Parliamentarian, former Finance Minister, the 13th President of India and the man who served many more ministries at different times, Pranab Mukherjee has had a long and illustrious political career spanning several decades.
On his 83rd birthday, here are the details about his personal life, political career and achievements.
Pranab Kumar Mukherjee was born on 11 December, 1935 to a Brahmin family in Birbhum district of West Bengal.
His father, Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee, was a part of the Indian independence struggle movement and later, was a member of the Indian National Congress. Consequently, he went to jail several times for his involvement in the movement.
Mukherjee pursued his graduation, Masters in Political Science and History, and L.L.B from the University of Calcutta.
He married Suvra Mukherjee in 1957 and has two sons and a daughter, Abhijit, Indrajit, and Sharmistha.
He likes to read, listen to music and enjoys gardening.
Pranab Mukherjee Before Politics
Before entering the world of politics, Pranab Mukherjee served as an upper-division clerk in the Calcutta’s office of the Deputy Accountant-General (Post and Telegraph).
In 1963, he became a lecturer of Political Science at the Vidyanagar College. He also worked as a journalist with Desher Dak.
The journey of Pranab’s political career started 1969 when he became a member of the Rajya Sabha.
The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi helped him to join the Indian National Congress (INC) and tutored him during his initial years.
He became the Deputy Leader of the INC in the Rajya Sabha in 1979 and was appointed Leader of the House in 1980.
From 1982 to 1984, Pranab served as the Finance Minister of the country.
After Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, when her son Rajiv gained control, Pranab Mukherjee was sidelined.
After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991, Pranab’s political career was revived. The then Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao appointed him as Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and union cabinet minister.
In the next few decades, Pranab Mukherjee held many other prominent positions:
- External Affairs Minister from 1995-96.
- Defence Minister from 2004-06
- Minister of External Affairs from 2006-09
- Finance Minister from 2009-12
- Leader of the Lower House of Parliament from 2004-12
13th President Of India
In June 2012, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) nominated Pranab Mukherjee as its Presidential candidate.
He defeated P. A. Sangma to win the race to Rashtrapati Bhavan and was sworn into office on 25 July 2012 as the 13th President of India.
He served the office for five years, till 2017.
Achievements Beyond Politics
Pranab Mukherjee was conferred with the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.
He was a member of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.
Pranab Mukherjee is also a noted author and has written several books like ‘Saga of Struggle and Sacrifice’ (1992), ‘Challenges before the Nation’ (1992), ‘Off the Track’ (1987) and ‘The Dramatic Decade: The Days Of Indira Gandhi years’ (2014).