ANI Photo | “Opposition says irresponsible things about renaming of Nehru Memorial Museum”: Union Minister Hardeep Puri

As a political row started after the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society in Delhi was renamed as Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said that the Opposition often says “irresponsible things” regarding any issue taking place in the country.
“After 1947, how many Prime Ministers did we have?…it is the museum for Prime Ministers and I’m surprised why there is such a question being asked…what should I say about the opposition’s statements?…they say irresponsible things…,” Puri said while talking to the media persons here.
The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society in Delhi has been renamed as Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society.
The Culture Ministry said on Friday that it had been decided to change the name of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society to Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society.
The decision was taken at a special meeting of the Memorial Museum and Library Society presided over by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the Vice-President of the Society.
This project was approved by Executive Council, NMML in its 162nd meeting held in November 2016. The Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya was opened to the public on April 21 last year.
During the inauguration, despite receiving an invitation from the government, no member of the Nehru-Gandhi family was present for the function. Three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family including Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi have served as Prime Ministers of the country.
The Culture Ministry release said that the Museum is a seamless blend that begins at the renovated and refurbished Nehru Museum building, “now completely updated with technologically advanced displays on the life and contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru”.
“Housed in a new building the museum then goes on to tell the story of how our Prime Ministers navigated the nation through various challenges and ensured the all-round progress of the country. It recognizes all the Prime Ministers, thereby democratizing the institutional memory,” the release said.
BJP and Congress leaders are fighting at a new front yet again after the decision.
Congress party chief Mallikarjun Kharge alleged the BJP that is “erasing” the history of others including India’s first Prime Minister.
“Those who do not have any history, they have gone to erase the history of others. The ill-fated attempt to change the name of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library cannot belittle the personality of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the architect of modern India and fearless guardian of democracy,” Mr Kharge said in a tweet, adding that the move only shows “low mentality and dictatorial attitude of BJP-RSS”.
While Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh took a swipe at PM Modi’s projection as the “Vishwaguru” and said,”… What won’t Mr Modi do to distort, disparage and destroy the name and legacy of the architect of the Indian nation-state? A small, small man overburdened by his insecurities is the self-styled Vishwaguru,” Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
Congress National Spokesperson Gourav Vallabh on Saturday also launched a scathing attack at the Centre saying they would remove Pandit Nehru’s name from the board but would they remove it from the hearts of the people.
“…They think that removing the name of Jawaharlal Nehru from the board will diminish his personality. People of the country consider Jawaharlal Nehru the architect of modern India…I’d like to remind Modi, a statement by Vajpayee – chhote mann se koi bada nahi ban payega (You cannot become great with petty minset). You are displaying your petty mindset before the country. You will remove Pandit Nehru’s name from the board but how will you remove him from the hearts of the people?” Gourav Vallabh while speaking to ANI.
Referring to Congress’ criticism over renaming, Delhi BJP Virendra Sachdeva said that the “museum is not the property of a single individual but is dedicated to all the PMs.”
Speaking to media persons, Sachdeva said, “Did the other Prime Ministers of the country not contribute anything? Most of them were from Congress. The museum is not the property of a single individual but is dedicated to all the PMs. Congress is habitual of living in a dynasty.”
While talking to ANI, BJP leader Sushil Modi said that the museum earlier showcased only former PM Jawaharlal Nehru’s contributions, whereas now contributions of all PMs have been displayed.
“Congress did not showcase his (Jawaharlal Nehru) contributions properly in the museum. I visited the museum and some of his documents, and chairs were kept but now it is very well displayed,” Sushil Modi said, adding, “Earlier, it was focused only on Jawaharlal Nehru but now the contributions of all PMs have been shown and hence name can’t be only on the name of Jawaharlal Nehru,” he added.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla launched a scathing attack on the grand old party, terming it a “Family Ltd Company”.
Poonawalla said, “Congress cannot see beyond one family. It is a Family Ltd Company, a Family Ltd Enterprise. If respect is given to PMs HD Deve Gowda, Inder Kumar Gujral, Charan Singh, Chandrashekhar and others who contributed to this nation but did not have the fortune of belonging to one family, if their contribution is celebrated in a museum why is it a dictatorial attitude?”
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister IK Gujral’s son, Naresh Gujral supported the renaming of Nehru Memorial Museum.
Speaking to ANI, Gujral said, “India’s first prime Minister Shri Jawaharlal Nehru passed away, Shastri ji refused to move into the house and decided to name the house Nehru Museum and Library. Since then, Mrs Gandhi’s after her tragic assassination, her house also became a museum in her memory, but no other prime minister’s contribution to this nation was recognized till now. I congratulate the government for recognizing the contribution of the 15 prime ministers who held office since independence. And for creating this museum.”
He further said that there is no need for any controversy over the decision.
“As far as the name controversy is concerned, I think it’s a needless controversy when the 15 Prime Ministers’ work is being recognized, how can it be named after Jawaharlal Nehru now? So I think it’s needless controversy although personally I hold Jawaharlal Nehru in the highest esteem and I think he was an architect of modern India. He laid the foundations for making India strong. Yet when we try to create a controversy in his name, we only diminish his memory,” he added.

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