Pranab Mukherjee’s wife passes away

The late Smt. Suvra Mukherjee. -- Photo courtesy- Rashtrapati Bhavan
The late Smt. Suvra Mukherjee. -- Photo courtesy- Rashtrapati Bhavan

President Pranab Mukherjee’s wife and First Lady of India, Mrs. Suvra Mukherjee passed away on Tuesday morning at 10.51 am. She had been ill for some time and was admitted to the hospital on Friday evening. She was brought to the hospital after she complained of respiratory issues. A heart patient, she was kept in the intensive care unit.

Ms Mukherjee was born on September 17, 1940 in Jessore (now in Bangladesh) and married Mr. Mukherjee on July 13, 1957. A graduate, Ms Mukherjee was an ardent fan of India’s national poet, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.

She was a vocalist of Rabindra Sangeet and performed in the poet’s dance-dramas for long years not only in different parts of India, but also in Europe, Asia and Africa. Ms Mukherjee founded the Geetanjali Troupe, whose mission is to propagate Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy as expressed through his songs and dance-dramas. She was the guiding force behind all productions of the Troupe.

The late first lady was also a highly talented painter who had many group and solo exhibitions to her credit. She considered her mother who was herself a painter as the source of her creative inspiration and her works won critical acclaim.

Ms Mukherjee has written two books: Chokher Aloey which is a personal account of her close interaction with Smt. Indira Gandhi and Chena Achenai Chin – a travelogue recounting her visit to China.

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She is survived by her husband, the President of India and three children – Abhijit Mukherjee, Indrajit Mukherjee and Sharmistha Mukherjee.

“Saddened to hear the news of Smt. Suvra Mukherjee’s demise. My heartfelt condolences to Shri Pranab Mukherjee and his bereaved family,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi too extended his sympathy to President Pranab Mukherjee and his family.

Expressing grief over the death of President’s wife, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she knew her for more than three decades as a simple and loveable person.

“Saddened to hear that Rashtrapati ji’s wife Suvra boudi is no more. Cannot believe she has passed. Such is life. We have to accept the truth. “I have known Suvra boudi for more than three decades. She was simple, lovable and a caring housewife. May God give Rashtrapati ji and his family the strength to bear the loss,” she said in a series of tweets.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too extended his condolences. “Sad to hear about the demise of Shri Pranab Mukherjee ji’s wife. My deepest condolences to Pranab da and family. @RashtrapatiBhvn Nitish Kumar.”

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