Pranab Mukjerjee, Man for All Seasons, departs at 84

In Akhilesh Yadav

“The nation has lost her true jewel,” said Akhilesh Yadav in a condolence tweet as the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh mourned the demise of India’s ex-president and a veteran leader who commanded respect across the ideological spectrum, from right to centre left. Pranabda despite being a lifelong Congressman was admired by both BJP-RSS and Samajwadi leaders alike. The solidarity displayed by Samajwadi Party in presidential election of Pranab Mukherjee was pivotal in his victory.

His presidential years, however, would be remembered with a mixed emotion by observers as he straddled over the transition of power from the Manmohan Singh era to Narendra Modi age between 2012-2017.

Nalini Ranjan Mohanty, a veteran journalist and a JNU alumnus and Syedda Hamid pay tribute to the departed veteran with a fair amount of critical appreciation.

Pranab Mukjerjee (11 December 1935-31August 2020) as the quintessential high priest of consensual politics; he eschewed the politics of confrontation. He knew how to trim his sails to benefit from the secular\saffron winds blowing from the PMO in the South Block.

Remember, he was a great votary of license-permit raj in the Indira era but he quickly transitioned to being a champion of the liberalisation when Narasimha Rao-Manmohan Singh duo set the process in.

The chameleon-like approach may have exposed Pranab da to the charge of opportunism, but he did not care; after all, he never nursed an ambition to to be remembered by the posterity for his principled politics.

All that mattered to him was political success and he was ready to go to any length to achieve it.

He was an astute player; he entered into the charmed circle of Indira Gandhi effortlessly. He was, of course, shunned by Rajiv Gandhi when he expressed his high-vaunted ambition to become the Prime Minister after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, but he wormed his way back into Rajiv’s and then Sonia’s inner coterie.

It was a moment of heart-break for Pranab Da when Sonia prefered Manmohan to him as the Prime Minister. But as a seasoned politician he chose to be happy with prize ministerial berths; he became the External Affairs Minister, the Defence Minister and the Finance Minister in Manmohan Government.

Pranab Da knew that the prime ministership was out of his reach; so he aspired for the next best position in the Indian politics — to be the President of India.

His non-confrontational politics had always helped him to reach out to many non-Congress parties.

We know how, as President, Pranab Mukherjee endeared himself to the saffron establishment when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. We know how he remained a mute spectator — unlike President Narayanan or President Kalam or several other Presidents — when democratic and constitutional values were trampled upon brazenly.

Pranab Da was perhaps hoping for a second term as President, but Narendra Modi did not oblige. Then there was nothing much to complain; Pranab da led a life full of success and glory. We must bid adieu to an elder statesman who accomplished almost everything he had set out for himself!

A first rate opportunist who always had a rich faculty of seeing the side of bread which was buttered and accordingly got himself actuated

It was not because of Mamata Banerjee that Sonia Gandhi chose Pranab Mukherjee as Congress nominee for the post of President of India. In fact Mamata Banerjee suggested two names for the post of President – Gopal Gandhi or Krishna Bose. Even after Sonia Gandhi picked Pranab Mukherjee as Congress nominee Mamata Gandhi took some time to declare her support.

And, the man behind the flourish of Ambani… The kingmaker

Rest in peace and power

#PranabMukherjee, Lest we forget :

1. First President of India who visited Israel.

2. First former President of India to address an RSS event at RSS headquarters in Nagpur

3. Hailed RSS founder Hedgewar as ‘great son of India’ stating :

“Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India,”

The same RSS founder Hedgewar a who said Muslims are ‘Yavana snakes’, who should be seen with suspicion.

4. Rejected 30 mercy petitions as President including the mercy pleas of Yakub Memon.

5. He was 84 yrs old, lived his entire life cycle that too “comfortably” and even in his last days the best medical aid has been provided which many can only dream off in times of Pandemic

Have just stated FACTS as they are, not commenting anything on him personally though.

And his worst contribution–He signed the Beef ban bill thus becoming a crucial link in the lynchings which followed.

Can almost forgive him for everything else but can never ever forgive him for Bootlicking the Boot lickers !!!

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