National

Don’t disturb Nehru memorial: Manmohan Singh

A file picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a meeting in New Delhi.

A file picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a meeting in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The former Prime Minister claimed that no effort was made to change the nature of the NMML and the Teen Murti complex during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the historic Teen Murti complex, dedicated to the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru, should be left undisturbed.

“Jawaharlal Nehru belongs not just to the Congress but to the entire nation. It is in that spirit that I have written to you,” Dr. Singh’s letter said.

Plan for museum

It comes in the wake of reports that the Narendra Modi government wants to create a museum dedicated to all Prime Ministers in the Teen Murti complex.

The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) was dedicated to the memory of India’s first Prime Minister, who had left an indelible imprint both on India and the rest of the world, the Congress leader said. “His distinctiveness and greatness have been acknowledged even by his political rivals.”

The former Prime Minister claimed that no effort was made to change the nature of the NMML and the Teen Murti complex during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister.

“But sadly it seems to be part of the agenda of the Government of India now,” Dr. Singh wrote in his letter to Mr. Modi.

‘Primary focus’

The NMML, Dr. Singh argued, must remain a centre for first-rate scholarship and professional excellence. The museum must retain its “primary focus” on Nehru and the freedom movement, given that he spent almost 10 years in British jails in the run-up to independence. “No amount of revisionism can obliterate that role and his [Nehru’s] contributions.”

Referring to Vajpayee as saying at the time of Nehru’s death that another such resident may never live in Teen Murti again, Dr. Singh quoted him: “In spite of a difference of opinion we have nothing but respect for his great ideals, his integrity, his love for the country and his indomitable courage.”

Respecting history

Invoking Vajpayee, the letter added, “Let us respect this sentiment and keep Teen Murti as a memorial to our first Prime Minister Pandit Nehru and leave the Teen Murti complex undisturbed as it is. This way we will be respecting both history and heritage.”

According to the NMML website, the institution is spread over 45 acres and is a key heritage landmark and includes the Herbert Baker Building (1928) that houses the museum, the Library building (1974) designed by M.M. Rana and a 14th century hunting lodge of Firuz Shah Tughlaq.

The website describes it as a “historic heritage site in the heart of Delhi.”

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:30:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dont-disturb-nehru-memorial-manmohan-singh/article24786937.ece

Next Story