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There have been 17 Presidents in India since the year 1950. Although many leaders and scholars took part in the struggle for the independence of India, it is true that only those who agreed with the central government were elected as its leaders. The first President Rajendra Prasad and Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy were exceptions for this. In the year 1969, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy was elected as the Presidential candidate on behalf of the Indian National Congress.

thepresidentialyears bookIn the year 1969, due to the split in the Congress, Indra Gandhi approached the support of the opposite parties to defeat Sanjeevi Reddy, the official candidate of the Congress. Since some of the members of the divided Congress and of the opposite parties voted together, V.V.Giri was elected as the President. Sanjeevi Reddy would not have been the one who would butter up the Prime Minister, Indra Gandhi. That is the reason why he was defeated. Among other Presidents, despite different opinions, Mr K.R.Narayanan was the best President of the Republic of India, who performed well with his limited powers specified in the Constitution of India. He returned the file to the central government for reconsidering when the Vajpayee government asked the acceptance from the President to dissolve some state governments.

The former President Jail Singh refused to approve the Postal law, which provided the chance for the police department to spy the letters from the leaders of the opposite party. Presidents R.Venkatraman and Pranab Mukherjee were elected by the Congress party and their coalition parties. However, both went to the BJP after retirement. After all, it was shocking in the society when the late Pranab Mukherjee went to the RSS head office and participated in the ceremony. It is noteworthy that the Bharat Ratna was given to Pranab Mukherjee only after going to Nagpur.

Pranab Mukherjee was an expert to get the office by indulging in opportunistic politics. He was one of the forerunners who started the state party called ‘Bengal Congress’, which split from the Congress in West Bengal in the year 1966. He was the one who participated in the State Autonomy Conference held in 1970 on behalf of the party along with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaingar Karunanithi and the Punjab Chief Minister Gurnam Singh. He spoke for the rights of state governments at the conference. He coordinated the party called ‘National Socialist Congress’ from the year 1986 to 1989, while his dream of becoming the Prime Minister candidate had not fulfilled after the death of Indra Gandhi. When Rajeev Gandhi was the Prime Minister, he kept Pranab Mukherjee aside. After Rajeev Gandhi passed away, Pranab Mukherjee was appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the Planning Commission of the Union of India in the year 1991.

When the Congress, which led by Sonia Gandhi, won in 2004, the United Progressive Alliance was headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Pranab Mukherjee was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He later served as Finance Minister in the same cabinet. Even after starting more political parties and got a place in the cabinet, his dream of becoming the Prime minister did not come true. He could not bear when Manmohan Singh was appointed as the Prime Minister twice. After the death of Pranab Mukherjee, his book of ‘The Presidential Years 2012-2017’ was published in 2021.

The Tamil Politics, which formed after the year 1967, and the Dravidian parties influenced the Indo-Sri Lankan relations. Tamil Nadu, which had a common ethnic and cultural relationship with Sri Lanka and the north part of Sri Lanka, were the general reasons for the Tamil Ealam Policy to get strengthened. However, the book entirely obscures the concern of India in the Sri Lankan issue during the rule of Indira Gandhi, especially the activities of India to resolve the Eelam issue.

He said, “AIADMK, DMK and the smaller parties supported the issue only to gain support from the people of Tamil Nadu”. “In 1995, when I was the Minister of foreign affairs in Narasimha Rao’s cabinet, I urged the president Kumaratunga to deport Prabhakaran to India”. “Instead of portraying Prabhakaran as a liberation fighter, he coined him as a terrorist”, he said. He also mentioned that India gave its full support to Sri Lanka in the year 2010. “I urged to fulfil the pledge made to the Eelam Tamil people through 13th article of the Sri Lanka Constitution based on an agreement between Rajeev Gandhi and Jayewardene”. Pranab Mukherjee also mentioned in his book, “Rajapakse received a lot of help from China. India came to help Sri Lanka only after China came forward to support it more”.

“I told Rajapakse that India and Sri Lanka have many economic interests, including the security of the two countries”, he said.

“However, India has been providing the fund tremendously even after the regime of Narendra Modi, by considering the security of India, and also to prevent Sri Lanka from receiving too much funding from China. Like the naval base of the US was opposed to set up in this region, India had to resist China’s influence which is increasing in between the regions of Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal; those are located along the border of India. 

Pranab Mukherjee indirectly said that India put its interests first, without concern about Eelam Tamils (Sri Lanka Tamil people), after the death of Indira Gandhi. After the formation of the Modi regime in the year 2014, even after Rajapaksa was given a red-carpet welcome, Tamil Nadu Fishermen continue to be attacked, and the demands of Eelam Tamils continue to be suppressed. It can be realized from the book.

The news reports that especially 15 days before, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jai Sangar, travelled to Sri Lanka and emphasized some principles. On the next day, at the University of Yazhpaana, the monument of Tamils who lost their lives in the Eelam struggle was damaged. The news also reports that while Tamil Nadu opposes it, the Indian Ambassador to Sri Lanka was contacted. Only after this event, Tamil Nadu Fishermen have been attacked by the Sri Lankan navy. The rights of Tamil Nadu Tamils and Eelam Tamils have been denied and denigrated. The Approach of Rajiv Gandhi Manmohan Singh and today’s Prime Minister Modi is the same in this attitude against Tamils. Ten crore Tamils who are living around the world have been denigrated. Didn’t India, however, stand against China in the issue of Tibet, which has a population of 32 lakhs? This issue has been continuing till now!

If so, is justice for Tibet, which has a population of 32 lakhs, justice for Rajapakse, who planned and committed the Tamil genocide to the extent that the world could condemn it? How long will the Tamils tolerate the denial of the rights of the Tamils by pointing to China?

“When Prime Minister Modi declared the Rs.500 and Rs.1000 high denomination currency notes void, he did not even consult his cabinet. It was through the television that the people of the country came to know”.

While Pranab Mukherjee denoting it, he also said that it was only after his speech, Modi met him and explained about demonetization.

He also said that Modi explained to him, this move is only for controlling the black money, corruption, and money transferred to the terrorists as well. 

“As a former finance minister, Modi asked my support. Based on that, I released a report to support the demonetization”, said Pranab. In this book, he also mentioned the tax on Goods and Services.

He also mentioned in this book that tax on Goods and Services would encourage both government and economic growth by giving more tax revenue.

Many details denote the economic downturn that had started so long before the Corona epidemic, the unprecedented rise in unemployment, annual income, and property inequality, those are annihilating the livelihood of 70 per cent of the people, it proves that the falsity of the view of Pranab Mukherjee.

Moreover, now in 2021, many experts are questioning when the Indian economy will return to the path of growth, as India’s overall economic growth has fallen to 7.8 per cent, negatively below zero.

Pranab Mukherjee had either knowingly or unknowingly expressed that the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had harshly denounced the demonetization as ‘organized loot and legal plunder’. It has revealed that, as per the sayings of Thanthai Periyar, ‘the Brahmin’s are always the best labours, the worst executives. The Brahmin’s would run behind the money to get the office. The above ideas, however, proves that the Sikhs would not fail to express their valour. Pranab Mukherjee met Kalaingar in person and asked his support in 2012 before taking over as President. In Tamil Nadu, the members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha belonging to the party of DMK gathered at a private restaurant and he, by hand, asked them to support. 

Pranab Mukherjee, who was the Minister of External Affairs in the year 2005, ringed Kalaingar in the early morning and asked him to recommend the minister of that particular department, TR Balu, to extend the tenure of the Chief Engineer under the department of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping. Kalaingar immediately told me to get information about this from TR Balu. When I went home unexpectedly, my friend TR Balu contacted me through the phone. I told the matter of what happened. Then TR Balu said, “As per the Road Traffic laws, the Chief Engineers belonging to the State government could be in the office only twice for the four years of service. However, the Chief Engineer who has been referred by Pranab Mukherjee lasted for more than ten years. Therefore, the higher authorities stated that there is no way in the rule to extend his tenure by pronouncing the law. I accepted this as it is”, he answered. TR Balu said that the authorities expressed by showing the files that there were many corruption allegations and administrative malpractices against the particular Chief Engineer.

“While going for a walk the next morning, I informed Kalaingar about the information which has been told by TR Balu. Kalaingar said with smiling that Pranab just blamed TR Balu” he said.

Pranab Mukherjee, who asked Kalaingar for support many times, had written only one line about Kalaingar in his book.

Moreover, 117 numbers of images had been released in this book. No images of the leaders belonging to the Congress party, Gandhi, Nehru, and Indira Gandhi, who gave the political life for Pranab Mukherjee, had been released. Image of Narasimha Rao, who revived his political career, had been hidden deliberately. Only the face of Sonia Gandhi is visible in an image in which many present. However, the ceremony which took place at Jayalalithaa’s home in the year 2012 had been released as a colour image on the first page of the book. Similarly, three images of the ceremony in which Modi participated had been released as a colour image in the book. The colour image of Rajapaksa, who involved in genocide, had also been released. Below the image of Jayalalitha, the image of the Brahmin priest who gave him the offering (a food item has been given in the temple) in the Tirupati temple had been released. These images have indicated who they are.

In 2004, at a cabinet meeting chaired by Manmohan Singh, “Pranab Mukherjee should not send Kanchi Sankaracharya who is an accused of the murderer. Insulting Sankaracharya is an act of insulting the Hindu religion. The Prime Minister should immediately consider this issue”, Manmohan Singh insisted. Has his motive of RSS come out now after this? Similarly, the book of Venkatraman, namely ‘I am the President’ was published in 1994. He criticized the congress leaders as per the proverb, “As the trained ram flew at the breast”.

When Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India in the year 1999, Venkata Subramaniam, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Pondicherry, was placed in the National Planning Commission. Vajpayee appointed him on the recommendation of R. Venkat Raman. Murasoli Maran met Vajpayee face to face in the cabinet and expressed his strong condemnation about it. He said that DMK would leave the cabinet if they appointed the opponents of DMK in the office. Vajpayee, hereafter, insisted Venkata Subramaniam resign while he comes to know shockingly about it. However, Venkata Subramaniam continued in the position by discussing with many. Anyhow, Vajpayee did not assign him any portfolio in the planning committee.

When the author of this article visited the library of the planning committee, Venkata Subramaniam saw him in the lift. After taking him to his room, he worried about his dismissal from the position. Kalaingar asked me to speak to him about this. He revealed the truth there. “R.venkata Raman lost his eyesight when he was a president. I wrote the book based on his notes. Did Maran give this punishment for the aforesaid reason?” he asked. The doubt of “who wrote this book for him?” arises naturally while going through Pranab Mukherjee’s book of ‘the Presidential Years 2012-2017’.

Written by Kuttuvan

Translated by Kurinjithen

(Courtesy: Sinthanaiyalan, Feb 2021)


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