Nehru Memorial Renamed As Prime Ministers’ Museum, Right Or Wrong?
The Indian National Congress party has criticized the government’s decision to rename the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society as the Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society.
Congress leader Manmohan Singh also expressed concerns about potential alterations to the nature and character of the NMML and the Teen Murti complex.
They consider the move to be a petty act and assert that legacies cannot be erased simply by renaming buildings.
However, several leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the public have responded by emphasizing that this is public property built with taxpayer money and should not be treated as personal property belonging to specific individuals like Nehru or Gandhi.
The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, located at the Teen Murti complex in New Delhi, has been renamed after a special meeting of the NMML Society.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, the society’s vice-president, presided over the meeting, which included members such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and various Union ministers.
The Teen Murti House, originally built as the official residence of the Commander-in-Chief in India, became the residence of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, after independence.
The ruling government of that period later dedicated the Teen Murti House to Nehru, establishing a museum and library in his name.
In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the establishment of a museum dedicated to all Indian Prime Ministers within the Teen Murti complex.
Despite opposition from the Congress party, the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya was constructed and inaugurated by PM Modi in 2022.
During the recent meeting, Rajnath Singh highlighted that the name change was necessary to reflect the institution’s present activities, which now include the ‘Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya’ showcasing the contribution of each Prime Minister in nation-building.
Nripendra Misra, the NMML Executive Council Chairman, explained that the name change recognizes all Prime Ministers, aiming to democratize institutional memory.
It is important to note that public property belongs to the people, and its purpose should transcend individual personalities.
The renaming of the institution reflects the desire to represent the contributions of all Prime Ministers and highlight the collective journey of democracy in India.
The renovated museum now uses advanced displays to showcase the lives and achievements of all Indian Prime Ministers.
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In this context, the Congress party’s objection to the renaming appears to stem from a desire to maintain authority over a public property associated with their party’s leaders.
However, the decision to honor all Prime Ministers and democratize the institutional memory of the NMML aligns with the principles of inclusivity and recognition of the diverse contributions made by leaders across different eras.