Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has urged incumbent Narendra Modi to leave the Teen Murti memorial, dedicated to the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru, undisturbed out of respect for history and heritage.
The former prime minister's comments came amid reports that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central Government is planning to turn the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) into a memorial for all the prime ministers of the country.
In a letter to his successor, Singh said, “The NMML is dedicated to the memory of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and prime architect of the Indian nation-state, who left behind an indelible imprint on our country and indeed on the world. His distinctiveness and greatness have been acknowledged even by his political opponents and rivals.”
Singh added that during the six-year tenure of late former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, there was no attempt made to change the nature and character of the NMML and Teen Murti complex. However, Singh stressed that the same is now an agenda of Prime Minister Modi's government.
Urging Prime Minister Modi to keep NMML a centre of first-rate scholarship and professional excellence, Singh continued, “The museum itself must retain its primary focus on Jawaharlal Nehru and the freedom movement, because of his unique role having spent almost ten years in jail between 1920s and 1940s. No amount of revisionism can obliterate that role and his contributions.”
Quoting Vajpayee's speech in Parliament when Nehru passed away, Singh further said, “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’.”
Singh further said, Nehru not only belonged to the Congress but to the entire nation. Singh also requested Modi to respect the sentiment and keep the Teen Murti memorial undisturbed. “This way we will be respecting both history and heritage,” Singh stated.
(With inputs from agencies)
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