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Indira Gandhi’s entire life infused with passion for India: President

IANS | New Delhi |

Observing that Indira Gandhi's life was infused with a tremendous passion for India and its people, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday hailed the late Prime Minister's contributions towards the progress and development of the country.

"She was filled with an intense desire to see India rise above poverty and deprivation as well as occupy a rightful place on the high table of the international comity. Fearlessness in action and boldness in decision making was the unique hallmark of her character," he said at the launch of the book "India's Indira – A Centennial Tribute".

Mukherjee was presented the first copy of the book which has been edited by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma. Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi were present at the launch.

Indira Gandhi waged a relentless war against communal and sectarian violence, throughout her life, said Mukherjee adding that she successfully transcended divisive identities of caste, community, religion and creed and established a direct connect with people.

"It was this unhindered rapport that made her acceptable from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Mizoram to Dwarka. She had only one identity – that of an Indian," he said.

The President said Indira Gandhi's response to the worst moments in her political life was to push herself into more action. She remained undaunted in the face of attacks and criticism and never lost courage, he added.

"It was in Indiraji's time that India became the third largest reservoir of skilled scientific and technical manpower, the fifth military power, the sixth member of the nuclear club, the seventh in the race for space and the tenth industrial power," said Mukherjee, who had served in her cabinet.