Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “statesman-like vision” for building a “constitutional pilgrimage” in the form of Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya where he said that contributions of all former Prime Ministers have been honoured “irrespective of political affiliations”.
Sarma also took a swipe at Congress and said that PM Modi has revered all the former Prime Ministers irrespective of their duration of tenure “rather than those from just one family”.
The Assam Chief Minister along with his cabinet visited the PM Sangrahalaya and National War Memorial on Sunday and paid tributes.
Taking to Twitter, Himanta shared pictures of the museum and detailed the work done by various prime ministers in the past including former PM Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi.
“Salute Hon PM @narendramodi ji’s statesman-like vision of creating the most thoughtful public space to honour equally the contribution of all former Prime Ministers irrespective of political affiliations. The state-of-the-art PM Sangrahalaya is must-see for every Indian. The Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya to be no less than a constitutional pilgrimage. This museum is emblematic of the most inclusive and democratic approach ever taken in monument building, which is a reflection of Hon PM’s magnanimous and liberal vision,” Himanta tweeted lauding PM Modi.
“For the first time, every former Prime Minister- no matter how long or short his or her tenure was – has been revered and honoured rather than those from just one family. There’s a detailed gallery dedicated to Shri Pt Nehru. We find the original copy of Tryst with Destiny speech, pictures of Mountbatten family, books & other paraphernalia of the former PM, illustrations of several of his policies, including the 1962 Sino-Indian war, his concern over destruction of mosques during Partition, etc,” he added.
Mentioning former acting Prime Minister Gulzari Lal Nanda who succeeded Nehru in May 1964, Himanta said that he came across the museum of Nanda, “a lifelong Congressman”, for the first time.
“Shri Gulzari Lal Nanda, a lifelong Congressman, served twice as India’s Prime Minister but for the first time I came across a public museum honouring his role in nation building, particularly the pivotal role he played in building INTUC and restoration of Kurukshetra,” he tweeted.
Recalling former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who was the “architect of 1965 victory”, the Assam CM said that he came to know about his lesser-known qualities in the museum.
“The section dedicated to Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri -architect of 1965 victory and Green Revolution-brings to life so many of his lesser known qualities,like he accepted only a Charkha from his in-laws during his wedding,allowed women bus conductors as UP’s Transport Minister,” he tweeted.
Himanta mentioned former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Pokhran nuclear testing along with the Emergency.
“Smt Indira Gandhi’s gallery gives a nuanced insight on her tenure -Pokhran 1, 1971 war, handling of refugee crisis, bank nationalisation and democracy’s darkest chapter; Emergency. Was pleasantly surprised to see Shri JP Narayan ji’s letter to her seeking to ban cow slaughter,” he tweeted.
The Chief Minister also remembered fourth Prime Minister Morarji Desai who led the Janata Party government and to become the country’s first non-Congress Prime Minister.
“The gallery on our 4th PM, Shri Morarji Desai, 1st non-Congress PM, was eye opening. I learnt that he began his career as a DC. His short tenure that saw some pivotal decisions like commitment to freedom of press has been beautifully encapsulated. One can also see Shri Morarji Desai’s personal artifacts such as his Tulsi Mala and Bhagvad Gita. Further, it was enriching to learn about his policies such as engaging with Israel, promoting Yoga and Ayurveda,” he tweeted.
“Shri Chaudhary Charan Singh ji, the great farmer leader, served briefly as PM, but I was glad to see his contribution acknowledged Got an opportunity to learn about his role in eradicating zamindari, his warning to Pakistan and how he was inspired by Swami Dayanand Saraswati,” Himanta tweeted.
Talking about former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who took over the office after the assassination of Indira Gandhi and became the youngest PM at 40, Himanta said that all his policies were “well researched and highlighted” in the museum.
“The museum provides an informed perspective on Shri Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure devoid of propaganda. I came to know his middle was Ratna. From Technology Revolution to Ganga Action plan, his efforts in reducing insurgency, all his policies are well researched and highlighted,” he tweeted.
On former PM VP Singh, Himanta said, “There was a lot to learn from Shri VP Singh ji’s gallery, particularly his efforts in ensuring social justice through the Mandal Commission and his notable efforts to fight corruption. The reasons behind the fall of his government are also well explained.”
“Shri Chandra Shekhar ji had a short tenure, but has been prominently featured, including his 2000-km Bharat Yatra to connect with the masses and the crucial role his government had played in overcoming the economic crisis,” he added.
“Glad to see a gallery dedicated to Shri PV Narsimha Rao ji,who in death was denied a resting place in Delhi by his party. His early life and political career, astute foreign and economic policies are brilliantly captured. It was kind of his family to donate personal artefacts,” the Chief Minister said while taking a swipe at Congress.
“There is so much to learn from the hall dedicated to Shri Deve Gowda ji,the son of soil who became Prime Minister. I was pleased to learn about his polices in Jammu and Kashmir, steps taken to build Delhi Metro and several pro-farmer policies,” he tweeted.
“The Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya does immense justice to the tenure of Shri IK Gujral. We get to know about his extremely scholarly background, his role in a Salt Satyagraha campaign in Jhelum and his now well-known doctrine in foreign policy,” Himanta added.
Describing the presentation of former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure at the office as “mesmerising”, he said that there is a sense of pride to learn about his life and contribution to the country.
“Shri Vajpayee ji’s section is mesmerising. There’s a sense of pride to learn about his pracharak days, Pokhran 2,victorious Kargil War, his contribution in curbing terrorism, huge reforms in telecom, disinvestment and infra. Video of his Hindi speech in UN is truly inspiring,” he tweeted.
“The gallery showcasing Dr Singh’s tenure brought back memories as I personally met him on many occasions as he was a MP from Assam. His humble life, loss of his relatives during partition, stellar role in the nuclear deal and his efforts in RTI, MNREGA are well illustrated,” Sarma added talking about former PM Manmohan Singh.
The Chief Minister lauded the Prime Minister for a “tribute to India’s vibrant democracy.
“Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya is a tribute to India’s vibrant democracy. Our nation has been built by successive PMs. Blessed to have a statesman like @narendramodi ji who took a bipartisan decision that will allow generations to know equally about the builders of modern India,” he tweeted.
This report is filed by ANI news service.