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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 17 New Delhi April 14, 2018

On the Condition of Nehru Memorial at Teen Murti Bhavan

Saturday 14 April 2018


We are concerned about the condition of the memorial of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru which is located in New Delhi’s Teen Murti Bhavan. We feel sad to note that the Teen Murti Bhavan is in a condition which raises several questions about transparency and accountability of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

For some months now, the Teen Murti Bhavan has been hosting an exhibition on two Prime Ministers, Atal Behari Vajpayee and P.V. Narasimha Rao. There is no objection to an exhibition on the two esteemed leaders but for the fact that the exhibition is being held in the same place which used to host the artefacts associated with Prime Minister Nehru. We do not know in what condition those precious artefacts are kept at present. Though the Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library has indicated that he remains committed to preserving Jawaharlal Nehru’s artefacts, the scene on the ground tells another story as no one can give a clear answer about what happened to the artefacts associated with Mr Nehru. We, the people of this nation, need to know what is the present status of the goods associated with Mr Nehru’s memory.

That apart, and on an even more serious note, it has come to our notice that a new round of building activities is to begin in the premises of the Teen Murti Bhavan. Workers who are working on the site have stated that two big structures would be built in the front lawn of the present Teen Murti Bhavan and on its back yard.

Both the lawns are essential parts of the iconic building which needs to be preserved. It appears that the two new buildings will rise in such a way which will erase the present Teen Murti Bhavan from public view, forever. This will also entail cutting down of the great greenery of that complex.

Please note that carrying out such large scale construction activity in the same region will cause serious damage to the building which is already facing a series of unnecessary renovation work that has left the building totally bruised from inside.

Thirdly, we want to highlight the unnecessary renovation work which is going on in the building for several months. Given the historic value of the beautiful structure, any renovation work should have been carefully executed after due consultation. Instead, we find mindless digging and wiring being laid due to which the façade of the building is simply being destroyed.

These developments in the Teen Murti Bhavan have led to the defacement of this important monument and, if allowed to go ahead, these new buildings will ultimately destroy the way the building exists at present.

We urge every citizen of India to be aware that such a beautiful and important monument is being ill-treated by the authorities who were supposed to look after this place. We hope the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library will address our concern by ensuring that no further construction work will be allowed in the premises of the monument.

Finally, we urge for a public scrutiny of the Nehru Memorial in the Teen Murti Bhavan so that the people are made aware of the negative developments which are harming this historic building.

Barun Das Gupta, Sankar Ray, Bharat Dogra, Harsh Kapoor, Sumit Chakravartty

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