Nehru Memorial again tampered with, Modi govt removes 4 intellectuals, appoints its ‘own’ people
The 4 people removed by the order of Ministry of Culture are Nitin Desai, BP Singh, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Udayon Misra. They are counted among the most significant intellectuals of the country
Only a few months after the Modi government took over, the process of manipulating the functioning of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) of Delhi had begun, which has caused serious controversies from time to time. In the latest developments, the Ministry of Culture, Government of India has issued a notice to inform about its decision that the four old members of the NMML Society have been removed and new members have been appointed in their place. NMML comes under the Ministry of Culture, and the NMML society is the high level committee which manages the functioning of the institute. The four people who have been removed by the order of Ministry of Culture include Nitin Desai, Dr BP Singh, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Professor Udayon Misra. All of these are counted among the most significant intellectuals of the country.
Commenting on the Modi government's decision, Congress leader and member of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society Jairam Ramesh said, "Those who have been removed, are strong-willed personalities.”
At their place, senior journalist Ram Bahadur Rai, former foreign secretary S Jaishankar, TV journalist Arnab Goswami and RSS thinker Vinay Sahastrabuddhe have been brought. According to the notification, the tenure of the new members will remain till April 26, 2020 or till further notice. Interestingly, those who have been removed have been raising objections to several decisions taken by the new director who was appointed in October 2016. It was due to this that Pratap Bhanu Mehta had resigned. This notice in a way confirms the acceptance of his resignation
The decision to make NMML a museum of all the Prime Ministers of India was the most significant decision by the government which had caused a lot of controversy. Senior Congress leader and Member of NMML Society Mallikarjun Kharge vehemently opposed this decision during the meetings and later too he opposed it in a letter written to the prime minister.
He had argued that Teen Murti Bhavan is the legacy of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and it would not be proper to build any other structure inside its premises. He had suggested that if the government wants to make a museum for the country's prime ministers, then it can make it somewhere else.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also written a letter voicing his disapproval of this decision. He said that under a particular agenda, efforts are being made to change nature and character of NMML and Teen Murti Bhavan. But neither the government nor NMML changed their opinion or decision about it.
Teen Murti Bhavan was the residence of the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library was established on the same property in his memory, on April 1,1966. Hence question arises whether the new appointments have been made to run the institute according to the government’s whims and fancies. Is it a new step by the Modi government to damage Nehru's legacy? Experts have constantly been saying that the assault on Nehru’s legacy had started immediately after the Modi government took over and every democratic institution is being destroyed in the name of abolishing Nehruvian ideas.