London:  Shailesh Vara, an Indian-origin British Minister for Justice, has welcomed the UK government’s decision to install a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square here by early next year.

British Foreign Minister William Hague and Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne, who are on a visit to India, yesterday announced the plan for the statue of Gandhi, the inspiration for non-violent civil rights movements around the world.

Vara, whose family originate from close to where Mahatma Gandhi was born, said: “Mahatma Gandhi was a towering figure in the 20th century whose message of peace and non-violence has been echoed throughout the globe by world leaders.”

“It is a fitting tribute that he should be honoured by having a statue in Parliament Square. Mahatma Gandhi was called to the Bar in London and Parliament Square would have been a familiar sight to him. I suspect the thought that there would one day be a statue of him in the Square never crossed his mind,” he said.

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