- President Pranab Mukherjee addresses the nation one last time on Monday
- Mukherjee invokes Gandhi, calls for non-violence and inclusivity
- PM Modi, at an event in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, praised outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee, calling him “knowledgable and extremely simple”
- President Pranab Mukherjee addressed the nation on Sunday, his final day in office
- President Mukherjee attended a dinner hosted by PM Modi on 22 July
- President-elect Ram Nath Kovind will be sworn in on 25 July
President Mukherjee's Last Speech
Addressing the nation from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee said:
...my temple has been the Parliament of India, my passion has been the service of the people.
President Mukherjee went on to say:
We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal.
The poorest of the land must feel that they are part of the narrative.
I have received much more from the country than I have given; for that, I will remain ever indebted to people of India.
Power of non-violence has to be resurrected to build a compassionate and caring society.
Education... can take India to the next Golden Age. For that, we have to upgrade our higher institutions of learning to world class levels... innovative and scientific temper must be promoted...
Gandhi ji saw India as an inclusive nation. He wanted our people to move forward unitedly in ever-widening thought and action. Financial inclusion is at the core of an equitable society.
Eradication of poverty would provide a boost to happiness.
Words cannot adequately represent my gratitude to the people... the highest honour in our democracy doesn’t lie in any office but in being a citizen of India. We are all equal children in the eyes of our Mother.
When I speak to you tomorrow, it will not be as a President but as a citizen, a pilgrim... in our onward march to glory...How successful I was in discharging my responsibilities will be judged over time, by the critical lens of history.
Watch the President’s final speech here:
PM Modi Praises President Pranab Mukherjee in Address
At an address at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday evening, PM Narendra Modi showered praise upon the outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee. Modi said:
Whenever I would discuss official matters with President Pranab Mukherjee he would guide me and offer constructive feedback.
Mukherjee, a 'Guru' Who Taught Generations of MPs: Sumitra Mahajan
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Sunday called outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee a "guru” to generations of parliamentarians.
You have been a guru from whom generations of parliamentarians have received lessons on operational dynamics of parliamentary politics... You are respected for your impeccable knowledge of parliamentary rules and procedures and exemplary memory of events and precedents.
Mahajan said Mukherjee's journey from a humble village in West Bengal to the Rashtrapati Bhavan is "entwined with the contemporary history of our nation and inspiring for all".
In his long political career spanning close to five decades, Mukherjee was a member of the Rajya Sabha four times and was elected twice to Lok Sabha.
President Mukherjee Fondly Remembers "Mentor" Indira Gandhi
President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday remembered his "mentor", former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, as a "towering personality" in his last speech in Parliament as the President of India.
"My career was mentored by Mrs Indira Gandhi, who was a towering personality. She had the courage to call a spade a spade," Mukherjee said, as he related an interesting incident that happened in London after the Congress' defeat post Emergency.
“After the Congress’ and her own defeat post Emergency, she went to London in 1978. A battery of mediapersons, in a fairly aggressive mood, were waiting to ask questions. “The first question was: ‘What had been your gains from Emergency?’. Looking directly into the eyes of mediapersons, in a level voice she replied: ‘In those 21 months we comprehensively managed to alienate all sections of people’,” Mukherjee recalled.
After a few seconds of silence, there was laughter, he said.
"Nobody after that asked a question about Emergency and the mediapersons melted away," he said.
Present in the Parliament was also Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with whom the President dined on 22 July.