President Pranab Mukherjee, while felicitating Sushil Kumar Shinde on his 75th birthday on Sunday at Solapur, said that the former home minister stands out as inspiration for many as he overcame many odds to reach the highest position in the country.
“By overcoming the odds of an extremely poor background and different handicaps, Sushil Kumar Shinde rose to the highest positions in the country,” said Mukherjee adding that it showed his strong mind, courage and determination.
Speaking about the adverse background and the struggle that Shinde faced in his life the President said that the former home minister’s story is the story of India. “India too has overcome many difficulties, backwardness, literacy, disease and ignorance. It is the shining example of the success of Indian democracy. Shinde stands out as an inspiration for millions in our country.”
Shinde, while speaking on the occasion, said the credit for his success actually goes to people of Solapur who stood by him even during adverse period. “The credit for whatever I have become today goes to people of Solapur, where I spent my childhood without footwear due to adverse economic conditions.”
Senior politicians including P Chidambaram and Sharad Pawar attended the event.
Speaking at the occasion, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that although some leaders reach at the highest position, they still remain small hearted. “Shinde was an exception as he scaled many heights and became big-hearted, going beyond caste and religion,” Fadnavis said while taking an indirect dig at Sharad Pawar, who was recently accused of stirring caste sentiments over the issue of Atrocity Act.