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UK: Gary Linekar comes out in support of Gandhi statue

March 28, 2008 10:45 IST

Former England football ace Gary Linekar has lent his support for the installation of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in his home city of Leicester which has a large Asian population.

A section of people in the city, located about 100 km from London, has opposed the move to install a statue of Gandhiji and has instead favoured Linekar or any other local hero.

In a letter to Keith Vaz, MP, Linekar, who is now a popular football and TV presenter, said he agreed that the ethnic diversity of Leicester should be "celebrated" and that

Gandhi's philosophy of brotherhood amongst different religions and ethnicity should be honoured. Such diversity should be supported with public acknowledgment.

The statue will come at no extra cost to the tax payer as private funding has already been secured, Vaz, who is leading the campaign to celebrate the religious and ethnic diversity of the City of Leicester, said on Friday.

Leicester is predicted to be Britain's' first white minority city in 12 years.

Vaz said a statue of Mahatma Gandhi would be an excellent symbol of the leader's and the city's commitment to diversity.

In his letter, Linekar said: "As far as a statue of me is concerned, frankly I think that is best left to other people to decide. Clearly the cost of such a statue will be a factor and perhaps the extra materials required for my ears would make the statue too expensive!"

Linekar is frequently teased on television for his "bigger than normal" ears. 

 

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