London, Apr 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be paying tribute to 12th century Lingayat philosopher and social reformer Basaveshwara at his statue on the banks of the river Thames during his visit to the UK this week. The event will be organised by The Basaveshwara Foundation, a non-profit organisation-based in the UK that has installed the statue of Basaveshwara on the bank of river Thames.
Former Mayor of London borough of Lambeth Neeraj Patil & Chairman of The Basaveshwara foundation have received the official confirmation from the Prime Minister's office about Modi's visit to the statue on Wednesday, Patil told PTI.
During Patil's tenure as the Mayor of The London Borough of Lambeth, a prime piece of land was secured along the bank of Thames for installing the statue of the Indian philosopher. The project was approved by the planning department of The London borough of Lambeth and subsequently by the British Cabinet minister for culture media and sports as per the Public Statues Act, 1854. The Basaveshwara statue installed at the Albert Embankment is not only the first statue to be unveiled by an Indian Prime Minister in the UK, but is also the first conceptual statue approved by the British Cabinet in the vicinity of the Parliament.
The approval was given as a mark of respect to Indian philosopher and social reformer Basaveshwara for promoting democratic ideals, social justice and gender equality. Basaveshwara (1134-1168) was an Indian philosopher, social reformer and statesman who attempted to create a casteless society and fought against caste and religious discrimination.
India has recognised Basaveshwara as one of the pioneers of democracy and his statue was installed in the Indian Parliament during the tenure of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. India had also released a coin and a postal stamp as a mark of respect for Basaveshwara and his contribution to Indian society. Modi will arrive here on Tuesday night on a four-day visit during which he will hold hold bilateral talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May and attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).