By Tanaya Singh:
Well known as the “man of all seasons”, for Mrs. Indira Gandhi, 76-year-old Pranab Mukherjee is the current president of India. Born into a middle class family in Birbhum district of West Bengal, he grew up in political surroundings with his father Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee being a member of the Indian National Congress. Politics, was thus in the soul of the next Rashtrapati Bavan resident, leading to a life of remarkable knowledge about economics and parliamentary affairs.
After having obtained degrees in history, political science and law, Mukherjee commenced his career as an upper-division clerk in the office of the Deputy Accountant-General (Post and Telegraph). After this, he moved on to work as a college teacher and then a journalist. The joining dots on his career graph undoubtedly give a clear picture of the immense experience and cognition earned throughout.
The year 1969 marked the beginning of Pranab Mukherjee’s political career, when his natural endowment was recognized by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. The successful campaign for Krishna Menon, gave him a place in the Congress leader’s eyes who asked him to be in her party and he got a seat in Rajya Sabha in July, 1969. Following the post of minister for revenue and banking, which he acquired in 1973, Pranab collected a variety of portfolios in his account during the past 30 years. India witnessed a sharp financial growth under his leadership as the Finance minister from 1982 to 1984 and this gave him the honour of being rated one of the best finance ministers in the world by Euromoney magazine.
The steep rise of his political career got a slight dent after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, when he had to leave the party due to conflict over succession to the PM’s chair. Before re-joining, Pranabda started his own party called the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress, which was unable to gather the required support. He went through difficult times, but then came back with a never to return spirit.
13 turned out to be a very lucky number for the presidential poll winner, who lived at the 13, Talkatora Road ignoring all superstitious warnings and also got married on the 13th of July, 1957, to Mrs. Suvra Mukherjee, now our first lady. Blessed with two sons and a daughter, Pranab Mukherjee is a man of great honour. His vast accumulation of knowledge, experience and the wisdom of 43 long years in politics, now paves a way fenced with great expectations as he takes the chair of India’s 13th president.