Mahatma Gandhi statue to be installed in Abu Dhabi

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India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) in Abu Dhabi will officially unveil the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s Father of the Nation, on its premises on February 1.

Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri, will unveil the statue in the presence of the Indian community.

“I am so delighted that the ISC has decided to install a bust of the Father of the Nation on its premises, particularly at a time when ISC also celebrates its own Golden Jubilee. I hope that the presence of Gandhi’s statue will nurture respect and commitment to his values and also inculcate them in the younger generation,” Gulf News reported the Ambassador as having said.

The gold-hued, three-foot, 60-kilogramme statue is moulded in clay and finished with a fibre mixture.

The original idea to create a bronze statue was scrapped due to the weight and cost of shipping it from India.

It was the first overseas assignment for sculptor Chithran Kunhimangalam, who has crafted several busts and life-size images of Gandhi that are on display across India, The National reported.

“We wanted this to be a reminder to the new generation that there was a world leader with a message that people still remember. I feel people are forgetting him, so there is a need to take them back to his philosophy,” said VTV Damodaran, president of Gandhi Sahitya Vedi, a group that organises programmes for children in the UAE on Gandhi’s teachings.

“For last five years, I have been dreaming about getting a statue of Gandhi to Abu Dhabi and it has finally materialised. We have a link to this country and it is only appropriate for the Mahatma’s statue to have a home in this country,” Damodaran added.

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One of Gandhi’s famous sayings, “My life is my message” will be inscribed at the base of the statue.

For the cultural centre, the statue forms a link between their home and the country Indians have worked in for decades.

Published on 31 January 2018
Photo: Sculptor Chithran Kunhimangalam with the statue (supplied)

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