London, August 2: The United Kingdom is considering minting a coin to commemorate India's independence hero Mahatma Gandhi. Britain's Finance Minister Rishi Sunak had even asked the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC) to pursue recognition of individuals from the Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities. The step has been undertaken amid growing interest in recognising the contributions of people from various communities.
The UK Treasury said in an emailed statement late on Saturday that Sunak had written a letter to them regarding the issue. In the letter, the British Finance Minister had said, as quoted by the Reuters, "RMAC is currently considering a coin to commemorate Gandhi." Earlier, the idea of having Gandhi on a British coin was announced by former chancellor Sajid Javid in October 2019. Limited Edition Bank Notes of Zero Value to Be Released to Mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary.
The move now undertaken by the British government aims at celebrating the achievements of non-white individuals who have helped in building Britain. Sunak also wrote to ‘We Too Built Britain’ campaign chief Zehra Zahidi and said, "Black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities have made a profound contribution to the shared history of the United Kingdom."
Adding more, the UK Finance Minister said, "For generations, ethnic minority groups have fought and died for this country we have built together; taught our children, nursed the sick, cared for the elderly; and through their enterprising spirit have started some of our most exciting and dynamic businesses, creating jobs and driving growth."
The latest move by the UK government is seen as a reassessment of history, colonialism and racism triggered by the death in May of a Black man -- George Floyd -- in the United States. Following Floyd's death, global protests against racism, colonialism and police brutality were observed. Even London had imposed restrictions for some time on protesters and had issued guidelines.
Earlier in 2019, the UK government had announced to issue a commemorative coin to mark the 150th birthday anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Former chancellor Sajid Javid had asked the Royal Mint to work on the coin so that the world never forgot what Gandhi taught it. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi -- popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi -- left for London to attend law school in 1988. He attended University College of London law school and was called to the English bar in 1891.