After months of hiccups, the Maharashtra government has bought a house in London where iconic social reformer B R Ambedkar lived during his days as a student at the London School of Economics in the 1920s.
The 3.1 million-pound deal was completed on behalf of the Maharashtra government by officials of the Indian high commission here.
The “exchange of contracts” – the final stage of a property deal in Britain – took place on Wednesday evening, officials told Hindustan Times.
The house – 10 King Henry’s Road, in Chalk Farm, north London – will be converted into a museum-cum-memorial to Ambedkar. After taking possession, it will be managed by the high commission and offer temporary accommodation to scholars from India.
The Maharashtra government’s desire to purchase the house was first announced by state education minister Vinod Tawde in January. Social justice minister Rajkumar Badole visited London and carried forward the formalities, which were then prolonged as the proposal went through various stages in Mumbai.
A plaque outside the house mentions Ambedkar lived there while studying at the LSE.
“We hope the house will bring the Indian community in Britain further together. The acquisition is historical because it is not just a house but the emotions of all Indians are associated with it,” India’s deputy high commissioner Varinder Paul told Hindustan Times.