The Museum of Prime Ministers: How household self-importance makes Gandhis blind to actuality

On 14 April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Museum of Prime Ministers on the premises of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. But the Gandhi-Nehru household selected to not attend it

The museum tells the story of India after Independence by way of the lives and contributions of its prime ministers. Image ourtesy News18

In the medieval instances one of many early Sultans to have dominated Delhi, although briefly, was Nasiruddin Mahmud. Historical texts check with an fascinating truth about how his entry into the courtroom would usually be introduced. It would say, “The rule of the Lord of the world extends from Delhi to Palam.” It’s time that the residents of the ten, Janpath realised in the event that they had been in race with Mahmud.

This comparability was necessitated as Mahmud failed to grasp his precise price and continued to stay life, to make use of a lot clichéd expression, king-size. The Nehru-Gandhi household, by behaving in an identical method, is inflicting hurt to its trigger than including any worth to its charisma.

On 14 April, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Museum of Prime Ministers on the premises of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Invitations had been despatched out to the relations of all of the residing former prime ministers and the following of kin of late former Prime Ministers.

The Nehru-Gandhi relations, who draw their legacy from three prime ministers — Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi — selected to not attend, for causes probably not recognized to anyone. Manmohan Singh, the final Congress Prime Minister, couldn’t attend because of unwell well being.

The Gandhis couldn’t have been on the ‘sick list’ as on the identical day that they had attended a operate in Parliament to commemorate the reminiscence of Bhimrao Ambedkar. So what could possibly be the rationale for them to not attend the operate on the Teen Murti House?

The Museum of Prime Ministers How family vanity makes Gandhis blind to reality

BR Ambedkar. ANI

In the nationwide Capital there’s a giant acreage of land and quite a few heritage buildings devoted to the recollections of the totally different Prime Ministers. If the federal government plans to make these memorials a part of a scientifically developed museum with most fashionable devices for the dissemination of data, then there shouldn’t be any reservation.

Built at the price of Rs 271 crore on the Teen Murti Complex, the museum catalogues the lives and contributions of all of the 14 former Prime Ministers of the nation. The present Nehru Museum constructing, designated now as Block I, has been technologically up to date, showcasing the life and contributions of the primary prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Quite a lot of presents obtained by him from everywhere in the world however not exhibited up to now have additionally been given house now.


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The solely reservation could possibly be that Nehru has now been made to share his home with the opposite Prime Ministers who too occupied the South Block workplace. This raises the query if it was a prudent choice on the demise of Jawaharlal Nehru to transform the then prime minister’s residence right into a memorial devoted to 1 individual.

This heritage constructing on being inaugurated was designated as Flagstaff House in 1930, and remained residence of the Commander-in-Chief of Forces in India who maintained unified command of the British Indian Army, British Army, and princely states forces.

After Independence in August 1947, Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, the Commander-in-Chief, relocated and the home turned the official residence of the prime minister. The advanced is located on a 30-acre property and the constructing is constructed of white stone and stucco, and faces the south facet of the Viceroy’s House, often known as Rashtrapati Bhawan since 1950. The constructing overlooks a well-kept garden, has arched entry and pillared verandahs.

The Museum of Prime Ministers How family vanity makes Gandhis blind to reality

A view of India’s presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhawan is seen through the night in New Delhi. Reuters

In 1964, following the demise of Jawarharlal Nehru, the home was transformed right into a nationwide memorial to him comprising a library and a museum. In 1984, underneath the patronage of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who additionally was Nehru’s daughter, a Planetarium was added to the advanced, which has persistently been upgraded retaining with time. In truth, even earlier than that in 1974, a separate library block was constructed within the advanced to deal with the library.

Thus there can’t be a criticism in regards to the authentic plan of the advanced being disturbed by the current authorities. As the library and the planetarium have contributed considerably to dissemination of information, so could be the brand new museum block. Why ought to there be any reservation for it?

Coming again to medieval historical past, the later Mughal rulers confronted a novel downside. They couldn’t give away the title of Emperor whilst they lived like prisoners of the previous in a extremely dilapidated Red Fort. All the worthy ‘Sipahsalars’ (commanders) of the Nehru-Gandhi clan have charted their very own course. Some have joined the Opposition ranks, others have created their very own ‘Subas’ (territories of affect).

The earlier this realisation dawns on the household, higher the possibilities for the Congress to get well some components of its misplaced territories. As a well-known India-baiter Winston Churchill, paraphrasing Spanish thinker George Santayana, as soon as mentioned, “Those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

The author is an creator and president, Centre for Reforms, Development and Justice. Views expressed are private.

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