EDITORIAL | ‘Obliterate Nehru’ plan in full gear

The Modi government has not been deterred by the widespread criticism of its attempt to change the character of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi and has started implementing its plan. It has appointed some new members, including journalist Arnab Goswami, former diplomat S Jaishankar, BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and author Ram Bahadur Rai to the NMML Society in place of academic Pratap Bhanu Mehta, economist Nitin Desai and others who had resigned in protest against the move to build a museum for all former prime ministers on the NMML estate. The government’s intentions are clear from the choice of the new members, whose association with it is known. The choice of Goswami and Sahasrabudde is especially jarring. The NMML Society has had eminent scholars and intellectuals as its members. Persons like Goswami, an unabashed BJP and Modi man, and Sahasrabudde, whose ideological roots are in the RSS, do not make the grade and might only be considered as the hatchet men of the government. 

The move to convert the Nehru memorial into a bigger museum is an attempt to denigrate Jawaharlal Nehru and his legacy. The NMML is a memorial to Nehru and is housed in Teen Murti Bhavan where Nehru lived when he was prime minister. It also has a research and reference section on the country’s freedom struggle. Most of the space in the complex is dedicated to the freedom struggle and Nehru’s own personal, official and intellectual legacy occupies only a part of it. But he has been persona non grata for the BJP. Especially under Narendra Modi, it has belittled his contributions as a freedom fighter and first prime minister and tried to create a completely negative image of him. In the BJP’s view, Nehru did nothing right and only left a trail of problems for the country. It is a political view arising from its opposition to Nehru’s worldview and his idea of India. 

The BJP’s plan for NMML started almost as soon as Modi became prime minister with what may be called the ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’ invasion. Even Nehru’s portrait was replaced with a photograph of the RSS ideologue, and events began to be held in Upadhyaya’s name, not Nehru’s. The government has sought to evict the Nehru Memorial Fund from the premises and even shift out the Nehru archives. The new members’ job is merely to implement this ‘obliterate Nehru’ plan at the earliest. It is an insult to a great architect of this nation, and to the intelligence of the people who are being bombarded with lies about Nehru. Did the citizens of India vote for Modi so his government could use its powers with such vindictiveness against one of the foremost freedom fighters and leaders of modern India?


ALSO READ: Museum of PMs bid to diminish Nehru

 

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EDITORIAL | ‘Obliterate Nehru’ plan in full gear

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