Modi government is bent on destroying Nehru’s legacy: Karan Singh on NMML Society rejig

Dr Karan Singh

New Delhi, Nov 7 : After the government removed Congress leaders from the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society (NLLMS), veteran leader Karan Singh described the move as “strange” and questioned the intent behind it.

Singh accused the BJP government of trying to destroy Nehru’s legacy. “The Centre’s action clearly shows that they are clearly determined to destroy the legacy of (India’s first prime minister) Jawaharlal Nehru. I react in shock over the development,” Singh told reporters.

Hitting back, BJP’s Amit Malviya said, “Dr Karan Singh should be gracious. Under Modi govt, he completed his terms as — President ICCR, Chancellor BHU, Member NMML executive council.”

“(Karan Singh) was reappointed as Chairman of Auroville Foundation (cabinet rank) with PM inaugurating its 50th year celebration. Why is he upset?” Malviya said.

The Centre’s action, Singh has alleged, clearly shows it is determined to destroy the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Union government has removed senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Karan Singh and Jairam Ramesh as members of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

Kharge also said that the centre was taking everything politically and it was unfortunate that Congress members were moved as members of the NMML.

Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, he said, “From the time this government came in five and half years ago, they first tried to convert this building into a museum that we opposed.”

Singh said they were assured that the present structure would not be touched and the museum would be built elsewhere in the Teen Murti Estate. “As long as they don’t distort this institution, we said it was fine. And now by this act of removing us from the committee. I am not quiet sure what their intention is,” he said.

“It seems strange that people whose antipathy for Jawaharlal Nehru is well known will be in the committee, and the people, like us, who have been involved with Nehru throughout our lives have been removed,” he said.

His remarks came after the government on Tuesday issued an order announcing the Prime Minister as the president of the society and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh as its vice-president.

“The central government has reconstituted the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) Society under rule 3 of the memorandum of association and rules and regulations of NMML society with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the president and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh as vice-president of the society,” the order said.

Besides Modi and Rajnath Singh, Union Ministers Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ramesh Pokhriyal, Prakash Javadekar, V. Muraleedharan and Prahlad Singh Patel, ICCR chairman Vinay Sahsrabudhhe, Prasar Bharti chairman A. Surya Prakash, secretaries of Expenditure, Culture and Housing and Urban Affairs, are its members.

Besides, the chairman of the UGC, representative of Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial fund, Raghvendra Singh, director of NMML and journalist Rajat Sharma are also the new members.

According to the order, the other members include Anirban Ganguly, policy researcher and author, Sachchinanda Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA, academic Kapil Kapoor, Lokesh Chandra, Vedic and Buddhist scholar, Makarand Pranjpe, academic, writer, Kishore Makwana, academic Kamlesh Joshipura, researcher Rizwan Kadri along with Sahasrabuddhe and Rai.

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