Kocheril Raman Narayanan
His birthday falls on october 27. He turned 80 this year. He is very simple living person. He is a workaholic person. He resides in Rashtrapati Bhavan. His full name is Kocheril Raman Narayanan. His wife’s name is Usha. He is known for his interest in reading and writing. He has interacted with some of the greatest personalities in the second half of the twentieth century. Among them are Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, S.Radhakrishnan, Nelson Mandela, Mao Tse Tung, Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and the Dalai Lama. Whenever he travels abroad, he makes it a point to interact with intellectuals, scientists and philosophers. The banquets and lunches hosted by the President in Rashtrapati Bhavan have the gathering of the finest talents in the land, drawn from diverse fields.
He came from the charming village of Ushazoor in Kerala (state in south of India). He says his life was not planned in any direction, but it evolved. He had no fixed ambition when he completed his education. He says there was no goal towards which he wanted to work with determination.
His life was full of struggle during early years. In the crucial moments of his life he was helped and encouraged by many grateful people whom he did not even know. People always helped him in spite of societal and social circumstances. And therefore he has no bitterness towards his life or individuals despite of hard struggle. He wonders how he has reached here (President) even after so much of struggle. Narayanan led an illustrious life as a teacher, journalist, diplomat, vice-chancellor, Member of Parliament, vice-president, minister and finally President.
As a President, he has combined the role of guide, philosopher and friend to the nation, upholding the constitution at every crisis and ensuring accountability of executive. He has conquered the cause of democracy, secularism and social justice through his speeches and actions.
The most important influence of his life is the liberal tradition of his country India where tolerance is practised. He feels pride in describing himself as an Indian. He feels that now there is scattered intolerance in the youth of today, but the majority of people are tolerant. He feels that now the leaders of the nation do not condemn intolerance even for the sake of condemning. According to him “It is very important that leaders and opinion makers should strongly argue against the spirit of intolerance where people are made to attack each other in the name of faith, language or for any other reason. Earlier our leaders always made public their support for tolerance and mutual respect”.
As a president he is a custodian of the constitution and he feels that India needs a system which is dynamic and rich in content. When he became President India ‘s relationship with the rest of the world were at low ebb. The nuclear explosions (Pokhran Nuclear tests) did not helped either. Now it seems to be in better position.