New Delhi, May 5 (IANS) Paying tributes to his predecessor Giani Zail Singh on his 100th birth anniversary, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday termed him a “true Giani” (knowledgeable one) and recalled his deep understanding of Indian history, culture and civilisation.
Paying tributes to former president at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mukherjee said Zail Singh’s career offers evidence of the opportunities Indian democracy provides to every citizen irrespective of the status he or she hails from.
“The great heights that Giani Zail Singh rose to, from a humble and poor background, bears testimony to this great feature of Indian democracy,” he said.
A freedom fighter and a Congress politician from Punjab who also served as the state chief minister, and also held many key portfolios, including home, in the central government, Zail Singh was the seventh president (1982-87).
On the occasion, Vice President Hamid Ansari released a documentary on the life of Zail Singh while the former president’s daughter Gurdeep Kaur released a book “Fragrant Recollections” (a collection of memoirs and tributes on Zail Singh). The first copies were presented to the president.