Post-independence, the Teen Murti Bhawan was occupied as a residence by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. After his demise in 1964, the same was converted into a museum which would serve as an academic and educational center for the generations to come. The Nehru Memorial Museum as it is called now, focusses on contemporary Indian history, the Independence movement and specifically the Nehruvian era. Historically all the members of the museum have been Congress leaders and loyalists.
In a development which is bound to irk the Congress and Nehru-Gandhi family loyalists, the new Nehru Memorial Society has been constituted, the president of which will be PM Modi himself. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been appointed as the Vice President of the society, while Home Minister Amit Shah’s name also featured in the new member’s list. Notably, Congressmen Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and Karan Singh did not find their names in the newly constituted society. This marks a rather hurtful end for the Congress party’s aims at monopolizing India’s freedom struggle and having sole control over the legacy of freedom fighters.
Other members of the society include Union Ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, Prakash Javadekar, V Murleedharan and Prahlad Singh Patel. ICCR chairman Vinay Sahsrabudhhe’s name also featured in the list. Journalist Rajat Sharma and ace poet and lyricist Prasoon Joshi have also been included in the list of members.
In 2018, Journalist Arnab Goswami was also made a member of the same society, which had led to a massive meltdown among the Nehru loyalists as they feared a rundown of the man’s legacy. Nothing of that sort took place, however. The criticism from last year has not stopped the government from re-constituting the new member’s list this time as well, and they have been quite unapologetic in their choice of members.
The new society assumes significance as PM Modi’s ambitious plan to revamp the Teen Murti Bhawan and dedicate a museum to all the Prime Ministers of India nears its fruition as a project. To have a national museum for Jawaharlal Nehru alone was always an odd reality. Now that the complex will be revamped, the government is ensuring that a party like the Congress has nothing to do with it. The Congress’ past and dealings with such projects make it only natural for them to be left out. Take for instance the history of India. One does not need to be reminded of the bias with which it has been concocted for the party’s own political benefits. Now that the new society has no Congressmen in it, the stories of other Prime Ministers can also be told alongside that of Jawaharlal Nehru.