Former President Pranab Mukherjee Biography: Birth, Death, Early Life, Education, Family, Political Career, Awards, COVID-19, Brain Surgery and More
Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee died on 31 August 2020, at the age of 84, after battling a long illness. He was in a comatose state, but his vital parameters were stable as per the Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) Hospital. He was on ventilator support after he underwent brain surgery for the removal of a clot. Prior to surgery, he tested COVID-19 positive. He was treated at the Army's Research and Referral (R&R) hospital.
Sad to hear that former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee is no more. His demise is passing of an era. A colossus in public life, he served Mother India with the spirit of a sage. The nation mourns losing one of its worthiest sons. Condolences to his family, friends & all citizens.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 31, 2020
I was new to Delhi in 2014. From Day 1, I was blessed to have the guidance, support and blessings of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I will always cherish my interactions with him. Condolences to his family, friends, admirers and supporters across India. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/cz9eqd4sDZ
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 31, 2020
|Birth||December 11, 1935, in Mirati, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day Birbhum district, West Bengal, India).|
|Death||August 31, 2020|
|Known for||13th President of India|
|Political Party||Indian National Congress (1969–1986; 1989–2012)|
|Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress (1986-1989)|
|Parents||Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee (father)|
|Rajlakshmi Mukherjee (mother)|
|Awards||Bharat Ratna (2019)|
|Padma Vibhushan (2008)|
Pranab Mukherjee served as the 13th President of India from 2012 to 2017. He has been a senior Congress leader and has served on various ministerial posts. In the year 2019, Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, honoured him with India's highest civilian honour-- Bharat Ratna.
Pranab Mukherjee: Birth, Early Life and Education
Pranab Mukherjee was born on December 11, 1935, in Mirati, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day Birbhum district, West Bengal, India) to Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee (father) and Rajlakshmi Mukherjee (mother). His father was active during Indian Independence movement and was also a member of West Bengal Legislative Council during 1952-1964 as an Indian National Congress representative.
Pranab Mukherjee did his schooling from Suri Vidyasagar College, Suri. He did his Masters in Political Science and History from the University of Calcutta. From the same university, he earned his LLB degree.
Pranab Mukherjee: Personal Life
On July 13, 1957, Pranab Mukherjee married Surva Mukherjee and the couple had two sons (Indrajit Mukherjee and Abhijit Mukherjee and a daughter (Sharmistha Mukherjee). His wife Surva migrated from Narail, Bangladesh to Kolkata when she was 10. She died on August 18, 2015, due to a cardiac arrest, at the age of 74.
His elder son Abhijit is a Congress MP from Jangipur, West Bengal and his daughter Sharmishtha is a Kathak dancer and a politician with Congress.
Pranab Mukherjee: Career
Prior to politics, he served as an upper-division Clerk in the Office of Deputy Accountant-General, Calcutta. In the year 1963, he joined Vidyanagar College, Kolkata as an Assistant Professor of Political Science. He also worked for Desher Dak (Call of Motherland) as a journalist.
In the year 1969, Mukherjee entered politics and managed the election campaign of V.K. Krishna Menon, an independent candidate. The then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, recognised his talents and offered him to join Congress, an offer he didn't reject. In 1969, Indira Gandhi helped him to become a member of Upper House of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha). In 1975, 1981, 1993 and 1999, he was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha.
Pranab Mukherjee became Indira Gandhi's most trusted lieutenants and a minister in her cabinet in 1973 and is often described as her 'man for all seasons'. He was also active during the controversial Emergency which was imposed on India for two years-- 1975-1977. From 1982 to 1984, Mukherjee served as the Finance Minister and appointed Manmohan Singh as the Governor of RBI.
In the year 1979, Mukherjee was appointed as the Deputy Leader of Indian National Congress in the Rajya Sabha. In 1980, he was appointed as the Leader of the House. In the absence of Prime Minister, he presided over the cabinet meetings.
However, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, he was sidelined from the Congress under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi (son of Indira Gandhi). He was expelled from the mainstream politics and was sent to the regional West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee.
Following his expulsion from the mainstream politics, Mukherjee formed Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress (RSC) in West Bengal which later merged with the Congress after a compromise with Rajiv Gandhi.
In 1991, after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, PV Narasimha Rao appointed Muukherje as the Deputy Chairman of the Indian planning commission. From 1995-1996, Mukherjee served as the External Affairs Minister in Narasimha Rao's cabinet.
It is believed that due to Pranab Mukherjee, the entry of Sonia Gandhi in politics was successful. In 1998-1999, after Sonia Gandhi became the President of Congress, Mukherjee was appointed as the General Secretary of the AICC. From 2000 until his resignation in 2010, Pranab Mukherjee served as the President of the West Bengal Congress.
In 2004, he became the Leader of the House in the Lower House of the Parliament (Lok Sabha). Before Manmohan Singh was appointed as the Prime Minister of India, it was speculated that Mukherjee will hold the top executive post-- Prime Minister.
In Manmohan Singh's Cabinet, Mukherjee held various posts such as Defence, Finance, External Affairs and more. He also headed the Congress Parliamentary Party and the Congress Legislative Party, having all the Congress MPs and MLAs.
Pranab Mukherjee: Retirement
Pranab Mukherjee retired from active politics and ended his affiliation with the Indian National Congress as he was running for President in 2012. On July 25, 2012, he became the President of India. In 2017, he did not run for re-elections and retired from politics citing age-related health complications. His term expired on July 25, 2017, and was succeeded as the President of India by Ram Nath Kovind.
Pranab Mukherjee: Death
On August 10, 2020, Pranab Mukherjee tested positive for COVID-19, prior to his brain surgery to remove the blood clot. On August 13, 2020, he was in a comatose state, but his vital parameters were stable as per the Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) Hospital.
On August 19, 2020, his health declined as he had developed a lung infection. On August 25, 2020, his renal parameters became slightly deranged. Since then, his condition started declining.
On August 31, 2020, the hospital stated that he was in septic shock since a day earlier caused by the lung infection. In the evening, his son Abhijit Mukherjee confirmed via Twitter about his death.
Pranab Mukherjee: Honours
1- Padma Vibhushan-- India's second-highest civilian award in 2008.
2- Bharat Ratna-- India's highest civilian award in 2019.
1- Bangladesh Muktijuddho Sanmanona-- Bangladesh Liberation War Honour in March 2013.
2- Grand Cross of National Order of the Ivory Coast-- highest state order of knighthood of the Ivory Coast in June 2016.
3- Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios II-- highest order of Merit awarded by Cyprus.
- Hon.Doctor of Letters degree by the University of Wolverhampton, the UK in 2011.
- Hon.D.Litt by Assam University in March 2012.
- Hon.D.Litt. by Visvesvaraya Technological University; Belgaum, Karnataka in 2012
- Hon.LL.D. by President of Bangladesh and Chancellor Md. Zillur Rahman at the University of Dhaka on 4 March 2013.
- DCL (Doctor of Civil Law) (honoris causa) by University of Mauritius on 13 March 2013.
- Hon.Doctorate by Istanbul University on 5 October 2013.
- Honorary Doctorate from the University of Calcutta in on 28 November 2014.
- Hon.Doctorate in Political Science by University of Jordan on 11 October 2015.
- Hon.Doctorate by Al-Quds University of Ramallah, Palestine on 13 October 2015.
- Hon. Doctorate by Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel on 15 October 2015.
- Hon.Doctorate by Kathmandu University, Nepal on 3 November 2016.
- Hon. Doctorate by Goa University on 25 April 2017.
- D.Litt.(Honoris Causa) by the Jadavpur University on 24 December 2017.
- Hon.D.Litt by University of Chittagong on 16 January 2018.
1- Best Finance Minister in World (1984)-- a survey by Euromoney magazine.
2- Finance Minister of Year for Asia (2010)-- Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for World Bank and IMF.
3- Finance Minister of Year (2010) by the Banker.
4- Honorary Citizenship of Abidjan, the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in June 2016.
Pranab Mukherjee: Books Written
- Midterm Poll
- Beyond Survival: Emerging Dimensions of Indian Economy - 1984
- Off the Track - 1987
- The saga of Struggle and Sacrifice - 1992
- Challenges before the Nation - 1992
- A Centenary History of the Indian National Congress - Vol. V: Volume-V: 1964-1984 - 2011
- Congress and the Making of the Indian Nation - 2011
- Thoughts and Reflections - 2014
- The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years - 2014
- Selected Speeches - Pranab Mukherjee - 2015
- The Turbulent Years: 1980 - 1996" - 2016
- The Coalition Years
Pranab Mukherjee: Offices held
- Union Minister of Industrial Development 1973–1974
- Union Minister of Shipping and Transport 1974
- Minister of State for Finance 1974–1975
- Union Minister of Revenue and Banking 1975–1977
- Treasurer of Congress Party 1978–79
- Treasurer of All India Congress Committee 1978–79
- Leader of House of Rajya Sabha 1980–85
- Union Minister of Commerce and Steel and Mines 1980–1982
- Union Minister of Finance 1982–1984
- Board of Governors of International Monetary Fund 1982–1985
- Board of Governors of World Bank 1982–1985
- Board of Governors of Asian Development Bank 1982–1984
- Board of Governors of African Development Bank 1982–1985
- Union Minister of Commerce and Supply 1984
- Chairman; Campaign Committee of Congress-I for conducting National Elections to Parliament, 1984 Indian general election, 1991 Indian general election, 1996 Indian general election and 1998 Indian general election
- Chairman of Group of 24(a Ministerial Group attached to IMF and World Bank)1984 and 2009–2012
- President of State Unit of Congress Party 1985 and 2000–08
- Chairman of Economic Advisory Cell of AICC 1987–1989
- Dy Chairman of Planning Commission 1991–1996
- Union Minister of Commerce 1993–1995
- Union Minister of External Affairs 1995–1996
- President, SAARC Council of Ministers Conference 1995
- General Secretary of AICC 1998–1999
- Chairman of Central Election Coordination Committee 1999–2012
- Leader of House of Lok Sabha 2004–2012
- Union Minister of Defence 2004–2006
- Union Minister of External Affairs 2006–2009
- Union Minister of Finance 2009–2012
- President of India 25 July 2012 – 25 July 2017.