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Murad Yakushev
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How Pranab Mukherjee's Books Reveal His Journey from a Minister to a President

Book Authored By Pranab Mukherjee: A Glimpse into the Life and Legacy of India's Former President

Pranab Mukherjee was one of the most influential and respected political figures in India. He served as the 13th President of India from 2012 to 2017, after a long and illustrious career as a minister, parliamentarian, and leader of the Indian National Congress. He was also a prolific writer, who authored several books on his personal and professional experiences, his views on various national and international issues, and his vision for India's future.

Book Authored By Pranab Mukherjeel

In this article, we will explore some of the books written by Pranab Mukherjee, and how they offer a glimpse into his life and legacy. We will focus on four books that cover four different phases of his political journey: The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years, The Turbulent Years: 1980-1996, The Coalition Years, and The Presidential Years: 2012-2017. These books are not only memoirs, but also historical accounts, analytical essays, and personal reflections on India's evolution as a democracy.

The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years

The first book by Pranab Mukherjee, published in 2014, chronicles his experiences during the 1970s, when he was a close associate of Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. This decade was marked by many dramatic events that shaped India's destiny, such as the Bangladesh Liberation War, the Emergency, the Janata Party government, and the return of Indira Gandhi to power.

The rise and fall of Indira Gandhi and her impact on Indian politics

Pranab Mukherjee describes how Indira Gandhi emerged as a powerful leader after the death of her father Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister. He praises her courage and conviction in taking bold decisions, such as nationalizing banks, abolishing privy purses, conducting nuclear tests, supporting Bangladesh's independence, and launching the Green Revolution. He also acknowledges her flaws and mistakes, such as imposing Emergency in 1975, curtailing civil liberties, alienating her party colleagues, and losing the 1977 elections. He analyzes how Indira Gandhi's personality and policies influenced Indian politics, society, and economy, and how she left a lasting imprint on the nation's psyche.

Pranab Mukherjee's role as a loyal minister and troubleshooter

Pranab Mukherjee narrates how he became a trusted aide of Indira Gandhi, and how he rose from being a Rajya Sabha member to a Cabinet minister. He recalls his various portfolios, such as Finance, Commerce, Steel, and External Affairs, and how he handled various challenges and crises. He also reveals his role as a troubleshooter, who mediated between Indira Gandhi and her rivals, allies, and adversaries. He shares his personal rapport with Indira Gandhi, and how he learned from her leadership style and political acumen.

The challenges and achievements of the decade

Pranab Mukherjee evaluates the successes and failures of the decade, and how they affected India's development and democracy. He highlights the achievements, such as strengthening national security, enhancing food security, expanding social welfare, promoting regional cooperation, and fostering national integration. He also admits the failures, such as violating human rights, undermining institutions, creating economic imbalances, and provoking social unrest. He argues that the decade was a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges, and that it taught India many valuable lessons.

The Turbulent Years: 1980-1996

The second book by Pranab Mukherjee, published in 2016, covers his experiences during the 1980s and 1990s, when he witnessed many changes and upheavals in Indian politics. This period was marked by the assassination of Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi, the emergence of coalition governments, the rise of regional parties, the Mandal-Mandir controversies, and the economic reforms.

The return of Indira Gandhi and her assassination

Pranab Mukherjee recounts how Indira Gandhi made a remarkable comeback in 1980, after losing the 1977 elections. He describes how she regained her popularity and confidence, and how she tackled various issues, such as terrorism in Punjab, separatism in Assam, communalism in Gujarat, and foreign policy challenges. He also narrates the tragic events of October 31, 1984, when Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards. He expresses his shock and grief over her death, and how it affected him personally and politically.

Pranab Mukherjee's break with the Congress and his comeback

Pranab Mukherjee reveals how he had a fallout with Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi's son and successor, over various matters. He explains how he felt sidelined and humiliated by Rajiv Gandhi's coterie, and how he decided to form his own party, the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress (RSC), in 1986. He admits that his party failed to make an impact in West Bengal politics, and that he realized his mistake of leaving the Congress. He also recounts how he reconciled with Rajiv Gandhi in 1989, and how he rejoined the Congress after Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in 1991.

The coalition era and the changing dynamics of Indian democracy

Pranab Mukherjee analyzes how Indian politics underwent a transformation in the 1990s, with the decline of the Congress dominance and the emergence of coalition governments. He discusses the various factors that contributed to this change, such as the rise of regional parties, the assertion of caste identities, the mobilization of religious sentiments, the fragmentation of votes, and the erosion of ideologies. He also assesses the performance and stability of the coalition governments led by V.P. Singh (1989-1990), Chandra Shekhar (1990-1991), P.V. Narasimha Rao (1991-1996), H.D. Deve Gowda (1996-1997), and I.K. Gujral (1997-1998). He argues that coalition politics posed many challenges but also offered many opportunities for India's democracy.

The Coalition Years

The Presidential Years: 2012-2017

The fourth and final book by Pranab Mukherjee, published in 2021, recounts his experiences as the 13th President of India from 2012 to 2017. This book gives an insider's view of the functioning of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President, and the role and responsibilities of the head of state in a parliamentary democracy.

Pranab Mukherjee's election as the 13th President of India

Pranab Mukherjee describes how he was nominated as the presidential candidate by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the ruling coalition led by the Congress, in 2012. He recalls how he faced a tough contest from P.A. Sangma, a former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, who was supported by some opposition parties. He also narrates how he campaigned across the country, seeking the support of various political parties and leaders. He expresses his gratitude to the people and the electoral college for electing him as the President with a thumping majority.

Pranab Mukherjee's vision and initiatives as the head of state

Pranab Mukherjee outlines his vision and initiatives as the President of India, and how he tried to uphold the dignity and sanctity of the office. He explains how he focused on four key areas: education, innovation, energy, and pluralism. He details how he launched various programs and projects to promote these areas, such as SmartGram, Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan, Innovation Clubs, and Festival of Innovations. He also highlights how he addressed various issues and challenges facing India, such as poverty, corruption, terrorism, climate change, and gender equality.

Pranab Mukherjee's interactions with the government, the opposition, and the people

Pranab Mukherjee shares his interactions with various stakeholders during his presidency, and how he maintained a cordial and constructive relationship with them. He reveals how he communicated with the Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi, and how he advised them on various matters. He also discloses how he dealt with some controversial situations, such as the imposition of President's rule in some states, the appointment of governors and judges, and the use of ordinance power. He also recounts how he reached out to the opposition parties, the civil society, and the common people through various platforms and events.

Conclusion: How Pranab Mukherjee's books reflect his personality, values, and legacy

In conclusion, Pranab Mukherjee's books are not only informative and insightful, but also reflective and introspective. They reveal his personality, values, and legacy as a politician and a statesman. They show his honesty and humility, his wisdom and wit, his courage and conviction, his loyalty and integrity. They also show his love for India and its people, his passion for democracy and development, his respect for diversity and pluralism. They are a valuable source of knowledge and inspiration for anyone interested in India's history and politics.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Pranab Mukherjee's books:

  • Where can I buy Pranab Mukherjee's books?

  • You can buy Pranab Mukherjee's books online from various platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, or Rupa Publications. You can also find them in bookstores or libraries near you.

  • What are some other books written by Pranab Mukherjee?

  • Some other books written by Pranab Mukherjee are Beyond Survival: Emerging Dimensions of Indian Economy (1984), Challenges Before The Nation (1993), Thoughts And Reflections (2014), Selected Speeches: Pranab Mukherjee (2015), etc.

  • What are some books written about Pranab Mukherjee?

  • Some books written about Pranab Mukherjee are The Man Who Made The President: A Biography Of Pranab Mukherjee by Pranab Roy (1982), Pranab Mukherjee: The All-Season Man by Sukhendu Sekhar Ray (2019), Citizen Mukherjee by Pranay Gupte (2020), etc.

  • What are some awards and honors received by Pranab Mukherjee?

  • Some awards and honors received by Pranab Mukherjee are Padma Vibhushan (2008), Bharat Ratna (2019), Bangladesh Liberation War Honour (2013), Best Parliamentarian Award (1997), Best Administrator in India Award (2011), etc.

  • What are some interesting facts about Pranab Mukherjee?

  • Some interesting facts about Pranab Mukherjee are: - He was a teacher and a journalist before joining politics. - He was a fan of cricket and football, and supported Mohun Bagan club. - He was fluent in Bengali, Hindi, English, and French languages. - He was fond of reading and writing, and had a personal library of over 10,000 books. - He was the first Indian President to visit Israel.



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