The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) has been renamed the Prime Ministers Museum and Society, following a decision taken at a special meeting of the NMML Society on Thursday. The decision was made by the society’s vice-president, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is also the chairman of the museum.
The NMML was established in 1964 to commemorate the life and work of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The museum is located at Teen Murti House, which was Nehru’s official residence from 1948 until his death in 1964.
In 2022, the government of India opened the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya, a museum dedicated to all of India’s Prime Ministers, on the grounds of the NMML. The Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya is a large, modern museum that tells the story of India’s Prime Ministers through interactive exhibits, multimedia displays, and artifacts.
The decision to rename the NMML was met with the criticism from Opposition. They criticized the change, saying that it was an attempt to erase Nehru’s legacy.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday described prime minister Narendra Modi as a ‘small small man overburdened by his insecurities,’ as he reacted to the Union government renaming the NMML Society.
“Pettines & Vengeance, thy name is Modi. For over 59 years, NMML has been a global intellectual landmark and treasure hose of books & archives. It will henceforth be called Prime Ministers Museum & Society. What won’t Mr. Modi do to distort, disparage and destroy the name & legacy of the architect of the Indian nation-state,” the Congress’ General Secretary in-charge Communications, said in a tweet.
“A small, small man overburdened by his insecurities is the self-styled Vishwaguru,” the Rajya Sabha MP added, referring to PM Modi.
The NMML is a significant institution in Indian history. It is a repository of Nehru’s papers and other historical documents, and it is a popular destination for scholars and researchers.
Former PM Manmohan Singh had sent a letter to PM Modi, raising concerns over an “agenda” to “change the nature and character” of the NMML and the Teen Murti complex.