Today is the birth centenary of K.R. Narayanan, who served as the president of India. He was a man who exerted a remarkable impact on Indian public life and made solid contributions during his term as president of the country.
Born in the small village in Uzhavoor,. a village in Kottayam district to parents belonging to a backward caste , K.R. Narayanan showed an aptitude for studies as a child itself. Through hard work and determination he managed to climb up the steps of his career ladder. Starting as a journalist for leading news papers such as the Hindu and Hindustan Times, the young man’s career graph went up by leaps and bounds. The turning point in his life was the opportunity he got to study in the London School of Economics. It was the Tata scholarship that enabled him to study in London. Back in India, he joined I.F.S. and served in different countries as ambassador. It was during his stint in Burma that he met Usha whom he took as his life partner.
After his retirement in 1978, he was posted as vice Chancellor of JNU. He served there till October 1980 after which he entered the political arena. He contestd from Shornur and became a member of parliament to become a minister later.In 1992 he became vice president and in 1997 president of India. Even after becoming the president he clung to his principles, always remaining humble and approachable. He was careful about keeping intact the Indian constitution and democracy. He made it very clear that he would not abet any attempt that would be detrimental for the democratic values of the country. Maybe it was this clear stand on his part that made L.K. Advani refer to him as’activist president’. Living in distressing times, we Indians can look up to such leaders as K.R.Narayanan and learn many lessons.