Coffee table book on President to be released

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee will receive the first copy of a coffee table book, First Citizen: Pranab Mukherjee in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday, an official release said Tuesday.

Congress leader Karan Singh will release the book in the presence of the President and Philip Mathew, The Week magazine`s managing editor at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The book, published by The Week magazine, is a compilation of articles that have appeared in The Week under the title "First Citizen" from January 2013 to May 2014.

"The contents cover the President`s initiatives to reach out to citizens on issues concerning them, his tours across the country and abroad, the new initiatives taken to open up the doors of Rashtrapati Bhavan to the common citizen, the ceremonies associated with the presidency, the kitchen, etc.," the statement said.

The book also includes never-before-seen archival photographs of former presidents from the Rashtrapati Bhavan collection, new snippets of information and three articles authored by the President on Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda published in the The Week.

According to the statement, in his forward to the book, Mukherjee has written that Raisina Hill and the buildings in and around the President Estate have been the "stage or much of my public life that spans over five decades".

He added though he had been to Rashtrapati Bhavan several times before he assumed office, yet it was only after he became a resident of the "wonderful building" that its importance as a seat of history and value as "living heritage" fully struck him.

"The fundamental duty and responsibility of the President in our political system is to be the guardian of the constitution. But, going beyond this task, there are many areas in which presidents have chosen to carve out their areas of interest. My focus, among other things, has been to open Rashtrapati Bhavan to the people of India and return it to its past grandeur," Mukherjee wrote.


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