Nehru was not India’s only prime minister and there were many after him, including his daughter and grandson
A day after the Centre reconstituted the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society, several persons questioned the logic behind it.
Leading the charge were the leaders from the Congress who were dropped. The Centre said that the NMML was reconstituted under Rule 3 of the memorandum of association and rules and regulation of the NMML society with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the president and defence minister, Rajnath Singh as the vice president.
The three Congress leaders to be dropped were Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and Karan Singh. They questioned the decision and said that the government wants its own people to be included in the panel.
Politicising the issue:
While it has become a norm to question everything that the government does, what must be borne in mind is that the NMML is an institution funded by the taxpayers’ money. Nehru was not India’s only prime minister and there were many after him, including his daughter and grandson.
Hitting out at those criticising the decision, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said that the Congress leaders are howling about the NMML Board. Didn’t the Congress remove me from my professorship at IIT after inviting me to leave Harvard and teach at the IIT. The law of karma hurts for past sins, he said.
The minister for tourism Prahlad Patel said that the memorial was not a museum for all prime ministers. It has not happened today, it happened years ago, and it will be inaugurated soon. All these leaders belong to different parties and the controversy is uncalled for, he further added.
Karan Singh on the other hand called the decision strange and added that the from the time the government came in they have tried to convert this building into a museum, which we have opposed.
A publicly funded institution:
The BJP National IT Cell chief, Amit Malviya tells MyNation that the Nehru Memorial is an institution funded by the taxpayers’ money. The Congress cannot treat it as their personal property. Over the years the Congress has only weakened institutions which the current government wants to use as a platform to glorify all Prime Ministers India has seen.
Hitting out at Karan Singh, Malviya said that he should be gracious. Under the Modi government, he has completed his terms as the president of ICCR, Chancellor BHU, Member NMML executive council and was re-appointed as chairman of Auroville Foundation (cabinet rank) with PM inaugurating its 50th year celebration.
The BJP’s general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh said that the Congress feels that anything Nehru is their monopoly. While reacting to the criticism by Rajasthan chief minister, Ashok Gehlot, Santhosh said that the rejig of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library has been raised by Gehlot. Someone needs to ask him the location of the library.
Gehlot had said that the government dropped all liberal voices and independent scholars from the reconstituted NMML Society. All those who believed in Nehru’s ideology have been removed, he said.
Nehru was not the only PM of India:
The NMML is housed in the Teen Murti House complex and is an autonomous institution under the ministry of culture. Now what was Teen Murti Bhavan before Nehru occupied it as the PM’s residence. It was built in 1930 as part of the new imperial capital of India, New Delhi as the residence of the Commander in Chief of the British Indian Army.
DK Hari, founder of Bharat Gyan, an NGO tells MyNation that Teen Murti Bhavan has a big estate. When it was decided to be built as a memorial, only Nehru was the past PM. There have been so many prime ministers after that.
It is a veritable walk through museum, and everything has to be captured, not just one person, he says.
As decades go on, we go beyond just one person. We have to record his daughter, his grandson and his friend, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The achievements of all these people also have to be included. It should not just be a Nehru Memorial. It needs to be a memorial of all prime ministers of India.
It should have all the prime ministers of India and their achievements needs to be showcased in that medium. The people should know how India has evolved since independence and it should be broad based. Hari says that he is not trying to suggest that the achievements of Nehru be deprecated. I am only saying that it needs to be broad based.
The achievements of Manmohan Singh, Narasimha Rao, Vajpayee and the rest needs to be part of it. We cannot deny them that place. They have all been prime ministers. Let us give them their respect and their due.
Further let’s also not forget the great sacrifice of Indian soldiers. Teen Murti Bhavan represents Mysore, Hyderabad and Rajputana. It was about how the battalions fought in the East Mediterranean Coast during World War 1 and liberated Haifa. There is a saying in Israel. The one who controls Haifa, controls Israel.
Hari says that the liberation of Haifa was done by the Indian Soldiers and the Teen Murti Bhavan was set up in recognition of that battle. The Teen Murti Bhavan is not about one man, but about the people of India and the Indian soldiers.
Last Updated 4:09 PM IST