A statue of a 19th century Hindu monk has been unveiled in North West London.
The bust of Swami Vivekananda now sits outside Harrow Arts Centre, in Uxbridge Road, following a campaign first organised by a former councillor who died last year.
Mrinal Choudhury, who also served as the Mayor of Harrow, wanted to erect a statue of the Indian religious leader on behalf of London Kalibari, the charity where he served as treasurer.
Vivekananda is credited with promoting interfaith awareness and Indian philosophy in the Western world.
He travelled extensively through the United States, Europe and England to help raise the profile of Hinduism as a major world religion.
Carved by Tom Nicholls, the bust is the only large-scale public stone monument to Vivekananda in Europe.
(Image: Lucy Baker)
Cllr Krupesh Hirani said: “Having this statue here serves as a proud moment for the community in Harrow.
“Swami Vivekananda was an outstanding individual and is often praised for his contribution at the World’s Parliament of Religions where his interfaith work and promotion of values such as peace and tolerance was seen as groundbreaking at the time.
“World and spiritual leaders can all learn from him and it is great to have his statue displayed at the Harrow Arts Centre and that he has been commemorated and celebrated in this way.”
The mayors of Harrow and Brent, as well as Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas and former Harrow councillor Navin Shah attended the statue’s unveiling ceremony.
After the event, Mr Shah tweeted: “A vision of the former Mayor of Harrow Mrinal Choudhury and a perfect contribution to Harrow’s diversity and heritage.”