After the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society in Delhi changed its name to the Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society, BJP and Congress leaders are engaged in battle on a new frontline.
Nearly a year has passed since the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya was established on the grounds of Teen Murti Bhavan, the edifice that formerly housed Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party, according to Congressmen Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh, are allegedly attempting to downplay the accomplishments made by the nation’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 tweeted. “This only shows the low mentality and dictatorial attitude of BJP-RSS,” he said, referring to the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Mr. Ramesh made fun of Prime Minister Modi’s portrayal as the “Vishwaguru”. “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,” Mr Ramesh tweeted.
The BJP has urged the Congress to refrain from politicking the issue and defended the museum’s name change.
The attack by the Congress was described as “a classic example of political indigestion” by BJP chief JP Nadda.
“The inability to accept a simple fact that there are leaders beyond one dynasty who have served and built our nation. PM Sangrahalaya is an effort beyond politics and Congress lacks the vision to realise this,” Mr Nadda tweeted.
In reference to the Gandhis, BJP MP Neeraj Shekhar claimed that the Congress has never looked beyond one dynasty.
“My dad, former prime minister Chandra Shekhar Ji, constantly strived for the good of the country. Even though he collaborated with Congress, they only ever considered one dynasty. Congress is now concerned because PM Narendra Modi acknowledged prime ministers from different political parties. Terrible attitude,” tweeted Neeraj Shekhar.
The BJP said that the Congress has no qualms about insulting even its own former Prime Ministers. The efforts and accomplishments of Jawaharlal Nehru and his successors have been highlighted in a much better way with the use of technology, according to BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, who said that the Congress is making accusations despite the fact that its leaders have not yet visited the museum.
The decision to change the name was made during a meeting presided over by Rajnath Singh, the vice president of the society and the minister of culture, the Culture Ministry announced today.
According to the Culture Ministry, Mr. Singh “welcomed the proposal for a change in name” because in its current configuration the institution “shows the contributions of all Prime Ministers, from Jawaharlal Nehru to PM Modi, and how they responded to challenges of their time.”
He referred to the position of prime minister as an institution and compared the paths taken by previous prime ministers to the hues of a rainbow. The Defence Minister stated that a rainbow must contain proportionate representation of each colour to be considered attractive.