Former President Pranab Mukherjee was an elder politician who has made many enduring contributions to the country’s progress in nearly five-decade civil life, directed governance and inspired youth towards perfection in academics and other fields.
“Dear friends, with a sense of gratitude and a prayer in my heart, I take leave of you. I leave with a sense of fulfilment and happiness of having served the people of this great country,” Pranab Mukherjee had said on the completion of his five-year term as the 13th President of India.
After a long battle for life, Mukherjee bid goodbye to the world, leaving the country heartbroken. He was a statesman known from his witty replies and a tremendous sense of humour that he often displayed in parliamentary sessions.
Let’s celebrate his life with some less-known facts about him.
- Apart from being a diplomat, Mukherjee was once a teacher. He taught Political Science at the Vidyanagar College in South 24 Paraganas, West Bengal, in 1963
- He had also worked as a reporter with a local Bengali newspaper, named Desher Dak.
- Mukherjee was introduced to politics in 1969 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who guided him to become a member at the Rajya Sabha.
- The Former President was known to be a compulsive workaholic. He worked for almost 18 hours a day and hardly takes any leaves.
- Mukherjee was the only minister to have handled four major ministries, defence, commerce, foreign and finance.
- In 1984, Mukherjee was voted the Best Finance Minister in the World by Euromoney magazine. He was the only Finance Minister to have presented seven budgets.
- After the demise of Indira Gandhi, Mukherjee had quit the Congress and formed his own political party, the Rashtriya Samajwadi Party.
- He was said to have kept a diary for the last 40 years. The writings were to be published posthumously, following the advice of Mukherjee himself.
- After becoming the 13th President of India, Mukherjee has refused seven mercy petitions including that of Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab.