New Delhi: Sixty-seven years after he led India to freedom from British rule, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi would be installed in Parliament Square in London by early next year.
The British Foreign Minister William Hague and Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne, who are on a visit here, today announced the plan for the statue of Gandhi, the inspiration for non-violent civil rights movements around the world.
"Gandhi's view of communal peace and resistance to division, his desire to drive India forward, and his commitment to non-violence left a legacy that is as relevant today as it was during his life.
"He remains a towering inspiration and a source of strength. We will honour him with a statue alongside those of other great leaders in Parliament Square," Hague said.
Osborne said that as the father of the largest democracy in the world, it's time for Gandhi to take his place in front of the mother of Parliaments.
He is a figure of inspiration, not just in Britain and India, but around the world, he said.
"New Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi invoked his memory in his inaugural speech to Parliament. I hope this new memorial will be a lasting and fitting tribute to his memory in Britain, and a permanent monument to our friendship with India," Osborne said.
The Foreign Minister and the Chancellor made the announcement while visiting Gandhi Smriti, the Gandhi Memorial here on the second day of their visit.
The British High Commission in a statement said, "A monument in a location of symbolic value for our democracy is a fitting tribute to this great man, which will inspire us all to uphold his ideals and teachings ahead of important anniversaries of key moments in his extraordinary life."
Gandhi has a particular connection to London, having studied there like so many of the talented young Indians it welcomes today, the statement added.
The High Commission said that the aim is to install the monument by early next year.