Manchester Mahatma Gandhi Statue

Manchester to unveil Mahatma Gandhi statue

Chloé Vaughan

A 9ft bronze statue of Indian civil rights activist and leader Mahatma Gandhi has been proposed for outside Manchester Cathedral.

The planning application was submitted by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur UK, and was advised on by planning consultant Turley. It is expected to be discussed at a council meeting this summer.

The statue, designed by Indian artist Ram V Sutar, is set to be unveiled in Manchester in November 2019. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth.

In a statement by SRMD, the statue is also intended to commemorate the 2017 Manchester Arena attack: “Manchester’s unique civil pride displayed the values of non-violence and compassion. We are inspired by the people of Manchester for their strength, decency and community in the face of this unparalleled tragedy.”

The project is supported by Manchester Cathedral, Manchester City Council, High Commission of India, Greater Manchester Lieutenancy office and the Manchester India Partnership. Letters of support have been received from local businesses and from religious and non-religious organisations from Manchester and further afield.

Manchester Mahatma Gandhi Statue Location

This statue will be the first in a series of public realm improvements in the city’s Medieval Quarter. It is set to be positioned on the right-hand side of the cathedral in Cathedral Yard, adjacent to Victoria Street and Cathedral Approach.

Gandhi came to the UK in 1931 and visited textile mills in Lancashire to meet with mill workers to explain the Indian perspective on the boycott of British goods.

SRMD also stated that: “The statue will express harmony between form and function, place and purpose, history and present. Manchester, as UK’s second largest city, has stood together against those who would seek to destroy multi-racial, multi-ethnic societies.”

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The statue should be in Lancashire, not Manchester


@PDM Manchester was well and truly in Lancashire in 1931

By Red Rose

Manchester was once the second largest place in Lancashire.

By Elephant

Embarrassing, Ghandi has no link with Manchester whatsoever

By Lyn

He didn’t visit Manchester. Bizarre credit-claiming again, reminiscent of the Emmeline Pankhurst farce

By Grim history

I cant help but wonder if there are not historic figures more relevant to Manchester that should really be used for public realm improvements? I just don’t see the relevance here, Ghandi is not linked to MCR or even Lancashire in any significant way other than a one off visit to the mill workers…

By Anonymous

Anon – Is there a queue of organisations waiting to fund and deliver statues of more locally relevant people that we haven’t heard about?

By local statues 4 local people

Wow I never knew he was that tall.

By Russell Bolton

Another town another statue of Gandi. His proposed partioning of India to link the then two Pakistans was slightly controversal to say the least, sort of tarnished his record in India among other things too.

By causal observer

Did Gandhi visit Manchester or somewhere else in Lancashire? No problem with Manchester having civic pride but is it correct to say it is unique?
Also as far as I’m concerned the second city is Birmingham not Manchester no matter how hard certain people try to manipulate population figures.

By Waffle merchant

Didn’t Gandhi visit Darwen? Second city is Birmingham isn’t it? Oh dear.

By Waffle merchant

I do not want a statue that has no history with Manchester, we should select a local hero

By Beefeater

Why not a memorial to the Chartists, local folk who protested for British Democracy?

By James Yates

Fitting tribute to a great leader by the most wonderful city and by its wonderful people.


Wonderful idea. I do hope they will include a nearby display of one or more of the quotes he famously spoke. He was among one of greatest advocates for peaceful resolve
through the power of love for all of humanity .

By Anonymous

Gandhi, let his wife die rather than allow her penicillin but then saved his own life by accepting medicine for malaria. What a guy, surely deserves a statue in a town he never visited!

By Trueman

@ Grim history Manchester chooses to honor Ghandi and Pankhurst whilst Liverpool chooses to immortalise General Sir William Earle, tastefully depicted stomping on an African shield outside St George’s Hall, and names streets after Tarelton, known for…. well let’s not go there.

By Truly Grim History

Look forward to seeing and photograph it I think sometime in life we should look back and all take a leaf out of ghandi book

By Chris skeleton

Tony Wilson would be my choice. A Northerner who actually lived in and promoted the North, unlike the rest waxing lyrical about it from St Johns Wood. Victoria Wood was clever and loved but her home was not in Bury. How often did Eric Morecambe leave the South once he got famous? I think to be brutally honest I would rather Ghandi than any of those professional Northerners.

By Elephant

This is a farce, the man has no connection to Manchester, we could have had a local celeb like Bez, or Terry Christian

By Laughing stock

To “Truly grim history” my favourite statue in Manchester is probably the Liverpool-born Prime Minister, William Gladstone, which looks over the only decent building in the city centre, Manchester Town Hall, designed by Liverpool-born Alfred Waterhouse.

Yes, John Tarleton was a slave trader, but who do you think picked Manchester’s cotton? Both cities have an equally dark history in this regard.

The desperate scrabbling round for an identity in Manchester is embarrassing. Agree someone like Tony Wilson might be more appropriate. In fact, one of Bez would actually draw tourists so not a bad idea! Manchester has a great musical history, bloody celebrate it!

By Grim history

Manchester has so many people to be proud of. Let’s celebrate them.

By Jon Anderson

Grim History makes a point about celebrating Manchester’s musical history but we do not want our economy built on people coming to see shrines to a band. I think Manchester is a bit more sophisticated than than.

By Elephant

Manchester doesn’t and has no need to scrabble around for identity.

This is a city rich in scientific, technical, social and political advancement and is synonymous with that as the recent World Heritage designation for Jodrell Bank perhaps illustrates .by contrast slavery and the abuses of Empire permeates every aspect of Liverpool’s economic development, moreso than anywhere else in Britain whereas places like Manchester developed other strings to their bow. Few places were as dependent on the darker aspects of our country’s history as Liverpool which explains the city’s subsequent demise, sense of entitlement and the figures it chooses to honour in its street names and statuary.

By Truly Grim History

To “Truly grim history” – No clear link between slave trade and Liverpool’s “demise” in the mid-20th century (c.200 years after slavery was abolished). Worth noting Manchester suffered an equally tragic economic decline during the same period; difference now is Gtr Manchester is circa 20 years ahead in terms of regeneration, thanks to good leadership and coordination.

P.S. Jodrell Bank… also not in Manchester!! You seem determined to prove the point myself and others have made about appropriating the strengths and achievements of other places. Hilarious.

By Grim history

To be fair Jodrell Bank is owned by Uni of Manchester and was moved there by them.

By Smiler

@grim history, what farce? Pankhurst was very much from Manchester..?

By Tommy

@Grim History The Empire lasted well into the 20th century and was very far from a benevolent, peaceful, free trading endeavour. In terms of slavery, the vast profits were invested and reinvested, they didn’t simply evaporate in 1833. So little wonder then that figures from these endeavours feature so prominently in Liverpool’s streets and statuary. They represent a different set of values celebrating a very different economic purpose which like that of Detroit, was dependent on a singular source of income. Instead of motor cars, in Liverpool it was trade backed by (military) force, ultimately.

Incidentally, Jodrell Bank came to pass thanks to the legacy of Manchester university’s world leading physics department which attracted the likes of Rutherford and Lovell to the city. In turn, the department had a symbiotic relationship with the city’s world leading engineering firms. This is what Manchester is all about and is perhaps what we should be immortalising in bronze rather than Ghandi.

By Truly Grim History

This is costing between £70-£90k. Would that not be better spent on something more relevant or useful to the public realm rather than a vanity project?

By april

Gandhi was a racist and paedophile. He said about Africans:
Sept. 26, 1896: “Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.” He also forced young girls to sleep with him naked including his great niece. This was a man who used his position of a power to sexually abuse women. Putting up a statute of him is akin to putting up a statute of Jimmy Saville. This statute should not be in Manchester, Lancashire or anywhere.


Gandhi was a racist and used to beat up women.
During his trips to Africa he used to talk about how Africans were a horrible bunch of people and used foul and awful language towards them.

Also he has no relevance to the UK let alone Manchester.

By Jeff smith

Tony Wilson, was a Salford lad, if me memory serves me right?

By Salford 4 ever.

We have discussed this before.
The whole country benefitted from the slave trade, make no doubt about it.
With reference to the recent BBC show highlighting the various Slave owners big and small across the country, to shareholders in plantations and manufacturing who’s goods were traded for the poor and desparate people who had been captured by other tribes and sold to Arab slavers. The whole sorry episode contaminated the whole of the UK. Some people here are out to make mischief here, “He without sin throw the first stone”

By Set my people free!

Splendid work. If it wasn’t for Gandhi and his footwear one could never express how dry one’s mouth was.

By Verum