Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that a grand museum for all former prime ministers will be built in Delhi and called on the families and friends of the former PMs to share aspects of their lives. The project had been in the offing since last June when the Culture Ministry formed three high-powered panels for its implementation.
PM Modi made the announcement on Wednesday at the launch of a book on former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar. "There will be a museum for all former Prime Ministers who have served our nation. I invite their families to share aspects of the lives of former PMs be it Charan Singh ji, Deve Gowda ji, IK Gujral ji and Dr. Manmohan Singh ji," he said.
PM Modi also said there is a section of the political class that maligned certain former prime ministers. The museum, he said, is to bring forth a "new political culture" that would go beyond "political untouchability".
"They were intentionally erased from memory of people," PM Modi said, adding that there were efforts made by certain people to create a perception that Chandra Shekhar was funded by businessmen. Chandra Shekhar, India's eighth prime minister, served from 1990 to 1991.
"This Prime Minister sleeps at meetings. That Prime Minister backstabs. All these prime ministers were given titles so that the world doesn't get to know of their work and their legacy," PM Modi said.
The project was officially announced last July by Shakti Sinha, director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library after a meeting chaired by then-Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The museum will be located at Delhi's Teen Murti Estate, the official residence of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru that houses the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, or NMML, in his memory.
The project was viewed suspiciously by the Congress that believes the move to build a museum for all prime ministers at the 250-acre estate rather than a new location is an effort to erode Jawaharlal Nehru's legacy.
"It shall be technologically modern museum... We shall use the best technology available," Mr Sinha had said about the Rs 280-crore project. The government wants the museum to be the first in the country to introduce the augmented reality technology.
"The rendition of the Prime Ministers in life scale, coming close to reality, is of essence," said an NMML official document last year, inviting companies to take up the project.
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