Wolverhampton Temple to receive statue of ‘inspiring’ Buddhist leader

A statue of a Buddhist leader will be erected outside a temple in Wolverhampton after planners gave the go-ahead.

The model of Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar – an Indian social reformer born in 1891 – will be installed at the entrance to the Buddha Vihara in upper Zoar Street, Graiseley.

Dr Ambedkar, who studied law at Grays Inn in London from 1916 to 1921, was hailed as a ‘great and inspiring leader’ by a local councilor this week. Cllr Jacqui Sweetman (Lab. Graiseley) said: “I am delighted that this new statue of Dr Ambedkar has received planning permission.

The new statue of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar.

“He is one of those great leaders who inspires – even now – people like me in public life. Dr Ambedkar once said ‘a great man is different from an eminent in that he puts the service to society first “. A difficult act to follow but so necessary in these times.”

A lifelong human rights activist, he also worked as an economist and fought for Indian independence, converting to Buddhism shortly before his death in 1956.

The statue, which shows Dr Ambedkar with his right arm extended and holding a copy of his book Buddha and his Dhamma, will replace an earlier model by the activist unveiled in 2000.

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