The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee received the first copy of a book “President Pranab Mukherjee – A Statesman” today (July 2, 2017) from Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi who formally released it at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Speaking on the occasion, the President expressed his gratitude to The Statesman for bringing out a photo essay on the 13th Presidency. He confessed that he was initially unwilling when the idea of the photo essay was first suggested by The Statesman. He wondered about the benefit the photo essay would have since the engagements of the President are all in public domain. However, he was convinced by Shri Ravindra Kumar and Shri R. P. Gupta from The Statesman in this regard who stressed that it was necessary to archive important events for posterity. This was so because the day -to- day news coverage of the Presidency has currency only till the next headline comes along. He was also persuaded to agree by the fact that a request had come from The Statesman, a newspaper that he literally grew up with as a Bengali. He said that he has had a long association with The Statesman and most of the time they had agreed to disagree.
The President said that art and creative abilities transcend the boundaries of time and geographical borders. Their appeal is universal. He appreciated the wonderful photos taken by Shri Varun Joshi from The Statesman that feature in the photo essay. He also expressed his gratitude and deep appreciation to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi who was present on the occasion to release the book. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi said that the photo essay was important from the historical prospective. The photographs in the book immortalize history and also show the humane side of the President of India who is an inspiration for all of us. The book “President Pranab Mukherjee – A Statesman” has been published by The Statesman, one of India’s oldest English-language newspapers. This book, a comprehensive photographic record of India’s 13th President, covers Shri Mukherjee’s Presidency and documents his various roles including those as a humane first citizen, as a thought-leader , as a patron of educational institutions & the arts and as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces etc.