Former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away on Monday following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments. He was 84.
"With a Heavy Heart, this is to inform you that my father Shri Pranab Mukherjee has just passed away in spite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital and prayers duas and prarthanas from people throughout India! I thank all of You Folded hands," his son Abhijit Mukherjee said.
Glowing tributes poured in following Mukherjee's demise. "India grieves the passing away of Bharat Ratna Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society," wrote PM Narendra Modi.
"He (Mukherjee) brought distinction to every post he held. He established a genuine rapport with colleagues across the political spectrum, and he served our country with the utmost dedication," Sonia Gandhi said in a letter to Mukherjee's daughter Sharmistha.
Meanwhile, veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai shared a video of his interview with the former President. It was the famous interview in which Pranab Mukherjee had “scolded” Sardesai. "Let me complete. You have this habit..I’m sorry to remind you that you are interviewing the former President. Have the necessary courtesy…I am not eager to appear on the screen. You have invited me. Firstly you cannot raise your voice," Mukherjee had said.
Posting the video, Sardesai said that Mukherjee had a "short temper but long memory". He tweeted, "Interviewing Pranab da, his first interview after stepping down as president. Where he rebuked me for interrupting but then gave me chai and Sandesh after the interview! Short temper but long memory! Will miss you Pranab da!"
In another tweet, Sardesai wrote, "Pranab da’s greatest quality wasn’t just his elephantine memory and drafting skills: it was his ability to cut across the political aisle, a true consensus builder who realised that in politics, you have opponents not enemies! A lesson for a hyper-polarised age!"
Many, particularly Sardesai's critics, were elated after Mukherjee had "scolded" the journalist. However, not many knew that the former President apologised for his angry reaction.
At the end of the interview, Mukherjee said sorry for being a "little rude" to which Sardesai responded saying that there was nothing for Mukherjee to apologise and that he would take it as a “positive statement”.
Meanwhile, last month, Rajdeep was brutally trolled on social media after he announced Pranab Mukherjee's premature demise. He apologised later saying, "My deep deep apologies for falling for fake news being circulated on Pranab Mukherjee passing away. I am deeply distraught for falling for this fake news.. it was unprofessional of me to not reconfirm it before tweeting. Apologies to all.. and prayers with the family.."