Row over Nehru museum renaming: Petty act, says Congress; political indigestion, retorts BJP – Times of India


NEW DELHI: A war of words erupted between the Congress and BJP on Friday over the renaming of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society (NMML) housed in Teen Murti Bhavan in the national capital.
The culture ministry had earlier announced that they have decided to rename NMML to Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society.
The move to rename NMML comes nearly a year after the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya was inaugurated on the premises of the Teen Murti Bhavan, which served as the official residence of first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The announcement evoked sharp reactions from Congress leaders, who termed it as a “petty act”.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the move shows the “low mentality and dictatorial attitude” of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as they can never reduce the huge contribution of Nehru, whom he described as the architect of modern India.
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,” Kharge said in a tweet in Hindi.
“This only shows the low mentality and dictatorial attitude of BJP-RSS. The petty-thinking of the (Narendra) Modi government cannot reduce the huge contribution of ‘Hind ke Jawahar’ towards India,” he said.
Congress general secretary in charge communications Jairam Ramesh said, “Pettiness and vengeance, thy name is Modi. For over 59 years Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) has been a global intellectual landmark and treasure house of books and archives. It will henceforth be called Prime Ministers Museum and Society.”
“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,” he said.
Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor said it could easily have been renamed the Nehru Memorial Prime Ministers’ Museum to be all-inclusive without seeming to demean the original.
“There’s some value in respecting the past. One day, today’s rulers will also be history, and they will want to receive the respect they shamefully deny their predecessors,” said Tharoor, the author of ‘Nehru: The Invention of India’.
Congress MP Manish Tewari also hit out at the government, saying legacies do not get erased by renaming buildings.
Later, the BJP launched a strong counteroffensive, dubbing Congress’s anger as a classic example of political indigestion.
“Classic example of political indigestion- 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,” BJP president JP Nadda said on Twitter.
BJP MP Neeraj Shekhar, who is the son of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, criticised Congress for its “horrible attitude”.
“My father, former PM Chandra Shekhar Ji always worked for national interest. He even worked with Congress but they NEVER looked beyond one dynasty. Now, when PM @narendramodi honoured Prime Ministers across party lines, Cong is getting agitated. Horrible attitude,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)

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