‘Pettiness and Vengeance’: Cong slams govt over renaming of Nehru Memorial Museum

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday hit out at the government over renaming of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society here as Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society, calling it a “petty act” and asserting that legacies don’t get erased by renaming buildings.

Nearly a year after the Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya was inaugurated on the premises of the Teen Murti Bhavan, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society (NMML) has been renamed as Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society.

In a special meeting of the NMML, it was resolved to change its name to Prime Ministers’ Museum and Library Society, the Culture Ministry said Friday.

Reacting to the development, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said this shows the “low mentality and dictatorial attitude” of the BJP-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 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 & Vengeance, thy name is Modi. For over 59 years Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) has been a global intellectual landmark and treasure house 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. A small, small man overburdened by his insecurities is the self-styled Vishwaguru,” Ramesh said.

Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal said the Teen Murti Bhavan is a historic monument where India’s destiny was crafted.

“The architect of India’s post-independence glory was our first PM Jawaharlal Nehru. Erasing his legacy by changing the name of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library is a petty act, which only further diminishes the stature of the current regime,” Venugopal said on Twitter.

“India’s every success is achieved on the foundation of Nehru ji’s vision. India knows that, and removing his name from a museum will not change the revered stature that Nehru ji enjoys in every Indian’s heart,” he said.

Congress MP Manish Tewari also hit out at the government, saying legacies don’t get erased by renaming buildings.

“I wish those who want to erase Jawahar Lal Nehru’s contribution to freedom struggle & building of Modern India would once read Discovery of India & Glimpses of World History to fathom the depth of Nehru,” he said on Twitter.

Asked about the issue at a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh took a swipe at Modi, saying that by changing the name of Nehru memorial, one person has displayed his “pettiness”.

“The person who wants to put forward his name by erasing the name of others, our country’s culture and traditions are such, that people do not consider such persons great,” Vallabh said.

For the past 59 years, Nehru memorial library was a hub for researchers and think tanks with amazing books and literature there, he noted.

“This material (at the library) was used to strengthen democracy but one person thought why should I let Pandit ji’s name be there because I want to remove his name but how will you remove Pandit ji’s name from the hearts of 140 crore people,” he said.

“I want to tell that person that by doing such pettiness you are adding more value to Pandit ji’s name. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru will be considered the architect of modern India and nothing will change that…He took charge of India when it did not have the capacity to manufacture a needle and from there he established IITs, IIMs, IIScs, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and other research institutes.

“You can remove (Jawaharlal Nehru’s) name from the boards because your government is in majority but you can’t remove the respect which people of this country have for him, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao, Manmohan Singh, their names are etched in the hearts of the people, as also the name of Atal Bhari Vajpayee, you want to remove his name also,” Vallabh said.

“We don’t disrespect former PMs. You say your ‘mann ki baat’ but don’t listen to the ‘mann ki baat’ of the people, if you had done so, then you would not have done such a petty act,” the Congress leader said, taking a dig at Modi.