A Museum Dedicated To All The Prime Ministers Of The Country
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya’, a state-of the-art museum dedicated to all the prime ministers of the country since independence. The Sangrahalaya, located at the iconic Teen Murti complex, was inaugurated as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav — a 75-week celebration launched to mark 75 years of Independence. The Congress leaders opposed the government’s decision and called it an attempt to dilute the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru. The govt. outrightly rejected it.
The idea of a museum dedicated to India’s Prime Ministers was mooted in 2016 and was approved in 2018. The Congress opposed the idea, since Teen Murti Estate was Nehru’s residence, which was later turned into a memorial to the first Prime Minister. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) was appointed the nodal agency for the project in May 2019. Delays in civil works and content and curation issues, as well as disruptions caused by pandemic lockdowns resulted in the project missing the completion deadline of October 2020.
The 10,491-sq-m museum, built at a final cost of Rs 306 crore, has 43 galleries, and can accommodate 4,000 visitors at a time. From the freedom struggle to the framing of the Constitution, the museum will have displays that showcase stories of how the respective Prime Ministers steered the nation. The logo of the Sangrahalaya, meanwhile, shows hands holding the dharma chakra, symbolising the nation and democracy. The museum will have exhibits related to the former PMs such as rare photographs, speeches, video clips, newspapers, interviews and original writings on display. The Culture Ministry officials said that appropriate space had been allocated to galleries of 14 former PMs proportionately according to their term in the office. Personal items, gifts and memorabilia like medals, commemorative stamps, speeches of PMs and anecdotal representations of ideologies will be on display at the museum. The Sangrahalaya will use holograms, virtual reality, augmented reality, multi-touch, multimedia, interactive kiosks, computerised kinetic sculptures, smartphone applications, interactive screens, experiential installations etc, to make the exhibition content interactive.
The Sangrahalaya will also include the Nehru Museum. Officials have said it has been upgraded with a technologically advanced display to showcase the life and contributions of the country’s first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru. Several gifts received by him from all over the world are on display for the first time. Two new galleries—Constitution Gallery and India at Independence : British Legacy— have been added on the ground floor.
Over the last two years, families of all former Prime Ministers were requested to give some of their personal items for display. Shastri’s family gave his charkha, badminton racquet and some letters; Morarji’s family donated his copy of the Bhagavad Gita, his Gandhi topi, pen, and rudraksh mala. Some handwritten diaries of Chandra Shekhar are on display, as are Vajpayee’s Bharat Ratna medal, spectacles, wrist watch, and some letters. No new personal items have been added in the Indira and Rajiv galleries. Families were requested for valuable information about the leaders; most of this content has been acquired on perpetual licence.
The museum is a great source of inspiration for all of us as it reflects a strengthening democracy in a proud way. The contribution by all PMs is highly commendable and incredible displayed here. The museum is a living example for our posterity to showcase India’s journey via all PMs. “In the coming years, whatever names will be added to PM Sangrahalaya will represent the energy and strength of New India. At a time when the whole world is looking up to India with hope, we have to deliver and reach new heights in the next 25 years”. Modi said.