On August 14, the government officially changed the name of the Nehru Memorial Library in Delhi from NMML to PML. Rahul Gandhi on Thursday declined to comment on the political controversy surrounding the change of the name of Delhi’s Nehru Memorial Library to PML. “Nehruji ki pehchaan unke karam hai, unka naam nahin,” Gandhi said, asserting that his great grandfather and India’s first Prime Minister was known for his work and not just his name.
According to a statement posted on X, the museum’s executive council officially changed its name on August 14. The museum is located in the Teen Murti bhavan complex in the national capital. “Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) is now Prime Ministers Museum and Library (PMML) Society w.e.f August 14, 2023 — in tune with the democratisation and diversification of the remit of the society…”
At a meeting held in mid-June by the NMML Society, the decision to rename the complex was taken, which sparked strong reactions from the Congress owing to the fact that the complex was the residence of the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Rajnath Singh, who is also the Vice President of the Society, was the Chairperson of the meeting. According to the Society, Rajnath Singh welcomed the proposal to change the name as in its new version, the institution showcases the work of all Prime Minsters from Jawaharlal Nehru to present Prime Minister Narendra Modi and their response to various challenges they faced, the Society said.
The Congress claimed on Wednesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “one-point agenda” was to “reject and vilify” the Nehruvians’ legacy. In a blog post on the X platform, Congress General Secretary Ramesh said, “From today, an iconic institution gets a new name. The world renowned Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) becomes PMML — Prime Ministers’ Memorial Museum and Library. “Mr Modi possesses a huge bundle of fears, complexes and insecurities, especially when it comes to our first and longest serving Prime Minister. He has had a single point agenda of denying, distorting, defaming and destroying Nehru and the Nehruvian legacy… He has erased N and put P instead. That P is really for pettiness and peeve.”
Ramesh asserted that Modi could not replace the immense contribution of Nehru to the freedom struggle and his outstanding accomplishments in establishing India as a nation-state based on the principles of democracy, secularism, science and freedom: “All of which are now under assault by Mr Modi and his drum beaters”. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responded to the Congress’s criticism, with former Union Minister Ravindra Prasad asserting that the Congress has been focused on the promotion of the Gandhi family, whereas Prime Minister Modi has made sure that all Prime Ministers are treated with respect. Prasad further asserted that the Congress’ criticism was nothing more than a “courtier’s complaint”.