India prime minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue of 12th century Indian philosopher Basaveshwara in 2015 (AFP Photo)

Tributes were paid to 12th century saint philosopher Basaveshwara and architect of the Indian Constitution Dr B R Ambedkar on their birthday anniversaries to mark the occasion as an anti-discrimination day in London on Sunday (14) .

India’s high commissioner to the UK Ruchi Ghanashyam and deputy high commissioner Charanjeet Singh paid tributes at the Albert Embankment to Basaveshwara and Ambedkar on their 885th and 128th birthday anniversaries respectively.

The event was organised by the former mayor of the London borough of Lambeth, Dr Neeraj Patil, on behalf of the Lambeth Basaveshwara Foundation, a non-profit organisation that owns the intellectual property rights of the Basaveshwara statue and its vicinity.

Speaking on the occasion, Patil said: “We are paying tributes to both Basaveshwara and Ambedkar jointly because both share a conceptual relationship. Both opposed caste discrimination and gender inequality”.

Basaveshwara pioneered the idea of democracy in the 12th century and Ambedkar was the architect of the Indian democracy and its Constitution. They were both champions of liberty, freedom of speech and human rights. Members of the Indian community took a pledge at the statue to oppose caste discrimination.

On November 14, 2015, India prime minister Narendra Modi simultaneously unveiled the statue of Basaveshwara and Ambedkar house in London.

The Basaveshwara statue erected at the Albert Embankment is not only the first statue to be unveiled by an Indian prime minister in the UK, but also the first conceptual statue approved by the British Cabinet in the vicinity of the British Parliament.

Ambedkar House in London, where he lived for higher education during 1921-1922, was converted into a museum. It is located in the London borough of Camden.