Ambedkar memorial to open in U.K.

Ambedkar’s house in London will be opened as a memorial later this year as part of the 125-birth anniversary year of the Indian statesman.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:32 pm IST

Published - August 28, 2015 09:08 pm IST - London

The house in Camden, north London, where >Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar – the architect of India’s Constitution and champion of Dalit rights – lived while studying in London in the early 1920s is likely to be opened to the public later this year as a memorial to the eminent Indian statesman, whose >125th birth anniversary year is being currently observed.

Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole announced this to the press soon after the agreement to purchase the £3.1 million house was inked. The sale of the spacious 2550 sq. foot, three-storey house at 10 King Henry Road in Camden, is likely to be completed in the next two or three weeks. Valuation includes taxes and the cost of renovating the property.

The acquisition of the famous address, already commemorated by the British Government with a blue plaque, had “historic significance for all his followers and admirers not only in India but the world over,” the minister said. It is the only acquisition of historical property made by a state government abroad, Mr. Badole added.

For present, the house will only mark a memorial to Dr. Ambedkar, the minister said, and its specific use will be decided later. He said that there was no immediate plan to use it as a hostel for Indian students studying in the UK, an idea that has been doing the rounds. Once complete, the property will come under the control and supervision of the Indian High Commission.

Dr. Ambedkar received his MSc and DSc degrees at the London School of Economics between 1921 and 1923. In 1923 he was also called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn. Doubtless, in deciding the uses to which the Ambedkar Memorial will be put, the Indian government may not want to replicate what the Nehru Centre does for the promotion of Indian arts, culture and literature. The purchase of property that has a historical association to the life of a famous Indian by a state government has no precedent, a High Commission spokesperson confirmed.

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