In a political career spanning six decades, President Pranab Mukherjee occupied every single position of power and eminence, but one. Based purely on merit, experience and political acumen, there was never a more suitable candidate for India’s Prime Ministership in the Congress party.
He will never admit to it, but Congress was the wrong party for such an eminent politician. In the living, functional lot, Pranab Mukherjee’s contribution to Indian politics has no parallel. He announced himself in 1969 when Indira Gandhi helped him get elected to Rajya Sabha on a Congress ticket. The iron lady recognized the potential she saw in the young Bengali man and displayed enough political opportunism by tying his fate to Congress early on.
Till the very end of his active political career, Pranab Mukherjee only served. He was the go-to man for the Congress, always pushed in the front to fire fight and face the heat. He did so successfully every single time, without any expectations. He was an old Congress soldier, unaffected by the flash and dash of a high-flying political career. He was grounded and full of wisdom. Even the opposition respected his opinion and sought his guidance periodically. He could have brought laurels to the country.
The Congress has kept the top job reserved for the Gandhis, and for those easy and weak enough to manipulate. Prime Ministership would have been the ultimate culmination to a glorious career, but making Manmohan Singh the PM was a political move, calculated right down to the finest details. He was neither fierce nor independent, he was simply an academician, forced to lead the country at the behest of backroom forces.
Pranab Mukherjee would have been far more self-determining, he would have exercised his mind and taken well-informed decisions. He would not have listened to every little demand put forth by the Gandhis. There would have been lesser scams, perhaps?
Pranab Mukherjee was the victim of political manipulation, engineered by Sonia Gandhi and her heir-apparent, Rahul Gandhi. It’s like an open secret!
Offering him the President’s post was prestigious, but hardly effective. A man of his repute and calibre should be better utilised. He should be there right at the forefront of Indian politics, steering the country towards stability and peace, not taking morning and evening strolls in the Mughal Garden.
His sense of duty is legendary and inspiring. The recent death of his wife left a huge hole in Pranab Mukherjee’s heart, but the President did not succumb to emotions. Suvra Mukherjee has been dealing with heart problems for a while. She finally surrendered to death and was laid to rest on August 19, 10.30 am.
By 12.30pm, the 79-year-old President was back at his desk at the Rashtrapati Bhavan to carry out his official duties.
Starting with paying homage to Shankar Dayal Sharma, the 9th President of India, on his birth anniversary on August 19, he proceeded to attend a briefing session with the External Affairs Ministry. He then went on to pay homage to Rajiv Gandhi at Vir Bhumi, the site of Gandhi’s memorial. Duty was always paramount.
He is behaving like a true President. He takes every opportunity to praise the Government for its various efforts while being loyal to his party of birth in spirit. A well-balanced man, Pranab Mukherjee inspires confidence and faith in Indian democracy. With men like him around, we can rest assured safe and sound.