UK to issue commemorative coin in honour of Gandhi

An undated photo of a sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi, at Parliament Square in London. (PTI File Photo)

UK to issue commemorative coin in honour of Mahatma Gandhi

London, Oct 11 (PTI) The UK government will issue a commemorative coin to mark the 150th birthday anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, British finance minister Sajid Javid said.

The Pakistani-origin minister said he had asked the UK's Royal Mint to work on the coin so that the world never forgot what Gandhi taught it.

Javid announced the plan on Thursday at the annual GG2 Leadership Awards event held here to celebrate the most influential members of UK's South Asian community.

"Tonight's awards celebrate the 150th birthday of Gandhi - a fitting time to announce that I've asked the Royal Mint of the UK to propose a new commemorative coin in his honour. We should never forget what Gandhi taught the world," said the British Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In 1888, Gandhi left for London to attend law school. He attended the University College of London law school and was called to the English bar in 1891. Right after, he promptly left for India. However, he kept on coming back to the city. His last visit to London was in 1931 when he came for a roundtable conference on India's future.

"Gandhi taught us that power doesn't just come from wealth or high office. We must always remember the values he lived his life by and that our parents brought with them when they arrived here all those years ago," said Javid, who topped the power list released annually by the Asian Media Group (AMG), UK-based publishers behind the GG2.

Son of a British-Pakistani bus driver, Javid has often spoken of his humble origin. His parents moved from Pakistan to Britain before he was born in 1969.

Priti Patel, the Indian-origin home secretary in the Boris Johnson-led government, was named the second most influential person on the 2019 GG2 power list, rising 36 places from the pervious year due to her frontline cabinet post.

Fellow Indian-origin junior minister serving under Javid as the Chief Secretary to the UK Treasury, Rishi Sunak also made it to the top 10 at number 7. Sunak is also the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy.

The third spot on the list went to anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, born Gina Nadira Singh to British Guyana's former Attorney-General Doodnauth Singh.

Miller was followed by London's Pakistani-origin mayor Sadiq Khan at No. 4.

The UK's senior-most counter-terrorism officer, Neil Basu, is ranked fifth and the Nobel Prize winner and president of the Royal Society, Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan Venky, is ranked ninth.

UK-based Indian-origin businessmen Hinduja brothers -- Gopichand and Srichand -- bagged the 10th spot in this year's list.

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