The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced new five rupee coins to commemorate Gandhi’s ’75 Years of Dandi March’ and social reformer ‘Mahatma Basaveshwara’.
In 1930 and to protest a British-imposed salt tax, Gandhi led Indians in a non violent, 400 km (249 mi) Dandi Salt March. The journey began in Sabarmati Ashram on March 12 and ended April 6 when Gandhi broke the British Salt Law at Dandi at 6:30 am.
India’s Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh once described Basaveshwara as an extraordinary personality who wielded temporal power and, at the same time, had a spiritual bent of mind.
He fought against ritualism and social rigidities and for a more humane social order. He was a crusader against untouchability and worked to establish a classless and casteless society."
While no photo of the coins are currently available, a RBI release indicated the reverse of the Dandi March coin portrays Mahatma Gandhi marching with the words “75 YEARS OF DANDI MARCH," and the figure 1930-2005 in International Numbers.
The reverse of the second commemorative coin portrays Mahatma Basaveswara with the words "MAHATMA BASAVESWARA.”
The obverse or heads side of each coin bears an image of the Lion Capital of Ashoka Pillar.
RBI indicates the coins will have a security edge, described as follows:
The edge of the coin shall be security edge on periphery. At the centre of the edge there shall be shallow groove with a design inside the two sections separated by blank spaces.
This design shall consist of chain of beads in relief and each bead being followed by one inclined line in relief. There shall be total 30 lines and 30 beads.
Coin specifications provided are:
Face Value: Five Rupees, or Rs5
Diameter: 23 mm
Composition: Iron – 82%, Chromium 18% (Ferritic Stainless Steal, FSS)
Release date: Not provided
According to RBI, the legal tender coins will not replace, but circulate together with existing five rupee coins.