Narendra Modi’s rise to power in 2014 fluttered many wings in India’s elite and entitled political circles. In Lutyens Delhi, one could witness all hell breaking loose. The Congress – which has ruled India for a major part of its independent history saw its fortunes diving down at an unprecedented pace.
Today, Congress has become politically irrelevant on a national scale. In states where it still remains in power, its authority stands on not more than one leg. One push – and Congress’ remaining empire will collapse like a house of cards.
Therefore, now is the time to rid India of the toxic vestiges of Nehruvism. The Congress had inoculated India with massive doses of Nehruvian imperialism over the course of its long rule on the country. These knots have been systematically undone by Prime Minister Modi since 2014. Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of Nehruvism is the decision of PM Modi to have a dedicated museum, for all 14 Prime Ministers of India.
The Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya
A pet project of Prime Minister Modi, the Pradhan Manti Sangrahalaya is a museum dedicated to prime ministers of India and will be inaugurated on April 14. Built at Delhi’s Teen Murti Estate, the museum covers the life and times of all the 14 Indian prime ministers so far and will showcase their contributions.
This new museum is built just next to the Nehru Memorial Museum. In fact, one can say that the Modi government has expanded and renovated the Nehru Memorial Museum to include the life and times of all Prime Ministers. But that’s not all! The Nehru Memorial Museum has also been renamed as the “Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya”.
If reports are to be believed, Jawaharlal Nehru will not be accommodated in the new museum. His collections and works will stay at the Nehru Memorial Museum – or whatever remains of it.
Effectively, PM Modi has decided to draw a line of separation. This line separates Nehru from other Prime Ministers of India. Nehru should have never been the Prime Minister. He did not win power; rather, usurped it. That would not have been a problem had he worked for the betterment of India.
Nehru decided instead to serve the interests of foreign powers. His government reported to the United Kingdom and was accountable to London, rather than the people of India. Nehru surrendered to China. His tenure was marked by one geopolitical disaster after the other.
A New Centre of Attraction
The Nehru Memorial Museum was a personal fiefdom of the Gandhi family. They ran it like it was their private property. Entry was restricted, and only those who decided to prostrate before the erstwhile royal family were allowed unlimited access through the corridors of this museum.
Do you know why the Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya is being inaugurated on April 14? Because April 14 is the day when BR Ambedkar was born. The BJP, in its official line, has admitted that the date was chosen “because the prime ministers have worked following our Constitution.” Unofficially, though, the Modi government is sending a message.
BR Ambedkar and Nehru did not get along. In fact, Ambedkar was one of the staunchest critics of Nehru. Ambedkar accused Nehru of being a man whose words could not be trusted, and someone who broke his promises. Ambedkar, speaking of Nehru’s cabinet, said, “The Cabinet has become a mere recording and registration office of decisions already arrived at by Committees…They work behind an iron curtain.”
Nehru’s legacy is being junked, because it is unworthy of being remembered, leave alone being celebrated. And the best part is, the Modi government is making no secret of this fact.
With the Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya being inaugurated, Nehru’s Museum will become a thing of the past. India is no longer interested in Nehru and his works. The museum dedicated to all other prime ministers is the real deal, which is why PM Modi is himself throwing all his weight behind it.