MJ Akbar heads a quiet renovation of the Nehru Museum in NMML

(This story originally appeared in on July 9, 2019) NEW DELHI: While the controversial Prime Minister's Museum takes shape on the Teen Murti estate in the national capital, former Minister MJ Akbar is leading a silent renovation of the Nehru Memorial Library and Museum.

Akbar, a member of parliament and vice president of the executive board of NMML, had to resign to MoS for external affairs in October 2018 after accusations of sexual harassment denounced him.

It is said that Akbar, who is the author of a biography of the first Prime Minister of India entitled Nehru: The Making of India, is actively involved in the editing and examination of all written literature on Nehru to be displayed in the museum.

The renovated Nehru Museum will see exhibits in more than 20 rooms on two floors of the building. The ground floor is expected to open with exhibitions about the great moments of Nehru's life until 1947, including his time at the Harrow School in London, his first photo wearing a khadi attire, his Purna Swaraj speech in 1929, anecdotes from his days in prison and his famous speech Tryst With Destiny.

It also proposes a sampling of various aspects of Nehru's personal life from childhood in Anand Bhawan of Allahabad until his death in 1964. An exhibition on the period of crisis of 1946-47, the challenges Nehru faced as PM, how Gandhiji and Nehru worked together for peace and the integration of the princely states with the Indian Union by Nehru and Sardar Patel will be among the exhibits, according to Akbar suggestions

The museum will feature other heroes such as Subhash Chandra Bose and Maulana Azad and members of the first Cabinet. A main exhibit will present the Great Generation, a virtual gallery representing Nehru and his contemporaries from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Akbar, as vice president and biographer of the first prime minister, proposed a design plan for the Nehru Museum and was approved earlier, said NMML director Shakti Sinha to ET. Civil works started last year. There is a large amount of written material that will be included as part of the renewal and Akbar is closely involved in editing and deleting these. They will be taken back to the executive council for approval and will then be installed in the museum.

Akbar did not respond to inquiries from ET seeking their views.