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KR Narayanan, a man with wide social sympathy (On 12th death anniversary)

By Satya Narayan Sahu | PUBLISHED: 08, Nov 2017, 16:53 pm IST | UPDATED: 09, Nov 2017, 16:53 pm IST

KR Narayanan, a man with wide social sympathy (On 12th death anniversary) Today is the 12th Death anniversary of Shri K.R.Narayanan who served the nation as the President of India, during 1997-2002.

Professor Harold Laski in a letter to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru described Mr. Narayanan as a man with wide social sympathy. It was Shri Narayanan who was the President of India when our country celebrated the golden jubilee of our independence and Republic.

The way he defended our Constitution and  Secularism remains an unparalleled example for others to follow. Incidentally he was the President when NDA under the leadership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had formed the Government at the centre.

When that Government decided to review the Constitution, Mr. Narayanan while delivering his speech on the occasion of the golden jubilee of our Republic very searchingly asked, "Let us examine if the Constitution has failed us or we have failed the Constituion". It is because of such a sharp question from the Head of the Republic that the NDA Government in stead of reviewing the Constitution reviewed the Working of the Constituion.

He was the only State functionary who met victims of Gujuart riots of 2002 which was described by him as the "crisis of our State and Society".

Hailing from a very humble background he rose to the highest office of our Republic. It represented the triumph of social justice which his life and work so amply manifested. He had cautioned that the ever rising counter culture of communalism was exerting enormous pressure on our secularism.

It was he who interviewed Mahatma Gandhi as a young reporter in late 1940s. I had the good fortune of serving him as his Officer on Special Duty and Press Secretary. On this solemn occasion I pay my homage to him and pray that his enduring legacy for defending Constitution and Secularism will inspire people to uphold these twin pillars of our Republic when there is upsurge of communal forces all around.

After the Gujarat riots he said that the common people of India would check communal forces.  Once again I pay my homage to him whose legacy would inspire generations to come.

# Mr Satya Narayan Sahu was OSD and Press Secretary to the late President of India Shri K.R. Narayanan and served as Director in the Prime Minister's Office. He is currently Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The views expressed by him are personal and not that of Rajya Sabha Secretariat.
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