As William Penn once said, “For death is no more than a turning point of us over from time to eternity”, Former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, called Pranab Dada all over the country, bears testimony to it. He might have left for his heavenly abode on the 31st of August this year, but he continues to live in our hearts and minds via the footprints he left on the sands of time. And I believe, those footprints should be followed by all. Many might have learned politics from him, but the journey of his life is nothing short of a worthy-to-inspire lesson.
Pranab Mukherjee, The Beginning
Starting with probably, the most humble of backgrounds and upbringing, he went on to become the First Citizen of India. The political graph of Mr. Mukherjee had several ups and downs until Smt. Indira Gandhi took him under her wings. He reached his maximum glory then. He excellently worked as the supreme of any ministry he was assigned; be it Defence or Finance or External Affairs.
My father often shared lesser known anecdotes of him. Mukherjee never stopped dreaming to become what he wanted to. He strived and struggled until he completed his education. With a family of freedom fighters and people who wanted the betterment of India, Mr. Mukherjee was sure to follow them. And that he did!! Probably, the most liked politician India ever produced, after APJ Abdul Kalam Sir.
The biggest stereotype lies in the vague responsibilites assigned to the President, according to the Constituition. Mukherjee proved via his active participation, excellency in bureaucracy and sharp wit that these are but some false pre-conceived notions. He made a mark as the President by democratising presidency, promulgating and re-promulgating ordinances, exposing Rashtrapati Bhavan to the realm of social media, creating a musuem, launching initiatives for children and senior citizens of the country, along with In-Residence programs, and many more. Mukherhee’s initiatives of e-governance and several developmental steps for the Presidenyial Estate are also note-worthy.
It had been always a latent wish of my family to visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The granduer of the famous building always attracted our attention, and never did it fail to awe us. Mr. Mukherjee started this flicker in our hearts by opening up the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the public. The beauty of the building and the Mughal Gardens are sure to freeze you on spot.
Mr. Mukherjee might have been an excellent democrat. But none can let go of the fact that he was a dedicated and passionate teacher. He was the first head of state to teach school children. A man of such valour, talent and probably the sharpest of minds, yet so grounded he was!! He might not be with us today, but the essence of Mukherjee will linger among us Bangalis and Indians, as a whole, forever. May his soul rest in peace!!