UPA secures Teen Murti reins in hands of Gandhi family loyalist
While Dubey has sent his papers to the Culture Ministry, before quitting he has ensured that NMML director Mahesh Rangarajan was given a lease of life till he attains the age of 65. The move would allow Rangarajan, 50, to keep the position for another 15 years without needing to return to his parent organization – Delhi University.
The earlier practice was that the directors had a five-year tenure or they retired on the attainment of the age of 60. Rangarajan was appointed to the post a few years back after another family lackey Mridula Mukherjee bowed out following a controversial tenure. Famously known as Teen Murti house, NMML houses private papers of Jawaharlal Nehru and promotes research in history and social sciences through fellowships to researchers.
While it has given the nation some of its best intellectuals it has always been looked after by people close to the Nehru-Gandhi clan but for the brief interregnum during the NDA rule at the Centre. Teen Murti house incidentally was the official residence of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and on his death converted into a memorial containing museum, library and a planetarium.
The centre is an autonomous body under Ministry of Culture looked after a by a society which is chaired by the prime minister. The present composition of society includes Congress president Sonia Gandhi and several intellectuals, scholars and bureaucrats known to be close to the Nehru-Gandhi clan including Narender Modi baiter Prof UR Ananthamurthy and outgoing minister Jairam Ramesh, Rangrajan’s mentor. The society functions through the director who is member secretary and for day-to-day functioning he takes directions from executive council and the finance committee.
The present executive committee is headed by Congress MP Karan Singh and Dubey, is the secretary, his resignation is yet to be accepted. It has family followers like media moghul from Kerala like Mammen Mathew and former bureaucrat Nitin Desai as member. Dubey is also the secretary of the powerful finance committee and Desai its member. Sources said that move was also afoot to raise the retirement age for the deputy director too.
Sources said that the family doesn’t want the control over the centre to go as during the NDA regime the library was forced to take on record the private papers of some other leaders of the national movement especially from the non-Congress strain like Ram Manohar Lohia, VD Savarkar and Jaya Prakash Narayan. ‘It has managed to remain a Gandhi family fiefdom ever since its existence and would be difficult for Sonia Gandhi to hand it over to the Modi government on the platter,’ said a former fellow of the centre.