pranab mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee was very close to IJA and its members

By Mrinal Biswas
KOLKATA: After my MA examination, I spent a month at Pachmarhi hill with relatives of mine. I remember the day I returned. Almost immediately I was asked by a senior member of Socialist Students Organisation (SSO)¬†of which I was then general secretary to lead the organisation in all-student organisations’ meeting against Chinese aggression in the north-east and north-end of Kashmir. The meeting was held at the auditorium of R G Kar Medical College in the end of 1962. Naturally, I was a leading speaker there.
At the end of it a dhoti-punjabi-clad young man came to me introducing himself as Pranab Mukherjee claiming to belong to Chhatra Parishad. Only a few words were exchanged. He suggested that we should discuss politics some day. I agreed. But that didn’t happen as he soon after joined politics (Bangla Congress) head on and I became a budding journalist struggling for a foothold.
When he became a central minister I had attended many of his press meets. But he lost my acquaintance by that time. But by queer turn of events we came together again in 2013. He was kind enough to address the 90th anniversary of Indian Journalists’ Association held at the lawns of the Press Club, Kolkata. I felt honoured to preside over the anniversary meet. It was nice of him to mention then that IJA founder was Mrinal Kanti Bose and its 90th anniversary is being presided over by another Mrinal (Kumar Biswas).
IJA also felt grateful to.him as many of the IJA members were very close to him. Mihir Ganguly is one of them.