The Commonwealth Journalists Association mourns the demise of former President of India, HE Pranab Kumar Mukherjee. He passed away at 84, on the evening of August 31, 2002 in New Delhi, after a brief illness.
Mr Mukherjee was a mentor and well-wisher of the CJA for long. In 2009, he had addressed a conference organised jointly by the CJA and the Forum of Financial Writer. India’s Finance Minister then, he had arrived that morning from a long foreign tour. He spoke on the entire gamut of Indian economy, without referring to any notes and held forth for more than an hour.
Some of us at the CJA had the privilege of meeting him as a minister in the Government of India and a top leader of the Congress Party, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s abode and at his residence when he was a private citizen. In the last phase, Mr Mukherjee, a workaholic, had completed three of the four volumes of his political memoirs.
Over half-a-century in public life, Mr Mukherjee was described as “the best prime minister India never had.”
The CJA dips its flag to salute Mr Mukherjee and condoles his family members that include son, Mr Abhijeet Mukherjee, also a keen participant in CJA activities.