Justin Trudeau visits Mahatma Gandhi's ashram in the Indian state of Gujarat

So far, there's no sign the PM will pay his respects to another giant: B.R. Ambedkar

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      To much of the western world, Mahatma Gandhi was an icon of peace, freedom, and anticolonialism.

      It's why he's called the father of the country, even if some residents of India don't always hold him in the same high regard.

      Writer Arundhati Roy, for example, has publicly criticized Gandhi for not doing enough to fight caste prejudice.

      Many right-wing followers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, still resent Gandhi's eagerness to fully support Muslims under siege from Hindu mobs.

      It's worth noting that since the BJP's Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, there have been attempts to honour Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic who vehemently opposed Gandhi's efforts to promote religious harmony.

      In the midst of the ongoing controversies surrounding Gandhi, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau visited the independence leader's former ashram today in the western state of Gujarat.

      Also known as the Sabarmati Ashram, it's where Gandhi launched his famous salt march in 1930. This was a landmark event in the struggle for freedom from British colonial rule.

      It's one of many stops on the Trudeau family's trip to India, which will includes meetings with top BJP politicians.

      Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is held in high regard by activists of South Asian ancestry in Surrey.

      No indication that Ambedkar will be honoured

      In Surrey, B.C., which is home to a large number of immigrants from India, progressives have focused a great deal of attention on promoting the legacy of another giant of the independence era: Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.

      A meeting room is named after him at the Surrey City Centre library branch.

      Ambedkar was an economist, politician, and scholar, and his seminal book, The Annihilation of Caste, inspired fellow Dalits (also known as "untouchables" in Hinduism) to challenge the caste system.

      He also chaired the committee that drafted of the Indian constitution while serving as law minister in the cabinet of Jawaharlal Nehru. It guarantees equality to all Indians regardless of their religion.

      There are many statues of Ambedkar on display in India. But as of this writing, there's no sign that Trudeau plans to pay his respects in any official capacity.

      It might be something his staff might want to consider, given that the prime minister has found time to meet politicians with ties to a controversial Hindu paramilitary group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

      About 40,000 people immigrated from India to Canada in 2016, making it the second-largest source of immigrants that year. Another 124,000 students from India studied in Canada for six months or more last year.

      Offering a public salutation to Ambedkar, a second great hero of 20th-century Indian history, would send a positive message to them, not to mention his children, in a world increasingly marked by bigotry and intolerance.