Contents: Preface. 1. Dr. Rajendra Prasad: first President of India. 2. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: second President of India. 3. Dr. Zakir Husain: third President of India. 4. Varahagiri Venkata Giri: fourth President of India. 5. Mohammed Hidayatullah: a thirtyfive-days acting President. 6. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed: fifth President of India. 7. Basappa Danappa Jatti: acting President. 8. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy: sixth President of India. 9. Giani Zail Singh: seventh President of India. 10. Ramaswamy Venkataraman: eighth President of India. 11. Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma: ninth President of India. 12. Dr. Kocheril Raman Narayanan: tenth President of India. 13. Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam: eleventh President of India (12 term). Selected bibliography.
"India became Republic on 26 January, 1950 and we have completed fifty-three years as a Republic Nation having had Dr. Rajendra Prasad as the first President, who guided the nation for almost twelve years. And now, on July 25, 2002, the eleventh President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has taken the reigns to propel the nation to new heights.
The present work is a revised edition of the earlier book, covering the up-to-date contribution of the outgoing President Dr. K.R. Narayanan, and the present President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
The author has extensively quoted from the autobiography of Dr. Kalam, which is very interesting, informative and thought provoking.
All the Presidents have been men of great eminence, wisdom, patriotism, scholarship and statesmanship and have completed their terms with genuine devotion, dedication, dignity and determination. But, in spite of all this there had been encounters between the Presidents and the Prime Ministers on certain basic and vital issues of great public importance. Right from the beginning many occasions arose where it had been established that the office of the President of India is not as powerless as the crown of England. The Constitution of India fully empowers the President of India ‘to protect, defend and preserve the Constitution and the people’, whenever the occasion arises. Hindu Code Bill, Governor’s role, the Postal Bill, Ordinances, bank nationalisation case, privy purses case, emergency excesses, Shah Bano case, operation blue star, dissolution of the Parliament and the Assemblies, Hung Parliament, outside support and the appointment of the Prime Minister under the Constitution are some of the vital issues which have been discussed in the present work.
The book is an exciting and precious piece of history dealing with many hitherto untold encounters between the Presidents and the Prime Ministers. It is indeed a living document and provides food for thought for every enlightened citizen. It will be an asset for the readers who cherish independence and who have love and affection for their country." (jacket)