Malawi government will not spent any money from the public coffers for a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Blantyre which is being funded by the Indian government and Indian community in the country.
Blantyre City Council has given permission to Indian community in the country to erect a Mahatma Ghandi statue near the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre in honour of the man who led India to independence and widely regarded a man who stood for peace.
Contrary to feers that taxpayers’ will have to fork for the Mahatma Ghandi statue, the Indian High Commission in Lilongwe has clarified that the Government of Malawi and the Blantyre City Council have not provided any financial assistance to undertake the project.
“The instillation of the bust of Mahatma Gandhi would be carried out as a collective effort of the Government of India and the Indian community,” Anil Kumar, the media officer High Commission of India Lilongwe told Nyasa Times.
Kumar said the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s greatest freedom struggle icon and the world leader who fought against apartheid, all forms of discrimination and injustice in India and Africa, is proposed to be installed at the junction of Mahatma Gandi Road and Masanko Chipembere Highway at the Ginnery corner.
“Keeping in view the warm and friendly relations between India and Malawi, the esteemed Government of Malawi and the Blantyre City Council had conveyed their kind approval for the installation of the bust at the site mentioned above,” he said.
Blantyre City Council spokesman Anthony Kasunda said the Indian government is bankrolling the project which will also have a Mahatma Gandhi International Conference Centre, saying they have released $10 million.
Some residents of Blantyre who spoke to Nyasa Times said Mahatma Gandhi is an inspiration to current and future generations to live together in peace and harmony and to treat each other with love and respect irrespective of one’s religion, culture or race.
This statue will be a magnificent tribute to one of the most towering figures in the history of world politics.
Who was Gandhi?
- Born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, India
- Leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule
- Known for his devout Hindu faith and ascetic lifestyle, often dressing only in a loincloth and shawl
- Imprisoned several times during his pursuit of non-violent protest
- Undertook a number of hunger strikes to protest against the oppression of India’s poorest classes
- Often called “Mahatma”, which means “great-souled”, or, in India, “Bapu”, which means “father”
- Assassinated on 30 January 1948 in Delhi, by Nathuram Godse