Shri Pranab Mukherjee received the first copy of a book “President Pranab Mukherjee – A Statesman” on July 2, 2017 from Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and on July 25 Shri Narendra Modi presented the first copy of “Selected Speeches of President – Volume 4”, to Shri Pranab Mukherjee based on President Pranab Mukherjee ahead of his retirement.
The release of both the books were held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
On both the occasions,Prime Minister Narendra Modi lavished praise on President Pranab Mukherjee, saying he never judged his government’s decisions or compared them with those made by previous governments.
“I was surprised while working with Pranab Da for three years that despite having been a part of the government for so long, and that too in key decision-making positions, he never judged or compared my government’s decisions by his past experiences,” Modi said.
Modi said although he and the President came from entirely different political backgrounds and were nurtured by different ideologies, “Pranab Da never let me feel that”.”He always saw the decisions in the present context with the present realities,” Modi added.
Prime Minister Modi took the opportunity to appreciate working with him. He said, “It is my privilege that I got to work with Shri Pranab Mukherjee.” He took his time to remember the day when he came to Delhi and remembered how Pranab Mukherjee to care of him like a father. He said, “I will never forget that when I came to Delhi, I had someone like Pranab Da to guide me. Like a father figure, Pranab Da has guided me. He would tell me, Modi ji please take adequate rest, take care of your health.”
“It is my view that we can be more history-conscious as a society. We can preserve aspects of our history much better….Even today, to study about India our scholars have to go abroad and access the libraries there.” Said Modi while talking about the book, based on the outgoing President.
“The Presidency is much more than protocol. Through the photographs in the book, we see the human side of our President & we feel proud.” Modi further said, “Two pictures of Bapu, one with a broom and the other, seeing something through a microscope, shows what a diverse personality he had.”
The prime minister also said that his every interaction with President Mukherjee will serve as a guiding light in his life.
Speaking on these occasions, President Mukherjee said: “I have received much more from the country, than what I have given.” He also said that he was overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude to the people of India for the trust and confidence they reposed in him and humbled by their kindness and affection.
The President reminded the people of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy, and said the creation of an inclusive society had to be an article of faith.Gandhi wanted the people to move forward unitedly in “ever-widening” thought and action, he said, and stressed the need for focusing on the poor.
President Mukherjee said that in the last five years he learnt from his travels across the length and breadth of the country. “I learnt from conversations with young and bright minds in colleges and universities, scientists, innovators, scholars, jurists, authors, artists and leaders from across the spectrum. These interactions kept him focused and inspired,” he said.
On Sunday, members of Parliament organised a farewell ceremony for the outgoing president in the Central Hall.While addressing the august gathering, President Mukherjee said,“In these five years, my principal responsibility was to function as the guardian of the Constitution. As I had said on oath, I strived to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution, not just in word but also in spirit.”
“In this task, I greatly benefitted from the advice and co-operation extended by Prime Minister Modi at every step. With passion and energy, he is driving transformational changes in the country. I will carry with me fond memories of our association and his warm and courteous behaviour”,he added.
Though President Mukherjee came from a Congress background, he apparently shared a cordial relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government at the Centre.
President Mukherjee congratulated and extended a warm welcome to his successor Ram Nath Kovind and wished him success.