New Delhi: Three books on Rashtrapati Bhavan, Life at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Indradhanush (Volume II) and Rashtrapati Bhavan: From Raj to Swaraj, were released at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 11 December by President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking on the occasion, the president said that he was overwhelmed by the love received from friends and people of the country. He expressed his deep gratitude to all those who had wished him on his birthday.
Referring to the books released at the function, he said he felt that it was important to document the multi-dimensional aspects of Rashtrapati Bhavan and, accordingly through a multi-volume documentation project, these books had been brought out. Since assumption of office, his objective, he said, was to demystify the life and events in Rashtrapati Bhavan and put it in the public domain to the extent possible. He was happy to note that a large number of visitors were visiting the President’s Estate, including the museums in the premises, through various initiatives such as online booking, e-invites etc.
The vice president and the prime minister appreciated the efforts to document the history, culture and life of Rashtrapati Bhavan through books for posterity. The prime minister conveyed his best wishes to the president on his birthday. He also hoped that the nation would continue to benefit from President Mukherjee’s tremendous experience and wisdom for a long time.
On the occasion, secretary to the president Omita Paul highlighted the various initiatives taken in the recent past such as the multi-volume documentation project, Smart Gram initiative, visitor’s conference, laureates and leaders summit, etc.
Among the other dignitaries present on the occasion were Speaker of the Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union ministers, judges of the Supreme Court, governors and lieutenant governors and senior officers of the Union government.
Rashtrapati Bhavan: From Raj to Swaraj is a book for children that recreates the story of the President’s Estate from its inception as Government House, a symbol of imperial might, to the present day. The reader is taken into the massive building through its red sandstone and marble corridors, past the busts of former presidents, through its echoing halls and its elegant sitting rooms. The reader is introduced to the flower-lined pathways of the magnificent Mughal Gardens and to its walls and pillars, trees and bushes, carvings and paintings.
Life at Rashtrapati Bhavan is an attempt to record the history of the residents living in the President’s Estate. This book documents the period under colonial rule right up to the current presidency and brings in the perspectives of past and present residents of the estate, the permanent staff of the household and secretariat as well as the officials who have served under different presidencies. The book also documents the significance of the contributions made by President Pranab Mukherjee and his team in transforming the premises of the Rashtrapati Bhavan into a ‘smart city’ that it is today and the impact of such changes on the lives of the people here.
Indradhanush (Volume II) is a compendium of music, dance, theatre and cinematic presentations organised at the Rashtrapati Bhavan from mid-2014 to September 2016.
All these 3 books have been published by the publication division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.