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.
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.”