Watch India's former President Pranab Mukherjee receive the country's highest civilian honour

Former president Pranab Mukherjee conferred with Bharat Ratna during a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi. Also seen are Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader LK Advani, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and others.Photo/Kamal Singh) (
  • 84-year old Pranab Mukherjee spent his entire political career spanning decades as a member of the Congress Party.
  • However, he was respected across all parties for his political acumen.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who belongs to the rival BJP, hailed the former President as an "outstanding statesman of our times".

Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee received the country's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, at the age of 84.

While Mukherjee spent his entire political career spanning decades as a member of the Congress Party, he was respected across party lines. The current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who belongs to the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has hailed Mukherjee as an "outstanding statesman of our times".

Mukerjee's term as President of India, a post enabled by the Congress, ended in 2017. His successor President Ram Nath Kovind presented the award in a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President's residence, today (August 8) in the presence of the country's top leaders.


Mukherjee, a long-term Congress loyalist, has been among the senior-most ministers in many governments from the one headed by Indira Gandhi to her son Rajiv Gandhi followed by Narasimha Rao and most recently under Manmohan Singh between 2004 and 2014. Known for his ability to strike a deal, Mukherjee played crucial roles in breaking many political deadlocks.


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