ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Concern for NMML

We, university teachers, research scholars, students and concerned academics who have used the resources of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), commend the outgoing director Mahesh Rangarajan for his outstanding work at this institution over the last four years. He belongs to that breed of institutional heads who function as great facilitators. They allow a diverse range of people with a plurality of perspectives to inhabit a space of academic research and intellectual exchange, expand the resources available to them, and give them full scope to rework disciplinary boundaries. As the Director of NMML, Mahesh Rangarajan was easily accessible to all. His was a rare, hands-on yet self-effacing leadership, which revitalised NMML’s connection with university teachers and young scholars and opened up its activities to a wider public.

At the outset, a widespread, and sometimes deliberate misconception has to be corrected. It is unjustified to assume that if a research institution is named after a particular individual—in this case Jawaharlal Nehru—the entire body of research and public activity around it is meant only to preserve his legacy. NMML’s collections and activities are not limited to Nehru’s legacy: in fact, the collection of papers, letters and interviews preserved there embraces an array of distinguished personalities across the spectrum of public life. Acquisitions stepped up rapidly over the last four years to include eminent figures such as the mathematician and historian D D Kosambi, scholar Amrita Rangasami, the Hindi journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik, the Hindi novelist and dramatist Upendranath “Ashk,” scientists such as Yash Pal, the naturalist M Krishnan, diplomats such as Rikhi Jaipal, Rashid Ali Bey and Subimal Dutt, the industrialist Rahul Bajaj, economists such as S Guhan and Arun Bose, and the literary scholar and activist G N Devy.

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