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PM inaugurates Ambedkar memorial in London

PTI London | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 14, 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Ambedkar Memorial in London on Saturday. - PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated a memorial here dedicated to Dr B R Ambedkar over two months after India acquired the bungalow where the Dalit icon and architect of India’s Constitution lived as a student in the 1920s.

Modi visited the house where Ambedkar lived in 1921-22 during his student days at London School of Economics (LSE) and said the Dalit icon’s message of equality and justice continues to resonate.

Maharashtra had acquired the three-storey 2,050 sq ft house at 10 King Henry’s Road, in northwest London, in August for an estimated cost of 3.2 million to 4 million pounds which the state government had borne.

Modi, who was accompanied by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, paid floral tributes to Ambedkar’s bust at the house.

Modi was greeted at the new memorial, to be referred to as Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Museum, by Fadnavis and Rajkumar Badole, Maharashtra’s Minister of Social Justice and Special Assistance.

“There are some very special documents and letters related to Babasaheb on display, including some of his writings. My personal highlight is a letter he wrote in German to Bonn University. It just shows the wide intellect of the great man,” Fadnavis said.

“We hope this memorial will be an inspiration to young students and others from around the world,” he said.

The six-room memorial is still under renovation but one of the floors which Modi explored today will be open to the public until November 20. It will then shut for further repairs and renovations and is expected to be open again in the new year.

The main floor that had been hurriedly spruced up for Prime Minister Modi’s visit includes a selection of black and white photographs, Ambedkar’s famous quotes and a room dedicated to bound copies of his writings as well as a large wall painting of the preamble of the Indian Constitution.

“Plans for the memorial are still in discussion. We hope to also open it up for some Indian students who come to study at London School of Economics as an interim accommodation in due course. Meanwhile, the Indian High Commission in London will be taking care of it,” Badole said.

The building already has a memorial plaque dedicated to “Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indian Crusader for Social Justice”.

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Published on November 14, 2015
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