NEW DELHI: Faced with flak over attempts to revamp Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), government today said that it was not meant only for the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, but other leaders of modern India too.
"Nehru Memorial is not for one person. People assume that Nehru Memorial is only for Nehru," Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said.
The museum was set up to acquire, maintain and preserve content related to leaders of modern India, along with Nehru, he pointed out.
Referring to the Memorandum of Association of NMML, Sharma said, "To acquire, maintain and preserve and maintain papers of national leaders, not just one leader. So, it is not only for Nehru, but leaders of modern India and eminent Indians, who have distinguished themselves in any field."
The government's decision to revamp 39 institutions, including the Gandhi Smriti and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library to introduce modern Indian component, including works of the Modi dispensation, was sharply criticised by Congress which termed it as "diabolical".
Replying to a query on the alleged "illegal" appointment of Mahesh Rangarajan as NMML Director, he said it would be examined as there were some irregularities.
"There are some irregularities and unethicalities... I am just getting it examined... what is wrong and right and what is legally correct and ethically correct," he said.
Sharma had a few days back accused the previous UPA regime of "illegally" appointing director of NMML violating an order of the Election Commission (EC) last year and said the government would take appropriate action in the matter.
Terming Rangarajan's appointment as Director of NMML as "illegal and unethical", he had then said it was done despite the EC writing a letter on May 12, 2014 to the Culture Ministry asking it to defer a proposal on permanent absorption of Rangarajan for the post till the election process was over.
However, later in a cabinet committee meeting of the UPA government, a decision was taken that the Director of Nehru Memorial will be appointed, and despite EC orders, Rangarajan was made director on May 19 till retirement, Sharma had said.