The renaming of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) has sparked a heated exchange between BJP and opposition Congress. While the Congress has said the objective behind renaming the iconic structure is to distort the legacy of the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the BJP has hit back with its dynasty charge.
The NMML, located on Teen Murti Marg in central Delhi, has been officially renamed as Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society. The decision to rename it was taken in June.
Known as Flagstaff House during the British Raj, this building was earlier used as the residence of the Commander-in-chief of British forces. After Independence, it became the official residence of Prime Minister Nehru. Following his death, it was converted to a library and museum.
When the Narendra Modi government came to power, a Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya was set up on the premises to chronical achievements of all the Prime Ministers, starting from Jawaharlal Nehru to Prime Minister Modi. This museum was inaugurated last year.
From today, an iconic institution gets a new name. The world renowned Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) becomes PMML—Prime Ministers’ Memorial Museum and Library.
Mr. Modi possesses a huge bundle of fears, complexes and insecurities, especially when it comes to our first…
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) August 16, 2023
Taking to Twitter this morning, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “From today, an iconic institution gets a new name. The world renowned Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) becomes PMML-Prime Ministers’ Memorial Museum and Library.”
Mr Ramesh said Prime Minister Modi was insecure about Jawaharlal Nehru. “He has had a single point agenda of denying, distorting, defaming and destroying Nehru and the Nehruvian legacy. He has erased N and put P instead. That P is really for pettiness and peeve.”
“But he can never take away Nehru’s gigantic contributions in the freedom movement and his towering achievements in building the democratic, secular, scientific and liberal foundations of the Indian nation-state, all of which are now under assault by Mr. Modi and his drumbeaters,” he added.
The Congress leader said Nehru’s “legacy will live on for the world to see and he will continue to inspire generations to come”.
Mr Ramesh’s remarks were backed by leaders of the Congress and other Opposition parties united against the INDIA bloc to take on the BJP in the general election next year.
In a sharp response, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said in a video message that for Mr Ramesh, “P means only Parivar (family) and not people” – a jab at the Gandhi family.
“When a museum, a library which would showcase the achievements of all the Prime Ministers of this country, from the first Prime Minister to the current Prime Minister, from Lal Bahadur Shashtri to PV Narasimha Rao to HD Devegowda to Inder Kumar Gujral — all of them have made this country great –, the Congress party is opposing and saying it should be named after only one Prime Minister from one family,” he said.
Mr Poonawalla asked if Nehru’s legacy was so weak that “if one institution is named after all Prime Ministers, his legacy will be demolished”. “This shows their mindset of putting Parivar above people,” he said.
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