahatma Gandhi is referred to as India's 'father of the nation' and had advocated the idea of non-violence his entire life. He was the inspiration behind the civil rights movement across the world. Due to his non-violent approach to things, his birthday is observed as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Reports confirmed that efforts are on from the Royal Mint advisory to mint a coin to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi, who is also the hero of India's freedom movement.
People in Britain are expressing a strong interest in recognizing the efforts made by people from Asian, Black, and other minority ethnic communities.
"We too Built Britain" campaign
Themes and designs of coins are recommended by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC) and Sunak has written to RMAC while supporting a campaign called "We Too Built Britain," which seeks representation of non-white icons on the British currency.
The campaign is being led by Zehra Zahidi and Sunak in his letter to Zahidi said, "Black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities have made a profound contribution to the shared history of the United Kingdom".
He further stated that ethnic minority groups have made a significant contribution towards building Britain and have died for this country. "Through their enterprising spirit have started some of our most exciting and dynamic businesses, creating jobs and driving growth," the letter said.
He stated that this will be a great contribution on our nation's coinage.
Gandhi in Britain
Mahatma Gandhi sailed for England at the age of 18 in September 1888. He had always taken his academics seriously and recognizing the way the English language was prevalent during those days, he tried to brush up on his English and Latin by taking the University of London matriculation examination.
Before proceeding for England, he had promised his mother that he will not touch wine, women and meat and his vow became a continual embarrassment for him.
He spent three years in England and most of his time went by in paying heed to personal and moral issues rather than to his academic ambitions. Of course, the tough transition from the half-rural atmosphere of Rajkot to the fast-paced life of London was not easy for him.