“RMAC is currently considering a coin to commemorate Gandhi."
The UK is considering minting a coin to commemorate India’s independence hero Mahatma Gandhi.
This comes amid a growing interest in recognising the contributions BAME people have made to Britain.
This comes as British institutions beginning to re-examine their past as part of a global reassessment of history, colonialism and racism triggered by the death of George Floyd, an African-American who was killed after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd’s death has led to global protests against racism, colonialism and police brutality.
As a result, many organisations have taken initiatives to make investments to help BAME communities and to support racial diversity.
Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has asked the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC) to pursue recognition of individuals from those communities.
The RMAC is an independent committee made up of experts who recommend themes and designs for coins to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mr Sunak said that members of the BAME communities have made a “profound contribution” and that the committee should consider recognising it on the UK’s coinage.
One of the names suggested was Mahatma Gandhi.
The UK Treasury said in a statement:
“RMAC is currently considering a coin to commemorate Gandhi.”
Gandhi, who was born in 1869, advocated for non-violence throughout his life and played a major role in India’s struggle for independence.
His birthday, October 2, is observed as a national holiday in India and as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Gandhi is often referred to as India’s “father of the nation”, he was assassinated on January 30, 1948, just a few months after he led India to freedom from British rule.
The consideration for Gandhi to be on a UK coin comes after proposals were made to have BAME figures on a set of coins titled ‘Service to the Nation’.
Former Conservative candidate Zehra Zaidi is leading the campaign.
“Who we have on our legal tender, our notes and our coins, builds into a narrative of who we think we are as a nation.”
“People from all backgrounds helped build Britain.”
The candidates included Noor Inayat Khan, a World War II spy and one of only four women to have received the George Cross, and Khudadad Khan, the first soldier of the British-Indian Army to receive the Victoria Cross.
In a letter to Mr Sunak, Ms Zaidi said:
“We propose a specific next theme of service to the nation by black, Asian, and other ethnic minority people, both in military conflict and on the home front.
“This theme will unite people, especially now as the nation has come together through the pandemic, and is collectively recognising the heroic work by ethnic minority staff in our health and care services.
UK Treasury Minister John Glen said that Mr Sunak was “keen to support” the “timely proposal”.