As part of a full revamp of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library’s executive council, Nripendra Misra, former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, has been appointed as the new chairperson. This comes at a time when the institution is finalising plans to set up a Museum of Prime Ministers.
In another significant move, former Union Minister M.J. Akbar — who resigned from his position after allegations of rape and sexual harassment by multiple women —— has been removed from his position as vice chairman of the NMML executive council.
According to an order from the Culture Ministry issued last week, the eight-member Council has been reconstituted. The new vice chairperson will be Prasar Bharati chair A. Surya Prakash. Other members include Indian Council for Cultural Relations chairperson Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, journalist and Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta and Indian Institute of Advanced Study chairperson Kapil Kapoor. Two Culture Ministry bureaucrats and the NMML director will be ex-officio members.
The reconstitution comes after the revamp of the wider NMML Society last November when Congress leaders Karan Singh, Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh were removed. The Congress has been opposed to the proposal for NMML to set up a Museum of Prime Ministers, alleging that it is an attempt to erase and undermine the legacy of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The NMML was set up in 1966 as an autonomous institution under the Culture Ministry. Located at the Teen Murti Bhavan, Nehru’s official residence while Prime Minister, it houses his papers and others related to the freedom movement and other aspects of modern history.