Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya (Museum of Prime Ministers) on Thursday, April 14. The museum is located in the Nehru Museum building in Teen Murti Marg in Delhi. The total span of the museum is 15,600 square meters and the construction cost was Rs 271 crore.
The museum’s exhibits highlight both the achievements and controversies that took place during the tenures of India’s 13 former prime ministers. One has to pay Rs 100 for tickets if bought online, Rs 110 for offline tickets and foreigners will be charged Rs 750.
Let’s learn more about the ideation, exhibits and controversy surrounding the newly inaugurated museum.
Whose idea was it?
The idea for the creation of the museum was driven by Prime Minister Modi. The main reason behind its establishment was to honor the contribution of all the Prime Ministers of India to nation building. It was approved in the year 2018.
What’s in the museum?
Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya (Museum of Prime Ministers) features technology-based interfaces and has 7.5 hours of immersive curated content. The latest technology includes levitation, robotic hologram, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), multi-touch, multimedia, interactive kiosks, automated kinetic sculptures, smartphone applications, interactive screens and so on.
There are a total of 43 galleries. In addition to a photo of PM Modi at the beginning of the new block in the Nehru Museum building, there are exhibits of all the former 13 PMs, starting at Lal Bahadur Shastri and ending at Manmohan Singh. There is no segment on PM Modi. At the entrance to the museum, a 3D printed National Emblem can be seen spinning in the sky. The museum can accommodate about 4,000 people at a time.
A little more about the details of the exhibits…
The exhibits highlight the achievements and other details of the tenures of 13 former Prime Ministers of India.
Jawaharlal Nehru’s exhibition includes glimpses of his living room and bedroom, in addition to his memorable speeches. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s exhibition includes segments on Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’s policies, the Tashkent Agreement and his speeches on AIR (All India Radio).
Indira Gandhi’s exhibition is about the 1971 war, the emergency, Pokhran 1, and uprisings in Punjab and Assam.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s exhibition tells us about a section devoted to Operation Shakti, Golden Quadrilateral, his bus ride to Lahore and so on.
What are the information sources for the exhibits?
The sources for information are Prasar Bharati, Doordarshan, Film Division, Sansad TV, Ministry of Defense, Toshakhana of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, media reports and families of Prime Ministers.
Who attended the inauguration of the museum and who did not?
Union Minister of Culture GK Reddy; Culture Ministers Meenakshi Lekhi and Arjun Ram Megwal, Chairman of the Executive Board of Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML), Nripendra Mishra, as well as the relatives of several former Prime Ministers including Lal Bahadur Shastri, Morarji Desai, PV Narasimha Rao, Charan Singh and so forth. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Gandhi families were absent.
What is the controversy surrounding it?
Teen Murti Bhawan was the residence of India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru. When it turned out that the museum will be on the same campus, there were allegations that this was an attempt to dilute Nehru’s legacy. dr. Manmohan Singh even wrote to Prime Minister Modi about the same.
There were also allegations of plagiarism when it comes to the design.