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Basaveshwara's statue to be erected on banks of Thames

London, Mar 14 2012, (PTI) : 19:53 IST
Reuters Photo
A statue of Basaweshwara, the 12th century philosopher and pioneer of Indian democracy, will be erected on the banks of the River Thames in London.

The Planning Committee of the London Borough of Lambeth granted the approval for the statue to be built on a granite plinth on the historic Albert Embankment opposite the British Parliament along with banks of the River Thames, it is officially stated today.

Councillor Dr Neeraj Patil, the Immediate Past Mayor of Lambeth who had filed the application, said: "Basaweshwara was not only one of the pioneers of the World's largest democracy who created a model Parliament as far back as the 12th century, but he was also one of the first individual to rebel against slavery and caste discrimination in the East."

He said "Erecting a statue of the pioneer of the World's largest democracy in front of the World's oldest Democracy will enhance the cultural relationship between Britain and India."

The application was supported by Lambeth Asian Forum and Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.

As a sign of solidarity the Pakistani community of London led by Toaha Qureshi MBE firmly backed the initiative and submitted a petition in this regard.

Writing to Lambeth Council the Local MP in the London Borough of Lambeth and the First Female Sports Minister of Britain Kate Hoey said: "The statue of Basaweshwara sends a strong message of diversity of the neighbourhood and the links between the wider community in Lambeth and India and we fully support the initiative".

Before commencing the construction of the statue's plinth, the plans need to be finally approved by the Cabinet Minister for Culture Media & Sports as per Section 5 of the Public Statue Act of Britain 1854.

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