UK mulling to mint a coin to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi

WION Web Team London, London, UK (Great Britain) Aug 02, 2020, 07.46 AM(IST)

Mahatma Gandhi Photograph:( Reuters )

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This comes close on the heels of British institutions beginning to re-examine their past as part of a global reassessment of history, colonialism and racism triggered by the death in May of a Black man, George Floyd, in the United States.

The UK has been mulling minting a coin to commemorate India's independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, amid growing interest in recognising the contributions of people from the Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities.

This comes close on the heels of British institutions beginning to re-examine their past as part of a global reassessment of history, colonialism and racism triggered by the death in May of a Black man, George Floyd, in the United States after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd's death has led to global protests against racism, colonialism and police brutality.

To this end, many organisations have taken initiatives to make investments to help the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and to support racial diversity. 

The UK Treasury said in an emailed statement on Saturday that Finance Minister Rishi Sunak had asked the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC) in a letter to pursue recognition of individuals from those communities.

The RMAC is an independent committee made up of experts who recommend themes and designs for coins to Britain's finance minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Sunak said members of the BAME communities have made a "profound contribution" and that the committee should consider recognising it on the UK's coinage.

Mahatma Gandhi advocated for non-violence throughout his life and played a key role in India's struggle for independence. His birthday, October 2, is observed as a National Holiday in India and as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Often referred to as India's "father of the nation", he was assassinated on January 30, 1948, just a few months after he led India to freedom from British rule.