August 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.