NEW DELHI : Firebrand and seasoned political veteran, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, celebrated 50 years in Indian politics, with the release of a biography honouring his contributions to Indian politics on Wednesday.
The book entitled “Mallikarjun Kharge: Political Engagement with Compassion, Justice and Inclusive Development”, compiled and edited by Dr. Sukhdev Thorat and Chetan Shinde, also saw the presence of former Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who unveiled the book. Sharing insights on Kharge’s journey, she said, “He has overcome numerous adversities in his 50-year political career, steadfast in his ideology and unwavering in dignity, never compromising to win political battles.”
Sonia highlighted Congress’s role in shaping Kharge’s political odyssey, emphasising the party’s significance as the oldest in the nation, which also reflects India’s journey from Independence. She said, “When India gained Independence, we were one of the poorest nations with a literacy rate of 6 per cent. We collectively grew under the leadership of the Congress Party. This party moulded Kharge.”
Rajya Sabha member from Rashtriya Janata Dal, Manoj Jha, also conveyed his heartfelt message for Kharge, dressed in a green cotton kurta with a black half-sadri. In his poetic expression, Jha stated, “Kharge ji ki yatra hamare gantantra ki yatra jaise hai, dono se hi bahut dukh dekhe hain (Kharge’s political journey is a lot like our democracy’s. Both have seen a lot of sorrow)” — drawing parallels between Kharge’s life journey and the struggles of the republic. Quoting India’s first Prime Minister, Nehru, he quipped, “Nehru is the copyleft of this country; no one has the copyright on Nehru.”
Secretary-general of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Sitaram Yechury, while addressing the gathering, shared thoughts on the upcoming elections, emphasising the trust placed in politicians and their ideas. He remarked, “We discussed how many seats we will get in the elections in five states. That’s what a leader is — you trust them, you trust their ideas, and you are confident in whatever decision they make.”
Kharge’s book features chapters contributed by various political players, including former Congress President Sonia Gandhi, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka D.K. Sivakumar, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, and several IAS officers, all weaving a collective narrative of his life.