My cabinet colleagues, my senior Parliamentary colleagues, respected colleagues from various political parties, other dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen!
Today’s occasion has become even more special due to other reasons. Today the entire nation is commemorating Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar with utmost reverence on his birth anniversary. The Constitution of which Babasaheb was the chief architect, has given us the base for the parliamentary system. The main responsibility of this parliamentary system has been entrusted with the post of the country’s Prime Minister. I feel fortunate to have got the opportunity to dedicate the Prime Ministers’ Museum to the nation today. At a time when the country is celebrating 75 years of its independence, the ‘Amrit Mahotsav’, this museum has come as a great inspiration. In these 75 years, the country has seen various proud moments. The importance of these moments in the history is unparalleled. The glimpse of many such moments will also be reflected in the Prime Ministers’ Museum. I congratulate all the countrymen. A short while back, I also got the opportunity to meet all the colleagues associated with this project. Everyone has done a commendable job. I congratulate the entire team for the same. I can also see the families of former Prime Ministers here today. Greetings to all of you; welcome! This occasion of the inauguration of the Prime Ministers’ Museum has become all the more grand with the presence of all of you. Your presence has further enhanced the significance and relevance of the Prime Ministers’ Museum.
Every government formed after India’s independence had contributed in taking the country to its present glorious place. I have repeated this several times even from the ramparts of Red Fort. Today this museum has also become a living symbol of the shared heritage of each government. Every Prime Minister of the country has tried to take the country forward by overcoming the different challenges of his/her time. Everyone had a different personality, achievement and leadership. These are all in public memory. If the people of the country especially the youth – the future generations know and learn about all the Prime Ministers, they will get inspired. National poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar ji once wrote about the path of building future with the history and present. The meaning it defines is: ‘the glorious past that is ingrained in our cultural consciousness should resonate in the form of poetry.’ We should be able to replicate the glorious history of this country even in today’s context. The coming 25 years i.e. the period of ‘Azadi Ka Amritkal’ is very important for the country. I am sure that this newly constructed Prime Ministers’ Museum will also become an energy centre for building the future. What were the challenges faced by the leadership in different times? How they were dealt with? It will become a source of great inspiration for the future generations. Here, memorabilia like rare photographs, speeches, interviews, original writings related to the Prime Ministers have been placed.
When we look at the lives of the people who have held high positions in public life, it is a way of observing history. The events of their lives, the challenges they faced, and their decisions teach a lot. That is, in a way, as they lead their lives, the history too is being created simultaneously. Studying their lives is like studying history. The history of independent India can be known from this museum. We have taken an important step towards awakening the national consciousness by starting the celebration of Constitution Day a few years back. This is another pivotal step in the same direction.
Every Prime Minister of the country has contributed immensely in accomplishing the goals of constitutional democracy. Commemorating them is to learn about the journey of independent India. People coming here will be familiar with the contribution of the former Prime Ministers of the country, their background, their struggles and their creations. The future generation will also learn that in our democratic country different Prime Ministers belong to different backgrounds. It is a matter of great pride for us Indians that most of our Prime Ministers have been from very ordinary families. They were either from a remote countryside, or belonged to a very poor family or farmer’s family but were able to reach the post of Prime Minister. It helps in strengthening the faith in the great traditions of Indian democracy. It also gives confidence to the youth of the country that even a person born in an ordinary family can reach the topmost positions in the democratic system of India.
This museum holds as much of the future as it holds the past. This museum will take the people of the country on the journey of India’s development in a new way with a fresh direction, while taking them back in time; a journey where you will be able to closely watch the dream of a New India moving forward on the path of progress. There are more than 40 galleries in this building with a capacity of about 4,000 people. This museum will show the world the picture of India that is rapidly changing through virtual reality, robots and other modern technology. Through technology, you will feel as if you are really living in the same era, taking ‘selfies’ with the same Prime Ministers and interacting with them.
We should encourage more and more of our young friends to visit this museum. This museum will further expand their experiences. Our youth are capable and have the potential to take the country to new heights. The more they know about their country and the golden opportunities of independent India, the more they will be able to take appropriate decisions. This museum will serve as a gateway of knowledge, ideas, and experiences for the generations to come. The information they will get by coming here, the facts with which they will be familiar, will help them in taking future decisions. Students of history who want to do research will also benefit a lot by coming here. India is the Mother of Democracy. One of the greatest features of the Indian democracy is its constant change with the passage of time. In every era, in every generation, there has been a continuous effort to make democracy more modern and more empowered. Just as certain shortcomings creep into the society with the passage of time, in the same way, there are challenges in front of democracy from time to time. The beauty of Indian democracy is to keep on removing these shortcomings and to keep refining ourselves. And everyone has contributed in this. Barring a couple of exceptions, we have a proud tradition of strengthening democracy in a democratic way. Therefore, it is also our responsibility that with our efforts, we continue to strengthen democracy further. Whatever challenges are there in front of our democracy today, overcoming all those, let us move forward. The democracy expects this from us and the country too expects the same from all of us. Today’s historic occasion is also a great opportunity to reiterate our resolve to strengthen and enrich democracy. In India, there is an amalgamation of different ideas and different traditions.
And our democracy teaches us that it is not necessary that only one idea is paramount. We have grown up in that civilization in which it is said- ‘let noble thoughts come to us from all directions!’ Our democracy inspires us to accept innovation and new ideas. People visiting the Prime Ministers’ Museum will also get a glimpse of this power of democracy. There may be a consensus or disagreement over ideas; there may be different political streams; but in a democracy, the goal of everyone is the same – the development of the country. Therefore, this museum is not limited only to the achievements and contributions of the Prime Ministers. It is also a symbol of the deepening of democracy in the country despite all odds, of the robust democratic values that have flourished in our culture for thousands of years and the strong faith in the Constitution.
It is the responsibility of every nation to save its heritage and pass it on to the future generations. Our government is working relentlessly to bring the cultural splendour and all the inspirational events and personalities related to our freedom movement before the public.
Whether it is bringing back the stolen idols and artefacts to the country, rebuilding the old museums or building new museums; a massive campaign is going on continuously for the last 7-8 years. And there is a bigger motive behind these efforts. When our young generation sees this living symbol, it gets to know both facts as well as the truth. When one sees the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial, one realizes the importance of the freedom that he is enjoying. When one visits the Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museum, one comes to know how our tribal brothers and sisters living in the far- flung forests had contributed in every field and had sacrificed everything during the freedom struggle. When one visits the museum dedicated to the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle, a person realizes what it means to sacrifice one’s life for the country. Our government is fortunate to have got the opportunity to construct Babasaheb’s memorial at Alipur Road and the Mahaparinirvana Sthali of Babasaheb. The Panchteerths of Babasaheb Ambedkar that have been developed are centres of inspiration for social justice and unwavering patriotism.
This Prime Ministers’ Museum also celebrates the spirit of Sabka people. All of you must have observed its logo. The logo of the Prime Ministers’ Museum depicts ‘the hands of several Indians holding the dharma chakra together’. This chakra is a symbol of the perpetuity of 24-hours and of diligence for fulfilling the resolution of prosperity. This is the vow; this is the consciousness; this is the power that is going to define the development of India in the coming 25 years. We are all familiar with the glory of the India’s history as well as its period of prosperity. We have always been very proud of it. It is equally necessary that the world is properly acquainted with India’s heritage and her present. Today, when a new world order is emerging, the world is looking towards India with a hope and confidence. So, India needs to increase its efforts to reach new heights every moment. In such a scenario, these 75 years after independence, the tenure of Prime Ministers of India and this Prime Ministers’ Museum will continue to inspire us. This museum has the power to sow the seeds of having great resolves for India within us. This museum will inculcate a sense of accomplishment among the youth who are shaping the future of India. In the times to come, with the newer names and their work being added here, we all will be able to find comfort in realizing that the dream of a developed India is getting fulfilled. Now is the time to work hard for this. This period of ‘Azadi Ka Amritkal’ is all about concerted efforts. I urge the countrymen to come and visit this museum and to definitely bring their children here. With this invitation and the same request, I once again congratulate you all for the Prime Ministers’ museum. Thank you!
Highlight It is the responsibility of every nation to save its heritage and pass it on to the future generations. Our government is working relentlessly to bring the cultural splendour and all the inspirational events and personalities related to our freedom movement before the public.