In a great opportunity for enthusiasts who follow politics religiously, taking of photos with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been allowed. Yes, you read that right, but there is a catch. This is part of a high-tech trial run for a museum on all of India’s Prime Ministers. “It is the first step towards a 21st-century museum of Prime Ministers. Not one built with brick and mortar, but an interactive experience,” Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) Director Shakti Sinha was quoted as saying by Indian Express. You can also watch PV Narasimha Rao delivering a speech too. Of course, you have to visit Teen Murti House to see the joint exhibition, ‘The Pathfinders’, on India’ s ninth and tenth Prime Ministers, P V Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which opened at NMML in Teen Murti House on Monday. It will continue till January 25 next year.
The exhibition was inaugurated to coincide with ‘Good Governance Day’ to mark Vajpayee’s birthday. He turned 93 on Monday and was greeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah among several others. “Visited Atalji to convey birthday greetings to him. Spent time with his family as well,” Modi posted on Twitter. Earlier, he said Vajpayee’s phenomenal and visionary leadership “further raised our prestige at the world stage. I pray for his good health.”
Naming the exhibition ‘Pathfinders’ was deliberate, said organisers, crediting both Rao and Vajpayee for setting India on a “different path” economically, politically and internationally. “Rao was such a significant PM who has largely disappeared from public consciousness. We will highlight others in the new year — V P Singh, Charan Singh, Morarji Desai…,” said Sinha.
The NMML at the Teen Murti Bhavan was set up in the memory of Nehru as an autonomous institution under the ministry of culture. It was the residence of the country’s first prime minister and the museum was solely associated with him. The NMML has plans to invite global tenders for expanding the interest of the museum regarding the prime ministers of India. Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the president of the NMML Society.
A committee set up by the NMML last year to identify the location had recommended two sites within the complex. One is a vacant plot behind the present museum, the other is the office of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund, which is chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. However, the executive council later decided the designer or architect should identify the site.