Gandhi's statue to be unveiled in UK town today


The unveiling will mark the culmination of a two-year campaign by Samanwaya Parivar, an Indian charity organisation headed by Swami Satyamitranand.
Besides Swami Satyamitranand, the event will be attended by Indian High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Mukherjee and Labour MP from Leicester East Keith Vaz.
"It is absolutely wonderful that the new Home Secretary has agreed to attend and to unveil the new statue at this exciting occasion. I am so proud that only the second statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the United Kingdom will be based in Leicester," Vaz said.
The first Gandhi statue in Britain was installed in the Tavistock Square in London some years ago.
"This is the most important event of the year for the British Asian community and people are travelling from all over the UK for the event. This statue is an excellent symbol of Mahatma Gandhi's and Leicester's commitment to diversity," Vaz added.

The seven-and-a-half foot bronze statue by Kolkata- based sculptor Gautam Pal was recently shipped to Leicester. Samanwaya Parivar met the statue's cost of 20,000 pounds.
The two-year campaign for the statue was surrounded by some controversy with several local residents opposing Gandhi's statue since he did not visit or have any links with Leicester.
The Leicester City Council, however, approved Samanwaya Parivar's request for permission to install the statue. The organisation said it will bear the cost of maintaining the statue located in a busy area mainly inhabited by people of Indian origin.
A multicultural town, Leicester has the largest Indian population in the UK outside London. By 2012, it is predicted that it will be the first city in Europe with a majority non-white population.

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