Gandhians Push Leicester Statue

Gandhians Push Leicester Statue

March 6, 2008 excerpt from a Daily Times (Pakistan) article:

A row has erupted in Leicester over whether a new £20,000 statue should honour Gary Lineker or Mahatma Gandhi.

Leicester council is set to approve the Gandhi statue in a mainly Asian area of the city. But protesters say Gandhi has ‘no connection’ to English culture and set up a petition for the statue to honour local hero Lineker instead.

The 47-year-old TV football host played for Leicester and England and advertises the city’s Walkers crisps. Lee Ingram, who set up the No Gandhi Statue online petition, said they felt there were more deserving local figures. “Gandhi is a historical figure connected to India. He has no connection to English culture or the English, therefore a statue of him would be more suitably erected in India,” he said.

But Samanwaya Parivar, a charity behind the plan for the 12ft bronze statue, is confident its application will be accepted by the council.

Jitendra Acharya, the charity’s general secretary, maintained that a Gandhi statue would be fitting in the multicultural city as “Gandhi’s philosophies of truth, peace and non-violence had no boundaries.”

Leicester MP Keith Vaz, who has tabled an early-day motion in Parliament to raise awareness of the project, said: “A statue of Gandhi will be an excellent symbol of Leicester’s commitment to diversity.”

To protest the statue, you can contact MP Vaz:

Constituency Office:
Phone: 0116 212 2028
Fax: 0116 212 2121
E-mail: vazk@parliament.uk

Parliamentary Office:
Phone: 020 7219 4605
Fax: 020 7219 3922
E-mail: vazk@parliament.uk

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