Late President Pranab Mukherjee’s soon to be released book ‘The Presidential Years’ has triggered a public spat between his son and daughter. The book, excerpts of which were released by the publisher recently, is expected to hit the stands in January, 2021.
Abhijit Mukherjee, Pranab’s son, took to Twitter to raise concerns over the memoir and said he wants to read the book before it goes for final printing.
“Since my father is no more, I being his son want to go through the contents of the final copy of the book before its publication as I believe had my father been alive today, he too would have done the same,” Abhijit, a Congress leader, said.
I , the Son of the author of the Memoir ” The Presidential Memoirs ” request you to kindly stop the publication of the memoir as well as motivated excerpts which is already floating in certain media platforms without my written consent .1/3
— Abhijit Mukherjee (@ABHIJIT_LS) December 15, 2020
In another tweet, he alleged that the excerpts of the book were released in the media with some motivated interests.
“I, the Son of the author of the memoir ‘The Presidential Memoirs’ request you to kindly stop the publication of the memoir as well as motivated excerpts which is already floating in certain media platforms without my written consent (sic),” Abhijit Mukherjee said in another tweet.
Soon after the series of tweets, Pranab’s daughter Sharmishta Mukherjee took to social media slamming her brother for creating ‘unnecessary hurdles’ in the book’s publication.
“I, daughter of the author of the memoir ‘The Presidential Years’, request my brother Abhijit Mukherjee not to create any unnecessary hurdles in publication of the last book written by our father. He completed the manuscript before he fell sick,” Sharmistha said.
I, daughter of the author of the memoir ‘The Presidential Years’, request my brother @ABHIJIT_LS not to create any unnecessary hurdles in publication of the last book written by our father. He completed the manuscript before he fell sick 1/3
— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) December 15, 2020
“The views expressed by him are his own and no one should try to stop it from being published for any cheap publicity. That would be the greatest disservice to our departed father,” she went on to add.
What is the controversy all about?
‘The Presidential Years’ is Pranab Mukherjee’s fourth volume of memoirs recollecting the challenges he had to face during his stint as the President.
He has compared the working styles of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh with incumbent PM Narendra Modi. In one of the excerpts that garnered much media attention, Pranab presented a critical view of the Congress party. He also raised questions over the leadership of Sonia Gandhi.
“Though I don’t subscribe to this view, I do believe that the party’s leadership lost political focus after my elevation as president. While Sonia Gandhi was unable to handle the affairs of the party, Dr Singh’s prolonged absence from the House put an end to any personal contact with other MPs,” Mukherjee wrote while refuting the view of leaders of the party, who believed had he become the PM in 2004, the party might have averted the 2014 Lok Sabha drubbing.
(With inputs from PTI)