THE LEGACY of Jawaharlal Nehru may be a contested one these days but what’s not is how the iconic Nehru Memorial Museum and Library established in his name — as an autonomous institution under the Culture Ministry — has changed colours to reflect the change in Government.
Of the 152 events held at the NMML in an 18-month period, from January 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018, at least 50 involved the presence or participation of Union Ministers, a BJP chief minister, top RSS-BJP functionaries or think tanks linked to the ruling party, an analysis by The Indian Express has found. These include Amit Shah to Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar to Krishna Gopal, Yogi Adityanath to Mahesh Sharma.
In comparison, from January 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014, the last 18 months under the UPA, 265 events were held at NMML, where only one Union minister — the then Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh — participated in a discussion. There were at least 22 other events in that period when functionaries linked to the UPA — Harish Khare, Shivshankar Menon, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Mrinal Pande — marked their presence.
The change is perceived differently by the Congress and the BJP. The Congress says the institution is now “blatantly partisan,” while the BJP counters that it is now “bringing balance to thought” that has been “lopsided” for years at a prominent BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said there i...