“Pranab My Father” by Sharmishtha Mukherjee Explores the Intriguing Dynamics Between Pranab Mukherjee and Narendra Modi

In politics, ideological differences often lead to strained relationships; the unique bond between former President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi stands out. Sharmishtha Mukherjee, the daughter of the late Mr. Mukherjee, sheds light on this “strange” yet profound relationship in her new book, “Pranab My Father.” The story unravels a tale of respect, honesty, and openness that transcended political divides.

The unlikely connection between Narendra Modi and Pranab Mukherjee began before the former became the Chief Minister of Gujarat. According to Sharmishtha Mukherjee, Modi, an ordinary party worker then, would attend events in Delhi and engage in morning walks with her father. Despite differing ideologies, Mukherjee treated Modi with kindness, and the BJP leader reciprocated by touching the Congress veteran’s feet.

One intriguing entry in Pranab Mukherjee’s diaries recounts Modi’s first meeting with the President when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Despite being a vocal critic of the Congress government, Modi privately expressed his reverence by touching Mukherjee’s feet, perplexing the President. This revelation, confirmed by Modi himself, adds a layer of complexity to their relationship.

Upon assuming the role of President, Pranab Mukherjee remained steadfast in his commitment to uphold the constitutional principles of non-interference in governance. In their initial meeting, Mukherjee candidly informed Prime Minister Modi about their differing ideologies but pledged not to interfere in the elected government’s functioning. The President assured Modi of his support in constitutional matters while respecting the people’s mandate.

Sharmishtha Mukherjee emphasizes that the relationship between her father and the Prime Minister was built on a foundation of personal regard, openness, and honesty. Despite their political disparities, Pranab Mukherjee’s willingness to extend support in constitutional matters showcased a rare understanding between the two leaders. As revealed by Prime Minister Modi himself, this candid approach set the tone for a relationship characterized by mutual respect.

While Pranab Mukherjee refrained from interfering in day-to-day governance, he did not hesitate to question the government on critical issues. Sharmishtha Mukherjee reveals that her father raised concerns about the government’s use of ordinances to bypass Parliament. This highlights Mukherjee’s commitment to upholding democratic values and his responsibility as the President to ensure checks and balances.