Pranab to release book on Barrister Rajni Patel (Lead)
Mumbai : Former President Pranab Mukherjee will release a commemorative volume on legendary freedom fighter and Congress leader, the late Barrister Rajni Patel, here on Friday.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar will preside over the function in the presence of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, retired Chief Justice of Bombay High Court and Kerala High Court Justice Sujata Manohar, industrialists Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani, former union minister Ram Jethmalani, former Mumbai Sheriff Nana Chudasama and legal luminary Iqbal Chagla.
Rajni Patel's widow and former Sheriff of Mumbai, Bakul Patel, will pay a tribute to her husband through the lens of his comdrades and associates as well as personal accounts of a host of public luminaries who knew him over the decades till his death in May 1982.
The book, entitled "Remembering Rajni", comprises essays spearheaded by Bakul Patel from political personalities, jurists, intellectuals, scientists, artists, medicos and journalists, with illustrations by the late R.K. Laxman and the late M.F. Hussain.
Reminiscing the life and chronicling the journey of Patel, the book carries a foreword by former President Mukherjee.
"The book is full of insights, personal moments and life experiences of a man who selflessly served the nation and an understanding on his journey of success and sacrifices," said Bakul Patel.
Born in Sarsa, near Anand in south Gujarat, the late Rajni is considered among the youngest freedom fighters of India who was jailed in his early teens for picketing outside liquor shops during the Swadeshi Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi.
An exceptionally brilliant student, he went for higher studies in the UK in the early 1930s and qualified as a Barrister in 1939, was President of the World Students Conference in Paris with membership of over 50 countries and later came in contact with another stalwart, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in London.
Returning to Mumbai after many years, he plunged headlong into social service, was a legal luminary, became a confidant of the Nehru-Gandhi family and was appointed President of the powerful Mumbai (Bombay) Regional Congress Committee.
Armed with his patriotism and secular credentials, he built the Mumbai Congress into a formidable party working for the welfare of masses in the 1960s-70s when regional forces were on the upswing, and strengthened the party in Maharashtra.
Among his major contributions to Mumbai were the creation of the famed Nehru Centre as a tribute to his mentor and guide, the late Prime Minister Nehru.