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Pranab Mukherjee releases LM Singhvi’s book, hails him as a true renaissance man

The book contains more than 25 articles by LM Singhvi on subjects ranging from the interfaith movement and constitutionalism to literary works and experiences as a diplomat and in Parliament.

india Updated: Aug 14, 2018 23:02 IST
HT Correspondent
Pranab Mukherjee,LM Singhvi,India’s Vibgyor Man
(L-R) Congress leaders Anand Sharma, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, former President Pranab Mukherjee and Union minister Nitin Gadkari at the book launch.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday hailed late LM Singhvi as a “true renaissance man”, unveiling a book, “India’s Vibgyor Man”— a collection of writings by Singhvi — edited by the diplomat and legal luminary’s son, Congress’s national spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

In a reminder of the late Singhvi’s popularity, the function was attended by senior political leaders from at least six parties, including Union minister Nitin Gadkari and the Congress’s Rajya Sabha deputy leader Anand Sharma.

The book’s title comes from an article on Singhvi by Gopalkrishna Gandhi published in Hindustan Times, Mukherjee and Abhishek Singhvi said at the event.

The book contains more than 25 articles by Singhvi on subjects ranging from the interfaith movement and constitutionalism to literary works and experiences as a diplomat and in Parliament. Abhishek Singhvi has written a chapter titled ‘My son’s grandfather’ while Gandhi has written the foreword.

Recalling his long association with LM Singhvi, Mukherjee said, “Our paths crossed on many occasions, especially when he was India’s High Commissioner in the UK. He was a jurist, an envoy, a politician, a poet and a prolific writer. He was a scholar and a traditionalist. He was truly a renaissance man.”

Mukherjee narrated how LM Singhvi was the original architect of India’s Lokpal, the proposed anti-corruption ombudsman, after he grasped the concept from Scandinavia and then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru told him to tailor it for India.

“He even gave the names Lokpal and Lokayukta and it was only befitting that the parliamentary committee which gave the final report on the bill was headed by his son, Abhishek Singhvi.” Mukherjee added.

A panel discussion followed the book launch on “Is India losing its identity or realising it?” the debate — moderated by Karan Thapar with Gadkari, Sharma, Janata Dal (United) leader Pawan Verma and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral as the panelists — veered towards recent political and social developments, including mob lynchings and how to balance unity and diversity.

First Published: Aug 14, 2018 23:02 IST