Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited to unveil Basaveshwara Statue in London.
The statue of 12th
century Indian Philosopher “Basaveshwara” who pioneered the idea of democracy
is to be shortly erected on the bank of River Thames, in the London borough of
The Former Mayor of London
Borough of Lambeth Dr Neeraj Patil met the Hon Prime Minister on 24th
March 2015 and extended the invitation on behalf of the British Indian
community to unveil the statue during his next visit to London.
The Hon Prime minister
expressed his special tributes to the 12th century philosopher and
said he is a great admirer of Basaveshwara and his teachings.
He thanked the British
Indian community for their efforts to get the planning approval for the
Basaveshwara statue in the backdrop of Big Ben bell and British Parliament.
The Hon Prime Minister of India
Sri Narendra Modi was requested to unveil the statue during his next visit to
London, which is expected to happen in June/July 2015 after the British General
elections in May 2015.
Basaveshwara, 1134-1168 was
a 12th century Indian Philosopher, social reformer, and statesmen
who attempted to create a casteless society and fought against caste and
In an attempt to create a
casteless society and eradicate caste discrimination and untouchability he
solicited the marriage of an upper caste bride with a lower caste bridegroom. He
paid a heavy price for this.
He created a model
Parliament called as “Anubhava Mantap” that had equal proportion of men and
women, people from all socio-economic backgrounds and encouraged people to
debate and discuss on various issues.
The Government of India recognized
Basaveshwara as one of the pioneer of democracy and a statue to mark of his commemoration
was installed in the Indian Parliament in 2002, during the period of tenure of
Prime Minister Sri Atal Behari Vajaypee.
The Government of India has also
released a coin and a postal stamp as a mark of respect for Basaveshwara and
his contribution to Indian society.
A deputation to erect the
statue was heard by the full council on 19th Jan 2010 by Lambeth
Asian community and subsequently approved by the planning department of the The
London Borough of Lambeth on 4th April 2012.
As per the Statue’s act of
1854 of United Kingdom an approval from the Cabinet Minister for culture is
Considering the conceptual
relationship between United Kingdom and Basaveshwara the British cabinet
minister for culture Jon Penrose approved the planning application to install
the statue of Basaveshwara along the bank of River Thames on 3rd
Basaveshwara shares a
conceptual relationship with Britain because he preached British values of
Democracy, freedom of speech, equality of opportunity and tolerance way back in
the 12th century and the Speaker of British Parliament Hon John Bercow
paid tribute to Basaveshwara in the British Parliament and said,
amazing and extraordinary that Basaveshwara professed, campaigned and advocated
genuine democracy, human rights, gender equality way back in the 11th
century even before anyone in United Kingdom had even thought about it. (Rt Hon John
Bercow on Basaveshwara, 21st of Jan 2013.)
Basaveswara’s statue will be
the second Indian statue approved on the basis of conceptual relationship to
Britain after Buddha. The other Indian
leaders statues that have been approved and installed in London are that of Mahatma
Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore.