Monday, November 29, 1999

Gandhi statue unveiled in Canadian museum

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Toronto, June 17 (IANS) A life-size statue of Mahatma Gandhi was inaugurated Wednesday in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg.Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba province, is about 1,500 kilometre away from here.The local Indian-origin cardiologist Naranjan Dhalla of Friends of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights had requested the Indian government to donate the statue to the museum in 2004. The 500-kg bronze statue was jointly unveiled by Indian high commissioner Shashshekhar Gavai, Dr Dhalla and Gail Asper of the museum.Lauding Gandhi as the great advocate of human rights, Gavai recalled the Mahatma's commitment to non-violence when he withdrew his civil disobedience movement after a mob killed 22 policemen in Chauri Chaura in 1922.Gail Asper, whose newspaper-owning Jewish family is behind the creation of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, praised Gandhi for his commitment to non-violence.'Mahatma Gandhi symbolized the struggle for human rights and dignity. This sculpture reminds us of his tireless work and dedication to change the world through non-violent resistance to human rights violations,'' she said.'It also embodies the museum's mission to enhance the understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others and to encourage reflection and dialogue,'' added Asper.She thanked the Indian government for donating the statue.Local businessman Hemant Shah presented her with a set of books on the life of Mahatma Gandhi.Thanking her for taking the initiative to install the statue at the museum, Shah said, 'It is a proud moment for me to present you the books on the life of Mahatma Gandhi whose native state Gujarat is celebrating its golden jubilee this year.''The statue has been made by Indian sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar. It will adorn the entrance of the museum when the building is finally completed in 2012.After Ottawa, Winnipeg is the second Canadian city to have a statue of the man called the Father of India.(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at

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