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Centre replaces dissenting NMML society members with Arnab Goswami, 3 others

Goswami, S Jaishankar, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Ram Bahadur Rai replaced Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Nitin Desai, Udayan Mishra and BP Singh.

SNS | New Delhi |

Republic TV managing director Arnab Goswami is among the people who have replaced four members of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) society who were critical of the government’s decision to set up a museum for all prime ministers in New Delhi’s Teen Murti complex.

According to Economic Times, the Centre approved the membership of Goswami, former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, and chairman of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts Ram Bahadur Rai.

In its 29 October notification, the Union Ministry of Culture also accepted the resignation of academic Pratap Bhanu Mehta. Besides Mehta, the names that have been removed from the society include economist Nitin Desai, professor Udayan Mishra and former bureaucrat BP Singh.

Both Singh and Mishra had protested against the Centre’s decision questioning the location and expressing their concern over how a museum to all PMs could make states set up museums for all their Chief Ministers.

The notification states that the changes and acceptance of resignation has been made with the approval of the Prime Minister. The term of the new members will be till 25 April 2020.

Slamming the move, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told The Economic Times that the four members who have been replaced were men of integrity and scholarship.

In August this year, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to leave Teen Murti Bhavan “undisturbed”.

In a strongly-worded letter to the PM, Singh wrote that the NMML is dedicated to the memory of India’s first Prime Minister and “prime architect of the Indian nation-state” and warned that “no amount of revisionism can obliterate” the role and contributions of the former Indian PM “who left behind an indelible imprint on our country and indeed on the world”.

Read More: Manmohan Singh writes letter to PM Modi, tells him to leave Nehru Memorial undisturbed

But in September, the Directorate of Estates of the Union Ministry of Urban Development asked the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund to vacate the Teen Murti Bhavan. The order was stayed by the Delhi High Court on 1 November.