Although the first Bengali President of India, Pranab Mukherjee has another identity. He is the son-in-law of Bhadrabila village in Sadar upazila of Narail district (then Jessore) in Bangladesh.
Shuvra Mukherjee, daughter of Bhadrabila village. In her childhood, she was affectionately called ‘Gita’. The girl named ‘Gita’ from Narail is known to Indians as ‘Shuvra Mukherjee’. She is the wife of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. From an ordinary girl in the village, she became the First Lady of India.
According to Shuvra Mukherjee’s biography, she was born on 17 September 1940 in the village of Bhadrabila in Narail to father Amarendra Ghosh and mother Mira Rani Ghosh. Shuvra spent the early part of his childhood at his home (patriarchy) in Bhadrabila village of Narail but later moved to Tularampur. He studied from maternal uncle’s to the local Chanchra Government Primary School till class ii. Later, in 1955, Shuvra moved to Calcutta, India with her mother.
Shuvra was the second of 9 siblings. Later, his other siblings migrated to India, but Shuvra’s brother Kanai Lal Ghosh lives in Bhadrabila village in Narail. He (Kanai Lal) looked after Bhadrabila’s ancestral land. Shuvra’s cousins live in Tularampur village. After her marriage to Pranab Mukherjee, Narail’s daughter ‘Gita Ghosh’ became known as ‘Shuvra Mukherjee’.
Shuvra, a graduate of the University of Calcutta, was a teacher by profession. Mukherjee, was an accomplished singer and a vocalist of Rabindra Sangeet. She wrote ‘Chokher Aloy’, ‘China Ochenay Chin’, ‘Indira Gandhi in my eyes’ essays, stories and features.
Shuvra Mukherjee in her book ‘Chokher Aloy’ describes her life experience and writes that, in 1957, she (Shuvra) was then 14 years old and Pranab Mukherjee was 22 years old. They were married at that age. Shuvra and Pranab Mukherjee have two sons, Abhijit Mukherjee and Surjit Mukherjee, and a daughter, Sharmistha Mukherjee Munni. They are established in their respective fields in India.
Shuvra Mukherjee’s cousin Kartik Ghosh of Tularampur village in Narail said, “In 1995, Didi came to our house with her daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee Munni. However, our son-in-law Pranab Mukherjee was not with him at that time. Later, on March 5, 2013, Geeta Didi came to Bhadrabila’s house in Narail with her son-in-law (Pranab Mukherjee).”
A 96-year-old woman from Tularampur area said, “Gita used to bathe in our ghat (pond) as a child. She used to play with his peers. I used to pick mangoes in the garden. People of different professions in Narail say that Gita (Shuvra) became the wife of the President of India from the ordinary girl of the village with her intellect, thinking, skill and wisdom.”
On August 18, 2015, Shuvra Mukherjee died in a hospital in New Delhi, India, aged 74. She had respiratory problems and was treated as a heart patient.
And today the son in law of Narail, Pranab Mukherjee passed away at the age of 84 after fighting for life for the last 21 days at a Delhi hospital in the city.
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