LONDON • Britain is considering 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.
British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak asked the Royal Mint advisory committee in a letter to pursue recognition of individuals from those communities, the UK Treasury said in an e-mailed statement late last Saturday.
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 Oct 2 birthday is observed as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Often called 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, Mr 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 organisations have taken initiatives to make investments to help the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and to support racial diversity. Mr Floyd’s death has led to global protests against racism, colonialism and police brutality.
In his letter to the Royal Mint advisory committee, Mr Sunak said members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have made a “profound contribution” and that the committee should consider recognising it on the UK’s coinage.
The committee is an independent body made up of experts who recommend themes and designs for coins to Britain’s finance minister.
In his letter to the Royal Mint advisory committee, British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have made a “profound contribution” and that the committee should consider recognising it on the UK’s coinage.