7 Days State Mourning Declared in View of Pranab Mukherjee’s Death
Mukherjee, who tested positive for COVID-19, had undergone an ‘emergency life-saving surgery for a brain clot’.
Former President of India and veteran Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee passed away on Monday, 31 August, at the age of 84, his son Abhijit Mukherjee announced on Twitter.
As a mark of respect, the government announced on Monday evening that seven days state mourning will be observed throughout India from 31 August to 6 September. During this period of state mourning, the National Flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout India, where it is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment, the government announced.
In a similar announcement, West Bengal’s Home Department said that the government would keep all government and government-aided offices and institutions closed on 1 September as a mark of respect for Mukherjee.
The Odisha government also announced that the state would observe a seven-day state mourning, according to ANI.
Soon after the news broke, the former president’s daughter, Sharmistha Mukherjee, took to Twitter to pay tribute to him. “I feel blessed to have been born as your daughter,” she wrote on Twitter.
PM Narendra Modi also condoled the former President’s death on Twitter, saying that he “has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation”.
COVID-19 and a Surgery
Mukherjee, who had tested positive for COVID-19, had undergone an ‘emergency life-saving surgery for a brain clot’. His health remained critical after the surgery and he was put on ventilator support.
Earlier on Monday, news agency ANI reported, citing Army Hospital (R&R) in Delhi’s Cantonment area, that there had been a decline in his medical condition.
Previously, on 24 August, ANI had reported that the former President was deeply comatose and was being treated for a respiratory infection.
Mukherjee had on 10 August tweeted saying he tested positive for COVID-19, during a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure. The 84-year-old had asked those who came in contact with him to self-isolate and also get tested.
From Indira’s Most Trusted Lieutenant to Bharat Ratna: A Political Career Spanning 5 Decades
Mukherjee was conferred India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, by President Ram Nath Kovind on 8 August 2019.
His political career spanned five decades, during which he served as the thirteenth president from 2012-2017 and as the Union finance minister from 2009 to 2012.
Mukherjee was born on 11 December 1935 in West Bengal. His career started as a lecturer and a journalist. He joined the Congress in 1970 and soon became one of Indira Gandhi’s trusted lieutenants.
In the post-Indira era, Mukherjee broke away from the Congress and formed his own party called the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress in West Bengal. But he later sorted out his differences with Rajiv Gandhi and merged his party back with the Congress in 1989.
He became the Head of Planning Commission in 1991 and then the Foreign Minister in the Congress government led by PV Narasimha Rao.
When Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came back to power in 2004, Mukherjee joined Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet as the defence minister. He was later made the Minister of External Affairs in 2006 and went on to become the finance minister in 2009 in the UPA-2 cabinet.
In July 2012, Pranab Mukherjee became the President of India.
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