"I don't think there should be a statue of Gandhi in Leicester at all I bet he's never even been here." - one man said on our website today,
Blimey, what is it with people and the Gandhi statue, and being so angry about it?
Everytime we do a story on it we get many people upset about the fact that it is going to be in Leicester. Well tomorrow there will be more angry comments and debate because the statue was dropped into place this afternoon.
There seems to be an argument that instead of being Gandhi it should be someone else, like Gary Lineker or the Attenboroughs for example. Surely people are missing the point. This statue has been completely paid for by a charity. It is a private arrangement and it has planning permission. There are similar statues in more than 70 cities across the world, it seems reasonable that a city with links to India like ours should do the same.
The second point is that with all these people so angry with the statue, why not then start to consider whether Leicester should have more statues - more public art that other people can get excited about. Turn this negative energy into celebrating Leicester's heritage and successes. This charity has done it, others can too.
When Gandhi was going in, one bystander said to me that other cities and towns have more sculpture and statues. Why doesn't Leicester?
My home town of Ipswich has recently had two new statues. Football legends Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsay. People love them, I do. Nottingham has the Brian Clough statue. This has been popular as I understand it, and enjoyed because people living there because they can relate and know what these people were/are like and what they did for their area.
I'm not saying it should necessarily be a footballer, sportsman or manager, but something modern like this could only be good for Leicester. You have areas of the city that could be used. The city's cultural quarter near Curve, an area on New Walk, or somewhere near the Walkers Stadium or the new evolving Welford Road Tigers' ground.
I think that we should go for it.
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