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Modi Accused Of Snubbing Dalit Diaspora In UK

PM Modi not making the time to visit the Ambedkar House in London is a total snub to the Dalit diaspora.

London Apr 20: UK-based anti-caste groups have expressed their disappointment at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s failure to stop by at the Ambedkar House in north London during his visit to Britain.

While Indian officials involved in the planning of the prime minister’s UK visit said that it had not been possible to schedule a stopover in his packed schedule, some groups linked to the venue set up in memory of the Dalit leader claimed that Modi had been expected to visit on Thursday afternoon.

The Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance claims they were told that Modi had a window of about 90 minutes on Thursday afternoon, during which he could make a quick visit.

“PM Modi not making the time to visit the Ambedkar House in London is a total snub to the Dalit diaspora. The majority of people waiting for him were there to submit a memorandum calling on PM Modi to stop diluting the Indian Constitution and legal protections for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, a spokesperson for the alliance said.

The spokesperson said the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir and the Unnao gang-rape case was among issues raised in the joint memorandum.

A small group of protesters had gathered outside Ambedkar House, at 10 King Henry’s Road in north London where the Dalit rights activist lived in 1921-22 during his student days at London School of Economics (LSE), in anticipation of the Prime Minister’s visit.

The home, acquired by the Maharashtra government three years ago, had been one of the focal points of Modi’s last visit to the UK in November 2015.

The prime minister was in the UK on a four-day visit to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and Windsor.

He left for Berlin at the end of the CHOGM leaders’ retreat at Windsor Castle today for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before he leaves for India.

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