The legacy of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru seems to have become a bone of contention between Congress and BJP as war of words between these two political parties over the issue have made headlines in recent times. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has now written a letter to PM Narendra Modi claiming that incumbent BJP-led NDA government has been pursuing an “agenda” to “change the nature and character” of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) and the Teen Murti complex, according to Indian Express report.
In a stern message, Singh has asserted that Jawaharlal Nehru belongs “not just to the Congress” but to the “entire” country and asked PM Modi to ensure that the Teen Murti complex be left “undisturbed”. The NMML at the Teen Murti Bhavan was set up in the memory of the country’s first prime minister Nehru as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture.
Singh has also invoked former late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as Prime Minister while claiming that “there was absolutely no attempt made to change the nature and character of the NMML and the Teen Murti complex in any way. But sadly, that seems to be part of the agenda of the Government of India now,” the IE report says. Singh letter has come after
Singh’s letter comes after NMML director Shakti Sinha had announced in July this year that a museum for all former prime ministers of the country will be built in the Teen Murti Bhavan complex housing the Jawaharlal Nehru memorial. Congress immediately had protested the move and alleged that the Centre was making an attempt to “obliterate” Nehru’s legacy.
The decision was taken at the 43rd annual general meeting of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in July. “We will build a museum for all Prime Ministers in the 25 acre estate (Teen Murti Bhavan). This will be separate from the existing structure of the Nehru Memorial,” Sinha had said.
In the letter, Singh wrote: “Let us respect this sentiment and keep Teen Murti as a memorial to our first Prime Minister Pandit Nehru and leave the Teen Murti complex undisturbed as it is. This way we will be respecting both history and heritage.” “Jawaharlal Nehru belongs not just to the Congress but to the entire nation. It is in this spirit that I have written to you,” the Ex-PM stated in the letter.
Singh also emphasized that NMML “must remain a centre of first-rate scholarship and professional excellence. The museum itself must retain its primary focus on Jawaharlal Nehru and the freedom movement because of his unique role having spent almost ten years in jail between the early 1920s and mid-1940s. No amount of revisionism can obliterate that role and his contributions.”