Former President Pranab Mukherjee, considered ‘encyclopaedia’ in contemporary Indian politics, was the last pillar of the generation of politicians advocating the Laxman Rekha of democratic and constitutional decorum. Who was a strong advocate of keeping the system of governance with constitutional ethics, along with the vibrancy of democracy, also had the image of a troubleshooter in politics. For more than five decades, he made a unique identity in the politics of the country but lived it till the last moment, not politics.
Pranab Mukherjee had deep faith in democratic values
Pranab Mukherjee, who gave a break to politics by taking the journey of life starting from the footpaths of his village in West Bengal, always followed the limits of governance and politics, but never hesitated to question the flaw. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s definition of democracy has always been ideal for himself in politics. Pranab Mukherjee, who remained steadfast in the political ideology of the Congress throughout his life, was beyond party boundaries. The Modi government’s decision to honor him with the country’s highest civilian honor ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 2019 is the biggest example of this.
Rashtrapati Bhavan opened for common citizens for the first time
As a president, many of Pranab Mukherjee’s steps will also be an example for his successors in Raisina Hills. He left his indelible mark in the Rashtrapati Bhavan with his high intellectual property of history and heritage. Wrote many golden chapters in his presidency during his presidency, ranging from closing the address of ‘His Majesty’ with deep faith in democratic values to opening the doors of Rashtrapati Bhavan to ordinary citizens.
His Majesty’s address began to prick Pranab Mukherjee as soon as he reached Raisina as President. He believed that this word is such a legacy of the feudal British era, which is not appropriate for the President of the Indian Republic. Pranab Mukherjee, who gave highest consideration to the voice of the public in a democracy, opened the door of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the common citizens for the first time. Because of this, tourists come to see the Rashtrapati Bhavan, whose doors were never opened for them.
Record set for pending mercy petitions
The President has a very limited role in governance but has some such privileges as constitutional head. In this, the verdict on the mercy petition against the death penalty is an important right. When Pranab Mukherjee took over as President in 2012, the politics was hot about the pending mercy petitions. But the pace with which Pranab disposed of the mercy petitions while making the record was well appreciated.
On two occasions, the Prime Minister’s chair kept coming to Pranab Mukherjee
Pranab Mukherjee, who has witnessed many rounds of peak to zero and zero to top politics in politics, remembered his journey to the top constitutional post of President as the golden period. Mukherjee was also part of the frontline of the party for more than four decades in the politics of Congress. But the attitude of politics was such that on two occasions, the Prime Minister’s chair kept coming to Pranab da. Despite being the most senior and strong contender after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, she lagged behind Rajiv Gandhi. Because of this, his relationship with Rajiv Gandhi did not go well for a few years.
Pranab Mukherjee broke away from the Congress and formed his own party, but seeing the scope in politics outside the Congress, he returned to the party. The post of PM fell away from Pranab Mukherjee for the second time when in 2004 Dr. Manmohan Singh became the Congress choice for the Prime Minister. The special thing is that Pranab Mukherjee’s relationship with Congress President Sonia Gandhi was always in good faith. As the top leadership of the Congress, it was Sonia Gandhi who proposed Pranab Mukherjee’s name for the presidency.
Rao asks Hobby’s progress to write a diary
The grandfather of the then finance minister in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet was in the phase of his political transition when the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao opened the way for his summit. During this period, one day Rao suddenly called Dada and expressed his desire to come to his house to drink tea. The next day Rao reached his home in Greater Kailash. With discussions on tea, Rao asks Pranab about Hobby’s progress in writing his diary, then it turns out that Pranab Mukherjee had stopped writing it for some time.
The process of writing the diary continued till the last time
In fact, Pranab Mukherjee stopped writing in Delhi after being devastated by decades of diary pages with his books in the floods at that time. Rao advised Pranab Mukherjee to resume the old hobby of writing a diary. The next day a gift of diary and pen was sent to Pranab by Prime Minister Rao. With this gift of Rao, Pranab Mukherjee started the process of writing a diary which lasted till the last time.
A myriad of contemporary politics, governance and events in the diary
Pranab Mukherjee inherits the legacy of his diary to daughter Sharmishtha Mukherjee. Myriad tales of contemporary politics, governance and events have taken the form of a story, not just a word in Pranab Mukherjee’s diary. A few days later, Rao appointed Pranav as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. It was from here that his political journey took such a turn that the floor of the top constitutional post could not be lost by him. This story was narrated by Pranab Mukherjee himself to the journalists when he became President.
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