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Manmohan Singh urges PM Modi not to change ‘nature, character’ of Nehru library

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru belongs to whole of India, not just the Congress, says Manmohan Singh in letter.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2018 20:17 IST
Jawaharlal Nehru, freedom movement icon and India’s first prime minister.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to “change the nature and character” of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in Delhi, asking his government to respect “history and heritage”.

Jawaharlal Nehru belongs “not just to the Congress” but to the “entire nation,” Singh said in a letter to Modi written on August 24. Singh wrote the letter after reports that the government planned a museum for all prime ministers in the Teen Murti complex, where NMML is located.

Singh said during the six-year tenure of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on August 16, “there was absolutely no attempt made to change the nature and character of the NMML and the Teen Murti complex in any way. But sadly, that seems to be part of the agenda of the Government of India now.”

Singh said that “no amount of revisionism” can “obliterate” Nehru’s role and his contributions. “As Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji himself said in his moving speech to Parliament when Panditji passed away: ‘Such a resident may never grace Teen Murti again. That vibrant personality, that attitude of taking even the opposition along, that refined gentlemanliness, that greatness we may not again see in the near future. In spite of a difference of opinion we have nothing but respect for his great ideals, his integrity, his love for the country and his indomitable courage’.”

“Let us respect this sentiment and keep Teen Murti as a memorial to our first Prime Minister Pandit Nehru and leave the Teen Murti complex undisturbed as it is. This way we will be respecting both history and heritage,” said Singh.

“Jawaharlal Nehru belongs not just to the Congress but to the entire nation. It is in this spirit that I have written to you.”

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 13:56 IST