|Full Name||Pranab Kumar Mukherjee|
|Nickname(s)||• Poltu The Hindu
• Pranab Da Hindustan Times
• PKM Hindustan Times
|Physical Stats & More|
|Hindustan Times Height||in centimeters- 152 cm
in meters- 1.52 m
in feet & inches- 5’
|Political Party||• Indian National Congress (INC) (1969-1986; 1986-2012)
• Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress (RSC) (1986-1989) The Indian Express
|Political Journey||• In 1969, he campaigned for V. K. Krishna Menon in Midnapore by-election.
• In the same year, he was inducted into the Indian National Congress by Indira Gandhi.
• He served as the Member of Rajya Sabha in 1969, 1975, 1981, 1993, and 1999.
• Mukherjee was elected to Lok Sabha in 2004 and 2009 upto July 2012.
• In 2012, he retired from active political life.
|Major Designation(s)||• Union Deputy Minister of Industrial Development in Indira Gandhi's cabinet (1973-1977)
• Commerce Minister of India (1980-1982; 1984; 1990s)
• Finance Minister of India (1982-1984; 2009-2012)
• General Secretary of the AICC (1998–99)
• President of the West Bengal Congress (1985; 2000-2010)
• Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha (2004)
• Minister of Defence of India (2004-2006)
• External Affairs Minister of India (1995-1996; 2006-2009)
• Also served as chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata
• Also served on the Planning Board of the Asiatic Society
• 13th President of India (25 July 2012 – 25 July 2017)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• In 1984, Best Finance Minister in World by Euromoney magazine
• In 2008, Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award
• On 5 March 2013, Bangladesh Liberation War Honour (Bangladesh Muktijuddho Sanmanona)
• In June 2016, Grand Cross of National Order of the Ivory Coast
• On 28 April 2017, Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III
• In 2019, Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award
Note: He had many more honours and accolades to his name.
|Books Authored||• The Coalition Years (2017)
• The Turbulent Years: 1980-1996 (2016)
• Selected Speeches-Pranab Mukherjee (2015)
• The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years (2014)
• Thoughts and Reflections (2014)
• Congress and the Making of the Indian Nation (2011)
• A Centenary History of the Indian National Congress (Vol. V: 1964–1984) (2011)
• Challenges before the Nation (1992)
• Saga of Struggle and Sacrifice (1992)
• Off the Track (1987)
• Beyond Survival: Emerging Dimensions of Indian Economy (1984)
|Date of Birth||11 December 1935 (Wednesday)|
|Birthplace||Mirati, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day West Bengal, India)|
|Date of Death||31 August 2020 (Monday)|
|Place of Death||Army’s Research and Referral hospital, New Delhi|
|Age (at the time of death)||84 Years|
|Death Cause||While undergoing treatment for brain surgery at the Army’s Research and Referral hospital in New Delhi, he died after he developed a lung infection. Earlier he had also tested positive for the COVID-19. citation|
|Hometown||Birbhum, West Bengal|
|School||Kirnahar High School, Birbhum, West Bengal|
|College/University||Suri Vidyasagar College in Suri (Birbhum), University of Calcutta|
|Educational Qualification(s)||• MA in Political Science & History from University of Calcutta pranabmukherjee.in
• LL.B. from University of Calcutta pranabmukherjee.in
|Caste||Bengali Brahmin Hindustan Times|
|Food Habit||Non-Vegetarian Rediff|
|Hobbies||Long Walks, Writing Diary, Reading, Gardening, Listening to Music|
|Controversies||• During his tenure as Union Deputy Minister of Industrial Development in Indira Gandhi's cabinet, he was accused of accused of using extra-constitutional powers to "wreck established norms and rules of governance." Later, in 2018, Mr. Mukherjee himself criticised the imposition of Emergency in 1975 and said it could have been avoided as it curbed the rights of people.he said, "In hindsight, yes, the Emergency could have been avoided. It would have been better if it could have been avoided." The Economic Times
• In 2018, he was criticised by by many in his party, including his daughter and Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee, for attending an RSS event as chief guest. The Indian Express
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Widower|
|Marriage Date||Year 1957|
|Wife/Spouse||Suvra Mukherjee (died on 18 August 2015, aged 74 of heart failure)
• Abhijit Mukherjee (politician)
• Indrajit Mukherjee (politician)
Daughter- Sharmistha Mukherjee (Kathak Dancer and Politician)
|Parents||Father- Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee (Indian Freedom Fighter)
Mother- Rajlakshmi Mukherjee
|Siblings||Brother- Pijush Mukherjee (elder; retired headmaster)
Sister- Annapurna (elder)
|Food||Fish Curry, Posto or Poppy Seeds (ground and cooked with vegetables)|
|Politician||Deng Xiaoping (a Chinese politician)|
|Car Collection||Ford Ikon 2000 model My Neta|
• Bank Deposits: Rs. 82 lakhs (approx.)
• Jewellery: Rs. 82 lakhs (approx.)
• Motor Vehicle: Rs. 1.28 lakh (approx.)
• Agriculture Land: Worth Rs. 3 lakh (approx.)
• Residential Buildings (in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Birbhum): Rs. 1.85 crore (approx.)
|Net Worth (approx.) (as in 2011) My Neta||Rs. 3 crores (as in 2011) My Neta|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Pranab Mukherjee
- Did Pranab Mukherjee smoke?: No (but he used to smoke pipe till late in his life) The Indian Express
- Pranab Mukherjee was one of the most prominent politicians in India who served as the 13th President of India from 25 July 2012 to 25 July 2017. He was the chief troubleshooter for the UPA-1 and UPA-2. During a more than four decades political career, he held top ministries, including Finance and Defence, and he also headed more than 50 Groups of Ministers. In fact, Mr. Mukherjee was the ‘other PM.’
- Mukherjee grew up in Birbhum, West Bengal where he did his schooling from Kirnahar High School, which was miles away from home. Reportedly, he had to swim across Kooey, a hilly stream in Birbhum district, with a stack of textbooks balanced on his head and a coarse towel tied to his waist, everyday to Kirnahar High School. Hindustan Times
- According to his elder sister Annapurna Devi, Pranab Mukherjee earned his childhood nickname as “Poltu” because of his mannerism that resembled to that of a marching platoon (polton in Bengali) when as a boy in Class 3 or maybe 4, Mr. Mukherjee would march off to school bare feet with his bundled clothes tucked under an arm through the fields of his village in Bengal. Rediff
- Reportedly, one of his childhood games was to form two groups; representing the “British” and “Indians,” and fight each other. The Hindu
- His Father, Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee was freedom fighter in Indian Independence Movement and had been a member of West Bengal Legislative Council between 1952 and 1964 from Indian National Congress.
- Pranab Mukherjee’s first job was as a clerk in the deputy accountant general’s office in Calcutta. Rediff
- Before making a career in politics, Mr. Mukherjee had also taught political science in Vidyanagar College in Birbhum in 1963 and worked as a journalist for Desher Dak, a Bengali publication. Rediff
- His political acumen was spotted by Indira Gandhi when he successfully campaigned V K Krishna Menon’s run in the Midnapore Lok Sabha constituency. In the same year, Mr. Mukherjee was sent to the Rajya Sabha; making his debut in national politics. He had four more terms in the Rajya Sabha (1975, 1981, 1993, and 1999) before he won the 2004 Lok Sabha election in Jangipur.
- While talking about Mukherjee’s entry in politics, his elder brother, Piyush Mukherjee says,
Politics was in our blood, something we got from our father, freedom fighter Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee. Poltu was inspired by him and after joining politics he never looked back. I too was, but I did not move too far and opted for teaching.”
- After Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, Pranab Mukherjee was sidelined by Rajiv Gandhi who considered Mukherjee a rival for the PM’s post. Later, in 1986, Mukherjee formed his own party, the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress in West Bengal; however, in 1989, he merged it with the Congress, after making up with Rajiv Gandhi.
- After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, he appointed the deputy chairman of the Indian Planning Commission under P. V. Narasimha Rao’s government, and subsequently, in 1995, the External Affairs minister.
- In 1997, when Sonia Gandhi entered active politics and became the Congress President the next year, it was Pranab Mukherjee who mentored her.
- Mr. Mukherjee almost became the Prime Minister of India twice; after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, and in 2004, when Sonia Gandhi’s unassailable ‘inner voice’ named Manmohan Singh and not Pranab Mukherjee as the Prime Minister. To this, he replied,
I am comfortable at the height where destiny has put me.”
- Although Manmohan Singh was chosen over Pranab Mukherjee as the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Mukhrejee was considered the de facto number two in his government. According to Maharashtra Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan –
In Dr Manmohan Singh’s cabinet, Pranabda was the de facto number two. He was the chairman of more than 95 GoMs and EGoMs (Empowered Group of Ministers)… Pranabda worked under three Prime Ministers – Indiraji, Narasimha Rao and Dr Manmohan Singh. He is the only finance minister to have presented budgets both before the 1991 reforms in the license-permit raj regime as well after the 1991 economic reforms. He took bold decisions after the global economic crisis of 2008 which helped shield the Indian economy.”
- He was known for his home-grown English, which a faction of his party members has named ‘Pranabese.’ Hindustan Times
- During his tenure as a junior minister with independent charge of revenue and banking departments, Mr. Mukherjee made headlines when crackdown on the then Bombay smuggling underworld don, Haji Mastan who had become an inspiration behind emerging superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s cult movie of the time, Deewar.
- During his tenure as Finance Minister under Indira Gandhi, he had sent back a $ 1.1 billion installment of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan; a political message that surprised the world.
- He was a hardcore non vegetarian, and like most Bengalis, Pranab Mukherjee loved fish, and his favourite food was Fish Curry. He loved the dish so much that he would eat it almost every day. Rediff
- Since teenage, Mr. Mukherjee had developed a habit of smoking pipes. He as so addicted to smoking pipes that after he was asked to quit smoking, he would keep the pipe in his mouth and chew the stem (without nicotine). Reportedly, he owned over 500 pipes gifted to him by different dignitaries. Rediff On his smoking habit, Indira Gandhi once said,
Whenever Pranabda is given any confidential information, it never comes out of his belly. What comes out is only the smoke from his pipe.”
- Mr. Mukherjee was a workaholic, and according to his daughter Sharmishta, he worked for almost 18 hours a day, and he never took leave, except for his visit to Mirati, his hometown, during Durga Puja. Rediff
- In 1982, after he delivered one of the longest Budget speeches in India that lasted 1 hour, 35 minutes, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, said,
The shortest finance minister has delivered the longest Budget speech.’ Rediff
- When Pranab Mukherjee, as the Finance Minister of India, opened the NRI investment window, it pioneered sweeping changes in India’s image as a destination of foreign funds.
- During his tenure as the 13th President of India, Pranab Mukherjee rejected 31 mercy petitions including that of Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab.
- He is said to be the most versatile minister of India who had handled the portfolio of four crucial ministries defence, commerce, foreign, and finance. So far, he is the only Finance Minister to have tabled budget for a record seven time in the parliament.
- Pranab Mukherjee was sworn in by chief Justice of India as 13th President of India on 25. In President Election, Mukherjee received 713,763 votes, while Sangma had 315,987; with this, he became the first Bengali to hold this prestigious post.
- Former Communist leader Somnath Chatterjee termed Mukherjee as one of “the best parliamentarians and statesmen of India” and said “the country has got the most able man for the top job”.
- After watching on television the ceremonies marking the elevation of their brother Pranab Mukherjee as the 13 President of the country, his elder brother, Mr. Piyush Mukherjee said during a media interaction,
I told him I was considering putting up a board of sorts outside my house saying ‘Long Live the President’. My brother was quick to correct me. ‘The President is an institution, not an individual’, I was told.” The Hindu
- When he died on 31 August 2020 at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in New Delhi, he left behind three children, countless friends across parties, a rich legacy of old-school politics, and a diary, which is the only chronicle of his life from a school boy who swam across a stream to attend his school to the ultimate edifices of federal power, i.e., the President of India. Reportedly, he had been writing that diary for the past forty years; only to be published posthumously.
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