Top writers, film personalities and artists from West Bengal Wednesday expressed their happiness after Pranab Mukhejee was sworn-in as the country's president.
"I'm very happy as somebody from Bengal has become the president," Sunil Gangopadhyay, novelist and president of the Sahitya Akademi, told IANS.
"During the freedom movement, many people from Bengal sacrificed their lives. But after Independence, Bengalis have generally been ignored in national politics. So, I'm happy since Pranab 'babu' is from Bengal," he said.
Samaresh Majumdar, another popular Bengali novelist, said: "I have a personal relationship with Pranab babu. He is a nice person. And he is also a reader of my novels. He is fond of my writings. Whenever he goes abroad, he takes some of my books for reading."
Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee also expressed his delight at Mukehrjee becoming the president.
Veteran filmmaker Mrinal Sen had another view: "I would not like to consider his Bengali identity. I think he has got to the high office as an able Indian."
Painter Ganesh Pyne said Mukherjee's "dream journey" from a village in Birbhum to Rashtrapati Bhavan is "a lifetime's experience" for him too.
"I loved his spirited speech today as he pointed out the necessity of knowledge for all," he said.
Magician P.C. Sorcar said: "I'm proud that a fellow Bengali has become the new president."