NEW DELHI: Overriding Congress’ opposition, the Centre on Thursday decided to honour all prime ministers of the country by building a new museum inside the Teen Murti Estate, which celebrates the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru. On Thursday, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library society decided to construct a new museum inside the Teen Murti Bhavan in honour of other PMs - both former as well as future ones.
The Teen Murti Bhavan was the official residence of India’s first Prime Minister Nehru, who was in the office for 17 years. The NMML, an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, was set up in his memory.
The idea to give space to other PMs inside the Teen Murti Bhavan was strongly opposed by the Congress, which said this would ‘dilute’ Nehru’s legacy. However, many others who attended the 43rd annual general meeting of the NMML society supported the concept of a separate museum.
Congress was represented by senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge who suggested the new memorial be constructed elsewhere. Government representatives, though, batted for the new museum inside NMML saying the story of India’s executive, as represented by the PMs, needs to be told for the benefit of future generations.
Many members said there was no need to allot space to Nehru in the new museum since the entire structure celebrates his legacy. However, this was opposed by others who said Nehru being a prominent former PM, should feature in the mini museum, too.
The final decision on whether Nehru will feature in the new museum is yet to be taken, according to sources. The meeting was chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh who said the move was not to dilute Nehru’s legacy.
Funds for state-of-art museum
The vision behind the museum is to help encourage people to learn the history of independent India, sources said while quoting Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Responding to Kharge’s concerns, Singh said there was no question of diluting Nehru’s legacy as Nehru’s contribution as the country’s first prime minister was unparalleled.
The Centre has sanctioned 280 crore for the construction of the museum. The museum will be a modern technologically advanced museum and will be constructed with the help of international consultants. Under the NMML Society supervision, which has the PM as its head, the NMML council has been managing the overall affairs of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.