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UPDATE 1-UK considering a coin to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi

Sun, 2nd Aug 2020 01:59

(Adds details from Treasury statement, background)

By Kanishka Singh

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Britain is considering minting a coin to
commemorate India's independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, amid
growing interest in recognizing the contributions of people from
the Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities.

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

"RMAC is currently considering a coin to commemorate
Gandhi", the Treasury said.

Gandhi, who was born in 1869, advocated for non-violence
throughout his life and played a key role in India's struggle
for independence. His birthday, Oct. 2, is observed as the
International Day of Non-Violence.

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

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, some British
institutions have begun re-examining their past.

Many organizations have taken initiatives to make
investments to help the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)
communities and to support racial diversity. Floyd's death has
led to global protests against racism, colonialism and police
brutality.

In his letter to the RMAC, Sunak said members of the BAME
communities have made a "profound contribution" and that the
committee should consider recognizing it on the UK's coinage.

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.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia
Osterman and Daniel Wallis)

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