A number of distinguished guests, including Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, have attended a ceremony to mark the unveiling of the statue of Indian national icon Mahatma Gandhi. Mr Bachchan, along with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Indian Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitle, Lord Meghnad Desai; and Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, attended the event on Saturday morning in London’s Parliament Square. The statue unveiling coincides with the 100th anniversary of Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa, when he officially commenced India’s campaign for freedom against British rule.
Over £1 Million was raised by The Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust in order to help construct the figure. Gandhi’s statue was carved by British sculptor Philip Jackson, who has previously sculpted the statues of The Queen Mother and Bomber Command.
Speaking at the statue unveiling, Prime Minister David Cameron had the following to say about Gandhi, who actively practised non-violence throughout his life and political career. “This statue is a magnificent tribute to one of the most towering figures in the history of world politics and by putting Mahatma Gandhi in this famous square we are giving him an eternal home in our country.”
Mr Bachchan was given a special invite by Downing Street to be a part of this prestigious occasion, to which he gracefully accepted. During the event, he read out an extract by Gandhi on the non-violent way to achieving world peace.
Tweeting about it afterwards, Mr Bachchan said the following. “A moment in history – the unveiling of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Parliament Square, London, and invited to read from his work.”
Another tweet reads, “At the unveiling the respect and dignity given .. so humbling. David Cameron, Arun Jaitley, Gopal Gandhi and self on stage! Honour.”
And Mr Bachchan also tweeted about the honour of visiting Downing Street for a fourth time. “My 4th visit to historic 10, Downing Street.. the meeting with the PM of GB, and walking with him and other dignitaries to event!”
Also check out the video of Mr Bachchan’s recitation of Gandhi’s work during the statue unveiling ceremony below.