In remembrance of Pranab Mukherjee
We are shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, a dear friend of Bangladesh. He was the first foreign national who proposed recognition of the Bangladesh government in exile on June 15, 1971 during a budget session on the floor of the Rajya Sabha. And being the first Bengali Indian President, he also played a crucial role during Bangladesh's Liberation struggle.
Mukherjee was a towering statesman who was deeply loved by everyone across the political spectrum. And during his half a century long political stint, he occupied several positions, including the role of India's finance minister at the age of 47—making him India's youngest finance minister. From then on, he went on to head the ministries of external affairs, defence and finance.
The many awards and honours bestowed on him include India's second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan in 2008, the Best Parliamentarian Award in 1997 and Best Administrator in India Award in 2011. In 2013, former President of Bangladesh Zillur Rahman handed him the Bangladesh Liberation War honour.
The help that he gave Bangladesh during those turbulent times was illustrative of his character as a man of great principles and someone who always fought for humanity and against oppression. His death is not only a loss to India and Bangladesh, but to the whole world.
We would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family and to India, which has lost one of its greatest statesmen. His legacy and his lessons, however, will forever live on and in Bangladesh, his friendship will forever be cherished.