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Odisha Assembly passes resolution demanding Bharat Ratna for former CM Biju Patnaik

None of the opposition members were present when the House adopted the resolution.

Former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik
File
Picture Courtesy: Wikipedia
Odisha Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution seeking “Bharat Ratna” for freedom fighter and former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.”The House adopted a resolution empowering the state government to make a demand before the Centre for conferring Bharat Ratna on Biju Patnaik posthumously and observe birth centenary of the legendary leader next year,” Speaker Niranjan Pujari said after the House adopted the resolution moved by the government chief whip Ananta Das.Das had moved a motion on Tuesday on the ‘Role of Legendary Biju Patnaik during freedom struggle and nation building after Independence’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>None of the opposition members were present when the House adopted the resolution. Opposition Congress, BJP and CPI-M are keeping away from the House to protest the suspension of Congress MLA Nabakishore Das by Speaker Niranjan Pujari for seven days on the charge of watching objectionable video on mobile phone in the house on Monday.At least eight ministers and 20 MLAs participated in the debate which began yesterday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also the younger son of Biju Patnaik, however, did not take part in the debate.BJD lawmakers said the legendary leader had been honoured with the highest civilian award by Indonesian government and the government of Russia. National flags of three nations were therefore draped on his body in his funeral, they said.Rout also said how Biju Patnaik had contributed to the security of the country during Chinese aggression in 1962 and war with Pakistan in 1965.”Biju Patnaik had a major role for which Jammu Kashmir is now part of India. Biju Babu carried V K Krishna Menon to Kashmir in his plane and convinced Raja Hari Singh to keep Jammu and Kashmir with India,” Rout said.When Pakistan along with some other nations announced war against India in 1965, the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Sashtri sought Patnaik’s help to ensure that Indonesian naval warship do not come to the rescue of the enemy country and Patnaik used his personal relation with President Sukarno and stopped Indonesia’s warship moment, he said.Government Chief Whip Ananta Das said, “Biju Babu suggested Dr APJ Abdul Kalam to select Wheeler Island for test launching of missiles instead of setting up a National Test Range at Baliapal in Balasore district. Then, Dr Kalam and his team visited the island and found the place most suitable place in the world for missile testing.” The House was adjourned sine-die after the resolution was adopted.

Chennai Floods: Anna University to reschedule exams to December 28

The University informed the Court that it is postponing the first semester exams for first year engineering courses to Dec 28 in view of the heavy rains and floods.

Anna University

The Madras High Court on Monday directed Anna University to immediately publish on its website, details of exams rescheduled to December 28 and inform the HC about it on Tuesday. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T S Sivagnanam, stated this when Government Pleader S T S Murthy,counsel for AU,informed it that the exams in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Tiruvallur had been postponed in view of the heavy rains and floods.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court was hearing a petition by a trust ‘Abdul Kalam Vision, seeking to quash the revised timetable. The University informed the Court that it is postponing the first semester exams for first year engineering courses to Dec 28 in view of the heavy rains and floods. The GP further submitted that the postponement would be applicable to colleges located in these four districts.When the petition by Abdul Kalam Vision came up earlier in the day, the bench directed the GP to get the instructions and submit it. He did so and furnished details of postponement in the evening,after which the bench directed him to publish all details in the site and furnish details tomorrow to the Court.S Kumar, trustee of Abdul Kalam Vision India Trust,made a mention before the bench earlier to order postponement of the exams scheduled to commence from December 15. He submitted that students in affected areas could not prepare themselves for the exam in view of the unprecedented rains and floods. Moreover, the first year students, who have come straight from the schools, were going to experience the University exam for the first time and they should not be put into an uncomfortable situation and the same should not create panic in them, he submitted.

APJ Abdul Kalam’s nephew quits BJP over memorial row

APJ Syed Haja Ibrahim, who had joined BJP in 2012, resigned as Vice President of the minority wing of Tamil Nadu unit of BJP and the party’s primary membership.

APJ Abdul Kalam’s grand nephew on Monday resigned from the BJP, upset over “failure” of the Modi government to convert the residence occupied by the former President into a knowledge centre.APJ Syed Haja Ibrahim, who had joined BJP in 2012, resigned as Vice President of the minority wing of Tamil Nadu unit of BJP and the party’s primary membership.”It (setting up a knowledge centre) was the wish of not only the former President, but the entire nation. I am resigning my post as this centre has not been set up despite repeated requests. I am also resigning from the primary membership of BJP,” he told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The No 10 Rajaji Marg bungalow in Delhi, occupied by Kalam till his death in July, has been allotted to Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, a move which had drawn flak from various quarters. Delhi’s ruling AAP had also criticised the government decision.

Modi in Malaysia: PM’s address to Indian diaspora steeped in Tamil flavour

Among the cheering audience, a majority were third generation Tamil-Malaysians.

Modi went on to talk about Tamil philosopher-poet Thiruvalluvar whose most famous work is Thirukkural.

PTI
Vanakkam! is how Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the Indian diaspora here as he set the tone for an address that was steeped in Tamil flavour for the majority Tamil-Malaysians in the audience. Prime Minister Modi walked up to the stage and hailed the 15,000-strong crowd, a majority of them Tamil-Malaysians, with “Vanakkam” (hello in Tamil) amid chants of Modi, Modi. After greeting the crowd, Modi spoke a few sentences in Tamil saying, “Many of you are from Tamil Nadu…Tamil Nadu’s role in India’s growth is important.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Switching to English, Modi said, “India is not confined to territory. India exists in every Indian in every part of the world, India is in you.”Among the cheering audience, a majority were third generation Tamil-Malaysians.Ethnic Indians form 8% of Malaysia’s population and are mostly Tamils. Their ancestors came to Malaysia more than 100 years ago and many were brought by the British to work at rubber plantations here. Many of those people did not return to India after independence preferring to live in Malaysia.In his 45-minute address at the Malaysia International Exhibition and Convention Centre here, Modi went on to talk about Tamil philosopher-poet Thiruvalluvar whose most famous work is Thirukkural. “As I stand before you, I am reminded of the words of the great Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar: ‘Friendship is not just a smile on the face. It is what is felt deep within a smiling heart’,” Modi said. “Mahatma Gandhi had once said that he wanted to learn Tamil to study Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukurral in its original form as there was no one who had given such treasures of wisdom as he had,” he said.The Prime Minister said the saint’s words on friendship capture the feeling that he gets each time he comes to Malaysia whether without office or as Prime Minister. “I have felt the same embrace of friendship and welcome.The love and friendship of the Malaya-Indians has always had a special place in my heart,” Modi said. “Generations ago, many of your ancestors came to an unknown land. Many of you came here more recently in the mobility of our globalised world. Whenever you came here, whatever be the circumstance in which you came, time or distance has not reduced your love for India,” he said.Modi also paid tribute to Tamil-origin Capt Janaky Athi Nahappan, who served as a deputy to Capt Lakshmi Sehgal. “That was in the regiment named after yet another icon of India’s war of Independence, Rani of Jhansi.”Modi invoked another Tamilian — former President APJ Abdul Kalam — to conclude his address. He ended with Kalam’s words — “have the courage to think differently, and to discover the impossible!”

India test-fires indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile

Balasore: As part of efforts to develop a full fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system, India on Sunday test-fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha coast.

Representational image. Agencies

Representational image. Agencies

“The test was conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode,” said defence sources.

The interceptor, known as Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile, was engaged against an electronically prepared target which simulated the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile.

After getting signals from tracking radars, the interceptor, positioned at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island), roared through its trajectory at around 9.46 am to destroy the incoming missile mid-air, in an endo-atmospheric altitude, defence sources said.

The ‘kill’ effect of the interceptor was being ascertained by analysing data from multiple tracking sources,” a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist said soon after the test was carried out.

The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator, the sources said.

The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking andhoming capabilities and sophisticated radars, the sources said.

PTI

APJ Abdul Kalam’s last book about ‘Make In India’ and ‘Swachh Bharat’ launched at IIM-A

The book ‘Advantage India-From Challenge to Opportunity’ has been co-authored by IIMA alumnus Srijan Pal Singh, who along with IIMA director Prof Ashish Nanda were present on the occasion.

In this book, Kalam tried to provide insight into how can the new initiatives, such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, skill development and ‘Smart Cities’, can be used to unleash the country’s vast potential.
File Photo
PTI
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s last book about how can new initiatives like ‘Make in India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’ can be used to unleash country’s vast potential, was launched on Tuesday at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIMA) in Ahmedabad.The book ‘Advantage India-From Challenge to Opportunity’ has been co-authored by IIMA alumnus Srijan Pal Singh, who along with IIMA director Prof Ashish Nanda were present on the occasion.According to Singh, who had earlier co-authored ‘Target 3 Billion’ with Kalam in 2011, Kalam had completed 99 per cent of the book before he died in July this year. Singh has spend many years with Kalam after passing out of IIM-A.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In this book, Kalam tried to provide insight into how can the new initiatives, such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, skill development and ‘Smart Cities’, can be used to unleash the country’s vast potential, Singh said.”This book also contains his last lecture which he was supposed to give at IIM-Shillong, but died while giving it. This book contains his thoughts and views about how India can surge ahead. Kalam sir also used some imaginary and humorous conversations in the book to put forward his point on difficult subject matters,” he added.As a tribute to the former President, Singh also announced to start a library project titled ‘Kalam Library’.”I believe that there should be a memorial of Kalam sir, and what could be better than a library as a memorial for him. I am planning to launch this project with 25 libraries across India, which will provide books to those children who can not afford to buy it” Singh added.When asked about what Kalam would have said about the ‘rising intolerance’ in the country if he was alive today, Singh said that righteousness is the key to tolerance and the legend himself gave an answer in the book about how to be more tolerant.”In the book, Kalam sir said that when there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in character, when there is beauty in character, there is harmony in home (country), when there is harmony, then there will be order in the nation, and it finally leads to peace in the world” Singh said while quoting the text in the book. Nanda recalled Kalam’s association with IIMA.”He was a dear fried of this institute. His association with this institute was from his early days, when he worked with our founding father Vikram Sarabhai in Mumbai. In recent years, despite his busy schedule, Kalam would make it a point to come to IIMA every year and interact with students,” he said.Kalam, the ‘missile man’ who became popular as ‘People’s President’ died on July 27 after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest and collapsed during a lecture at the IIM in Shillong.

Supreme Court provides relief to Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma in 1997 land scam case

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma will not be made an accused in the 1997 Kailash Hospital land scam case, the Supreme Court has said.

Mahesh Sharma

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma will not be made an accused in the 1997 Kailash Hospital land scam case, the Supreme Court has said.According to ANI, the Supreme Court has dismissed a petition against Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma challenging his acquittal from the case in 2010.Mahesh Sharma, then chairman of the Kailash Hospital in Noida, had been acquitted by the Allahabad HC. Along with him, Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Neera Yadav had also been granted bail.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Allahabad High Court had in December 2010 granted bail to Neera Yadav and industrialist Ashok Chaturvedi in another land scam case. The duo had been sentenced to imprisonment just a week prior to being given bail.A 1971 batch IAS officer, Yadav was chief secretary during the chief ministership of Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh. She had earned the dubious distinction of being the country’s first IAS officer to be removed from the chief secretary’s post by the Supreme Court on charges of corruption in 2005.The Culture Minister for his part has been embroiled in controversy after controversy. Most recently, he has been allotted the vacant bungalow belonging to the late ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam, who he had once called a ‘patriot despite being a Muslim’. Related Read: Mahesh Sharma gets APJ Abdul Kalam’s bungalow after calling him a ‘nationalist despite being Muslim’

APJ Abdul Kalam’s Bungalow row: Ministry clarifies govt bungalows cannot be converted into memorials

Criticising Centre for not converting Kalam’s residence into a memorial, senior AAP minister Kapil Mishra had said, “limiting Dr. Kalam’s work to Rameswaram only and shifting all his documents, books and even Veena to Rameswaram is insulting…his residence should not be vacated but should be converted into a Knowledge Centre in the loving memory of the legend.”

After AAP criticised government’s move to allot Former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s bungalow to Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, Government has issued a statement saying that the bungalow was alloted to Sharma under Minister’s Residence Rules,1962. It clarified that as per the government decision on October 18, 2014, a total ban on conversion of government bungalows into memorials of the departed leaders was imposed.Criticising Centre for not converting Kalam’s residence into a memorial, senior AAP minister Kapil Mishra had said, “limiting Dr. Kalam’s work to Rameswaram only and shifting all his documents, books and even Veena to Rameswaram is insulting…his residence should not be vacated but should be converted into a Knowledge Centre in the loving memory of the legend.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government on Wednesday night said, “Government had imposed a total ban on conversion of Government bungalows into memorials of the departed leaders. Executive Assistant of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has informed Ministry of Urban Development that bungalow would be vacated by October 31. Government has already decided to build a memorial for Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, his birthplace. The said bungalow at No.10, Rajaji Marg has been allotted to Dr. Mahesh Sharma under Rule 3 of the Minister’s Residence Rules,1962.”All other Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State have been allotted government accommodation and only Sharma was waiting for official accommodation and accordingly, the Urban Development Ministry said, adding the bungalow was allotted to him on vacation basis. Asked about the demand from friends and supporters of Kalam to convert the Rajaji Marg residence into a memorial, Sharma had earlier said, “It is the government’s policy not to convert any Lutyen’s bungalow into a memorial.”RLD leader Ajit Singh had also demanded converting the Tughlaq Road residence of his late father Charan Singh into a memorial but the demand was not accepted.”The former President’s house has to be vacated by October 31, 2015 and his belongings, which includes numerous books and his Veena, have been shifted out to his home town Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu.Incidentally, Sharma was also in the eye of a storm last month for his remarks that Kalam was a great nationalist “despite being a Muslim”.”I am getting an official accommodation after 11 months. Earlier, I was allotted 7 Tyagraj Marg but I could not move there as it was not vacated by the earlier occupant,” Sharma said.The Minister also asserted that the “walls of former President’s house” will inspire him to do better.The JD(U) also condemned the government’s decision to allot the house to Sharma and demanded that the residence should be developed as a Kalam memorial. Reacting strongly to Sharma’s statement that he had been allotted the bungalow, JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi said it was very “uncultured” of him.”Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu had said that Kalam’s residence should be developed as Children’s Art Gallery. In the memory of the late President, we request to the President to kindly intervene in this matter as it will hurt the sentiments of millions of Indians,” he said. He said Sharma should withdraw his “claim” in Kalam’s honour and memory.With Agencies

Mahesh Sharma gets APJ Abdul Kalam’s bungalow after calling him a ‘nationalist despite being Muslim’

The former President Kalam’s bungalow will be vacated by October 31 and all his belongings have already been packed, said the India Today report.

Controversial Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who called the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam ‘a great man who was a nationalist and humanist despite being a Muslim’, has been allotted Dr Kalam’s former residence in Delhi.According to India Today, the new occupant of No 10, Rajaji Marg will be the controversial Culture Minister, a sheer coincidence it seems.The former President Kalam’s bungalow will be vacated by October 31 and all his belongings have already been packed, said the India Today report.Related Read: Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma gets pulled up by BJP, asked to calm down<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior journalist from Tamil Nadu, Bhagwan Singh, has already filed a petition on Change.org asking Kalam’s home to be turned into a Knowledge Centre, reports The News Minute.The Change.org petition titled ‘Don’t Insult Dr. Abdul Kalam! Make his Delhi home a Knowledge Centre’ describes “Thousands of Dr. Kalam’s books and documents that he worked on through his life, the Veena that he often played, are being boxed up, so that Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who has been in the news recently for his sexist and discriminatory comments, can move in.”It asks for the bungalow to be instead converted into a knowledge centre. “Setting up ‘Dr. Abdul Kalam International Knowledge Centre’ at 10, Rajaji Marg, and opening it to general public, will serve as a universal destination for scholars, scientists and students where Dr. Kalam’s work will give practical and inexpensive solutions for our most critical issues.” You can sign the petition here.But senior CWPD officer contends that “As per our rules, a Type VIII bungalow of this size is allotted only to cabinet ministers or those holding cabinet ranks. As a minister of state and a first-time MP, he (Sharma) is not entitled to it,” reported India Today.

All you need to know about the People’s President APJ Abdul Kalam

Dr Kalam has inspired students across the country during his lifetime.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Hundreds of students as well as dignitaries paid homage to former President APJ Abdul Kalam on the occasion of his 84th birth anniversary on Thursday. He served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. Here’s more on the nation’s favourite President: Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931 in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. During his childhood, due to his family’s unstable financial condition, he sold newspapers to generate some income. He was passionate about aeronautics since his early childhood and aspired to become a fighter pilot. But he missed out on getting into the top eight to qualify for the IAF. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He then went on to study physics and aerospace engineering. Later, he worked with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). His involvement in India’s civilian space programme and military missile development efforts gave him the title of ‘Missile Man of India’.His other roles included serving as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from 1992 to 1999.Dr Kalam regarded his work on India’s nuclear weapons programme as a way to assert India’s place as a future superpower. The Pokhran -II nuclear tests took place during his tenure as the Chief Project Coordinator along with Rajagopala Chidambaram. He is also remembered for developing tablet computer in the year 2012, along with cardiologist Soma Raju for the development of healthcare in rural areas.Dr Kalam has been honoured with doctorates from almost 40 universities and was conferred with various awards from the Government of India including the Padma Bhushan in 1981, Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. For his notable contribution in space related stream, the National Space Society decided to nominate him for the Von Braun Award in 2013.Not just the space sector, Dr Kalam gained prestige even in the educational sector. Right from being a guest faculty at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, Indore and Ahmedabad to being a chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, he taught and inspired students at several other institutes across the country. While delivering one such lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong, he collapsed and died from a cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, at the age of 83.He is widely remembered in the country as the People’s President. Also Read: 10 Inspiring Quotes by APJ Abdul Kalam

10 Inspiring Quotes by APJ Abdul Kalam

His quotes on hard work inspire our youth even today aS he is still looked upon as a role model for our generation.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is still remembered amongst all of us for his notable contributions to India, for his presidency and also for his quotes which are inspiring our youths today. Below are the 10 inspiring quotes by our former beloved President 1. “All Birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the clouds”2. “Man needs difficulties in life because they are necessary to enjoy the success”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3. “If you want to shine like a sun, first learn to burn like a sun ”
(Image Credit – AFP)4. “All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents”5. “Without your involvement you can’t succeed.With your involvement, you can’t fail” 6. “You have to dream before your dreams can come true”7. “To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal”
(Image Credit – Soma Ghosh)8. “We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us”9. “Look at the sky.We are not alone.The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work”10. “Those who cannot work with their heart achieve, but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around”

NGO pays tribute to Abdul Kalam with handwritten postcards from across India

The campaign ‘dearkalamsir’ aims to create an anthology of postcards.

Postcards arrived for ‘dearkalamsir’ project (Image Credit – dearkalamsir Facebook page)

On the 84th birth anniversary of former President Abdul Kalam, a nonprofit organisation has hit upon a unique idea to pay tribute to the late ‘Missile Man of India’ through handwritten postcards.The Kochi-based LetterFarms, a community art project is inviting people from all walks of life to participate in a project where they pen handwritten postcards expressing their sentiments about the late President.The campaign ‘dearkalamsir’ aims to create an anthology of postcards.”The campaign has been launched today and we aim to reach and get letters from across all the 30 states of the country. This event will finally culminate on the first death anniversary of Dr Kalam on July 27, 2016,” Jubie John of LetterFarms, a Kochi-based NGO said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The campaign aims to call on students, corporate, celebrities to send to pick up a simple postcard and add their unique voice in the form of a letter or a drawing or a sketch or a poem.”Even though we live in a digital age where communication is ruled by technology, yet a handwritten note is still the most impactful way to communicate,” John said.”We are leveraging on people’s handwritten power for creating a tribute in a very personal way, making Dr Kalam the only public leader for whom such a people-powered movement was ever created,” John said.(dearkalamsir Facebook page)The campaign aims to reach to a number of 84,000 postcards in the first 84 days. An expected number of 10 lakh students will participate in the first phase of the campaign.”The campaign is divided into two phases. First being the mobilisation phase. Right now students and corporate from 22 states have come on board we are expecting to get a good response from all the 30 states. The second phase is essentially exhibiting the best of the best messages, illustrations and creative pursuits of people who have sent the postcards,” John said.The NGO, which was set up a year ago says it plans, through on-ground and online efforts to create a hybrid of online and offline tributes to Kalam.”Our aim is to equally engage the rich and the poor, the rural and the urban, the online and the offline, the young and the old – literally everyone. We’re thrilled to see the amazing handwork of people on a simple postcard and how it’s indeed as unique as their figure prints” Saji Mathew, co-founder of LetterFarms said.

Tamil Nadu celebrates Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary with various events

In Kalam’s hometown Rameswaram, a special rally will be held from Kalam’s school to his home.

PTI
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary is being celebrated as Youth Renaissance Day in Tamil Nadu and the state government has planned numerous programmes for the day. More than 500 college and school students will take part in rallies at 9 am, according to Deccan Chronicle. Many of them will be carrying placards talking about the importance of Youth Renaissance Day.Many students across the state who have won in science oratory and essay competitions will receive their certificates and prizes today from state ministers at a special event. This event is being held at the Anna University auditorium at 4.30 pm today. There will also be cultural performances by students.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report adds that the Birla Planetarium will have well-known astrophysicists who will talk about various aspects of science to students and the general public. In Kalam’s hometown Rameswaram, a special rally will be held from the later president’s school to his home.

PM Modi pays tribute to former president APJ Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tribute to late former president APJ Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary.

APJ Abdul Kalam

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tribute to late former president APJ Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary.”Today we salute APJ Abdul Kalam and celebrate his monumental achievements as a scientist, scholar and the President of India. We fondly remember his passion for teaching and education. Dr. Kalam truly ignited young minds with the power to think and innovate. Dr. Kalam is not with us today but his thoughts, ideals and vision for India live on forever,” PM Modi tweeted.Prime Minister Modi is also scheduled to attend the birth anniversary celebrations of Kalam today, during which he will unveil his statue and inaugurate a photo exhibition on the departed leader. The Prime Minister will be attending the celebrations at DRDO Bhavan here in the national capital.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharat Ratna awardee Kalam passed away on July 27, 2015. He was the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. Before becoming the President, Kalam had spent four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), earning him the title of ‘Missile man’.

Chennai: ‘Naalaya India’ movement launched on Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthday

The NGO is founded on the three virtues of passion, inspire and spread.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

PTI
When Suresh Babu started the Facebook page Kalam’s Kanavu (Kalam’s Dream), he didn’t expect more than 25000 people to join the community. He then decided to start ‘Naalaya I.N.D.I.A’ (Tomorrow’s India), an NGO, on Dr Kalam’s birthday. The aim of Naalaya India is to bring the youth together for change in society. This is in line with late president’s dream of making India a developed country by 2020.Suresh Babu has worked closely with Dr APJ Abdul Kalam during his stay in Anna University. He decided to start the Naalaya India movement to ‘inspire young minds and make the change bigger and stronger’. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NGO is founded on the three virtues of passion, inspire and spread. Suresh Babu said in a press release, “Naalaya I.N.D.I.A will bring the youth of the nation together for one goal – Change. We firmly believe that we are the new generation, who can bring about a change in the world to make it a better place for us and the future. We, the part of the ‘new’, invite you to be the CHANGE.”Naalaya India started off with a conference – People of Change 2015 – from October 12-15, where people from different fields will come to inspire youngsters through exchange of ideas and thoughts. They are also planning to create an online directory of ‘change makers’ which can be accessed by all and serve as a bridge between society and these people.

Delhi HC junks PIL on Aurangzeb Road, Tarek Fatah says why he lobbied for its renaming

By Tarek Fatah

Editor’s note: The Delhi Hight Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a PIL filed by petitioner Shahid Ali seeking to stop the New Delhi Municipal Council from renaming Aurangzeb Road as APJ Abdul Kalam Road. The Bench said that the renaming is not a matter of public interest as the public is not aggrieved by it. In the light of the decision, we are republishing this story written by Fatah on the day the decision was taken for Aurangzeb Road to be renamed.

In March, at a lecture in Delhi, I challenged India’s Muslims to stand up and reject the Islamic State and instead start living in a state of Islam; the pursuit of truth above everything else.

And to start that journey I suggested they should demand that the Indian and Delhi governments change the name of the city’s Aurangzeb Road, named after the murderous Mughal Emperor to the pious and poet prince Dara Shikoh who was beheaded by Aurangzeb.

As an Indian Muslim born in Pakistan, I first visited India in 2013 and was shocked to see the name Aurangzeb adorn one of the most majestic streets of India’s capital.

Here was a man who had killed his elder brother to stage a palace coup, who had his own father imprisoned for life and had several Islamic leaders of India hanged to death, among them the spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslims of Gujarat. As emperor, Aurangzeb banned music, dance and the consumption of alcohol in the Mughal Empire. In Sindh and Punjab where many Muslims attended discourses by Hindu Brahmins, he ordered the demolition of all schools and the temples where such interaction took place, making it punishable for Muslims who dressed like non-Muslims.

Mayank Austen/ FlickrMayank Austen/ Flickr

Representational image. Mayank Austen/ Flickr

But nothing is more of a testimony to the cruelty and bigotry of Aurangzeb than the executions of the Muslim Sufi mystic Sarmad Kashani and the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur. He considered the majority Hindus of his realm as ‘Kufaar’ and placed them as second class to Muslims, waged jihad against Shia Muslim rulers and wiped out all traces of the liberal, pluralistic and tolerant Islam introduced by his great-grandfather Emperor Akbar.

Aurangzeb today would be the equivalent of Caliph El-Baghdadi of the Islamic State (ISIS), if not Osama Bin Laden or Mullah Omar of the Taliban.

Yet, most Indian Muslims are either not aware of Aurangzeb’s crimes or choose to relish the thought that he was the one true king who ruled India in the name of Islam with an iron fist and put Hindus and Sikhs in their rightful place—at the bottom of the heap.

So I told the Muslims in my audience that if they truly wanted to fight ISIS, they should take the lead in demanding the erasing of a murderer’s name and replace it with his brother who is loved by all as the epitome of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.

Then came news of the death of India’s most loved president, the Muslim from the country’s deep south who lived in a state of Islam, not the Islamic State, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

On 29 June, I took to Twitter and urged Indians to ask their governments to change the name from Aurangzeb to APJ Abdul Kalam Road.

The idea caught on like wildfire on social media and soon Lok Sabha member from Delhi, Maheish Girri, wrote to Prime Minister Modi to help change the name.

Yesterday, I was woken by phone calls from friends in India with the news that the Delhi government had decided to change the name of Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road. It was 3 am in Toronto and I for a moment thought I must be dreaming, but I was awake so I woke up my wife to share the news.

She shrugged me off, “Buddah pagal ho gaya hai kyaa?’’

But as best as I could do, I did a mix of the lungi dance and bhangra. I couldn’t believe we had pulled it off. (I am now hoping unashamedly that someone in his kindness will invite me to be in Delhi when the formal change in name takes place.)

The change of name, be it a human being or a place carries huge significance. At times such a change is a sign of subservience and servitude to a new master, while at other times it is one of overthrowing the bondage of a former dictator.

Thus Malcolm X dropped his last name and took on X to reject the family name given to him by some past White slave-owner. In the same vein, Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd as a rebuke to the horrors inflicted on the Russian people by Stalin.

In the country of my birth, Pakistan, many names that reminded us of the British Raj were changed. Thus ‘Victoria Road’ and ‘Elphinstone Street’ in Karachi took on names to reflect the new reality of a supposedly independent country. But not all name changes are an act of correcting wrong.

I was born on a quiet street in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1949 on what was once known as ‘Lala Lajpat Rai Road’, named after the Punjabi author, politician and one of the leaders of the Indian Independence movement.

Lalaji, who died in 1928 after suffering blows to his head in a clash with the police in Lahore, needs no introduction in India. But in the land where he gave his life, hardly anyone knows him, let alone honours him for his service and sacrifice. His crime? He was Hindu. Therefore, his name needed to be erased from the newly created Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the so-called ‘Land of the Pure.’

Even as a child I could not understand why ‘Guru Mandir’ the neighbourhood where I was born had to undergo a name change and become ‘Sabeel Wali Masjid’.

Already some Islamists inside India are condemning the change in name. They will argue that if changing the name of Lala Lajpat Rai Road in Pakistan is wrong then the same principle should be applied to Aurangzeb Road. Wrong.

Lala Lajpat Rai was a symbol of India’s fight for freedom while Aurangzeb is a symbol of India’s subjugation and the imposition of an Arabized culture of radical Islam on a land that savours pluralism and secularism. Jai Hind!

APJ Abdul Kalam’s grandnephew to launch Kalam Foundation in his honour

The foundation will be run by those who were close to the former President, Saleem added.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

AFP
The grandnephew of former President APJ Abdul Kalam has announced that the family is setting up ‘Kalam Foundation’ in the former President’s honour. The foundation will be launched on October 11 in Chennai.According to a report in The Hindu, the foundation’s aim will be to carry forward Kamal’s mission and make his vision come true. APJ MJ Sheik Saleem made this announcement. He recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.Saleem has also stated that a ‘Kalam National Centre for Knowledge and Discovery’ will be set up by the foundation. Ponraj, a close aide and advisor to Dr Kalam, and Saleem had said that they had requested the Centre to set up a ‘Kalam National Centre for Knowledge and Discovery’, on September 4 in Rameswaram. It was post this that Saleem joined the BJP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The foundation will be run by those who were close to the former President, Saleem added. Ponraj has now stated that Saleem would not be given a post in the ‘Abdul Kalam’s Vision India Movement’ as he has joined a political party.

Dadri Beef Murder: Azam Khan asks Narendra Modi to rein in his volunteers

Union Minister Mahesh Sharma on Thursday described the lynching of a 50-year-old man in Dadri by a mob, allegedly over consumption of beef, as an “accident” and said that no “communal colour” should be given to it, even as the family of the victim is planning to move out of the village fearing that it may happen again.

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Hitting out at the BJP, Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan hit out at BJP. Addressing Narendra Modi, he said: “Prime Minister, please rein in your volunteers. Life, politics and posts are not forever but infamy remains forever. You have not been able to wipe out Gujarat taint and until this world lives, it will never be wiped out. Don’t make your volunteers do these things. Where are you taking the country to?”The UP government has announced Rs 10 lakh for the family of the Muslim man was lynched for allegedly consuming beef. The police have arrested six people, while ac ase has been registered against ten of them. The UP government has also announced free treatment for the injured family members. (Also Read: Dadri killing: UP Police leave out key evidence, BJP leader calls accused as ‘excited innocent children’) <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>
Union Minister Mahesh Sharma on Thursday described the lynching of a 50-year-old man in Dadri by a mob, allegedly over consumption of beef, as an “accident” and said that no “communal colour” should be given to it, even as the family of the victim is planning to move out of the village fearing that it may happen again. (Also read: Dadri murder: Attackers came armed with hockey sticks, batons and even swords, says victim’s daughter)”This (incident) should be considered as an accident without giving any communal colour to it,” Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism and BJP MP from Noida, said. Meanwhile, Congress leader Meem Afzal on Thursday criticised Sharma for his unwarranted comment on the Dadri incident. “I don’t understand what is wrong with the Cultural Minister. First, he made comments about APJ Abdul Kalam, saying that Kalam was a patriot even though he was a Muslim. By making such comments, he is encouraging such incidents,” Afzal said.

Union Minister Mahesh Sharma terms Dadri killing an ‘accident’; victim’s kin plan to leave village

“This (incident) should be considered as an accident without giving any communal colour to it,” Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism and BJP MP from Noida, said.

Union Minister Mahesh Sharma on Thursday described the lynching of a 50-year-old man in Dadri by a mob, allegedly over consumption of beef, as an “accident” and said that no “communal colour” should be given to it, even as the family of the victim is planning to move out of the village fearing that it may happen again.”This (incident) should be considered as an accident without giving any communal colour to it,” Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism and BJP MP from Noida, said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Two other families live with the affected family in the middle of the village and their walls adjoin with others.Also Read: Dadri killing: UP Police leave out key evidence, BJP leader calls accused as ‘excited innocent children’About 10-12 houses of other community are in the outlying part of the village but no incident concerning them has happened,” he said.”I feel this incident occurred due to some misunderstanding and the law should truthfully act against whoever is responsible for it,” he said.Iqlakh’s other son, Sartaj, who serves in the Indian Air Force,demanded punishment for the murderers of his father.Also read: Dadri murder: Attackers came armed with hockey sticks, batons and even swords, says victim’s daughter”Those arrested murdered my father. I want to know the reason for which they did this to him. They should be punished so that none from the village would dare to such deed in future,” he said. Meanwhile, Congress leader Meem Afzal on Thursday criticised Sharma for his unwarranted comment on the Dadri incident.”I don’t understand what is wrong with the Cultural Minister. First, he made comments about APJ Abdul Kalam, saying that Kalam was a patriot even though he was a Muslim. By making such comments, he is encouraging such incidents,” Afzal said.

Late President APJ Abdul Kalam’s grand nephew joins BJP

A grand nephew of former President A P J Abdul Kalam on Monday joined the BJP.

File Photo
dna Research & Archives
A grand nephew of former President A P J Abdul Kalam on Monday joined the BJP.APJ Sheikh Salim met BJP president Amit Shah and joined the party, BJP said. BJP said Salim joining the party will strengthen the organisation. (More details are awaited)

Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma gets pulled up by BJP, asked to calm down

Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who has attracted criticism for his reckless remarks recently, has been asked to calm down by the BJP, says a report in an English daily.

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma

Controversial Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who has attracted criticism for his reckless remarks recently, has been asked to calm down by the BJP, says a report in an English daily.Mahesh Sharma had made several contentious statements. He seemed on a warpath to cleanse Indian society of ‘western cultural pollution’, called APJ Abdul Kalam a nationalist and humanist ‘despite being a Muslim’, said a meat ban during Navaratri would be a political decision, and appeared to indicate that women should not go out at night as per the norms of Indian culture.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mahesh Sharma had tried to deny his statement on women, claiming that he had not suggested any restrictions on women and night-outs, stating that his daughter was a doctor and often worked late. “It is not my intention to differentiate between sons and daughters,” he told TV channels. On the Kalam controversy, Mahesh Sharma claimed, “One or half a line has been picked up. I was asked whether all roads names after Muslims were being changed and I said there is no such intention. If a road is being named after Dr Kalam, he was a Muslim, a nationalist and a humanitarian.” Sharma had also stated that the Bible and Quran were ‘specific to certain religions’ while the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana should be taught in schools. Though Sharma retracted some of his remarks and claimed others had been taken out of context, the BJP and RSS felt the minister had ‘exceeded his brief’ and given the impression that it was the official line of the establishment – says the daily. There was also concern – following an Opposition backlash – that Sharma’s belligerence meant the RSS was covertly running the government.BJP sources told the daily said it has been emphatically conveyed to Sharma that his comments are unnecessary, that he has exceeded his brief as culture minister and has been advised to stay out of adverse limelight. The minister also launched a public campaign against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision to appoint the director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library 48 hours before demitting office. However, this is not seen as being controversial.

Kerala: Woman author barred from sharing stage with Swamiji on her own book launch

Sreedevi S Kartha had translated a book authored by APJ Abdul Kalam titled ‘Transcendence My Spiritual Experience with Pramukh Swamiji’.

Image Courtesy: Sreedevi Kartha’s Facebook Page

The release of Malayalam translation of a book authored by former President APJ Abdul Kalam was cancelled on Saturday after protests erupted over a woman writer being allegedly asked to stay away from the function citing the presence of a ‘swamiji’.Writer Sreedevi S Kartha, the translator of the book ‘Transcendence My Spiritual Experience with Pramukh Swamiji’ by Kalam, alleged she was asked not to attend the function as Brahma Vihari Das of BAPS Swami Narayana Sanstha did not like the presence of women on the stage along with him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sreedevi, in a release, said she was told that rules of BAPS, a socio-spiritual Hindu organisation, were against women sharing dais with the Swamiji.”The first three rows also should be reserved for Swami’s followers so that they can ensure that even impure shadow of women must not fall on him,” Sreedevi sarcastically said in a Facebook post.As controversy erupted, various organisations staged protests in front of the Kerala Sahitya Academy where the launch of the book titled ‘Kaalaatheethm’ (Beyond the times) was to be held. Swami Brahma Vihari Das did not turn up for the function, K J Johny, Publishing Manager of the Thrissur-based Current Books, publishers of the book said.Johny also said that they normally do not invite translators for book release functions. The book was to have been released by Kalam’s co-author Arun Tiwari and eminent Malayalam writer M T Vasudevan Nair.Reacting to the issue, noted poet Sugathakumari said those “who are afraid of their mothers should go back to dark age caves.””Hinduism is the only religion which visualises God in the form of women and our ancient saint and social reformers like Swami Vivekananda, Sree Narayana Guru and Ramana Mahrashi had never shown discrimination towards women,” she added.Expressing shock over the incident, Sreedevi said publishers informed her to keep away from the function through a common friend and did not even bother to apologise to her.”It is a shameful act on the part of the publishers,” she added.Sreedevi asked “What is the difference between Taliban which asks women not to show body except eyes and Indian culture, which bars women from attending public functions”.

Following APJ Abdul Kalam’s vision, AAP government to cut 25% school syllabus

Working further on the late former president and educationist APJ Abdul Kalam’s vision for ensure adequate skill development of the thousands of students graduating out of Delhi’s schools every year, the Kejriwal government is now working on reducing the syllabus of schools by a substantial 25 per cent.Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia on Friday met President Pranab Mukherjee to discuss their plans on the issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the basis of feedback received from nearly 40,000 teachers and principals across Delhi’s schools, the AAP government is planning to reduce a chunk of the schools’ syllabus which will not only enable kids to participate in extra-curricular activities, but also reduce the weight of their bags.In the last few months, the AAP government has been working on getting a new education policy for Delhi’s schools, which they feel, could serve as a model for schools across the country.Some of the ideas were taken Kalam, who had said that 25 per cent of the time should be devoted to skill development in students of Class IX, X, XI, XII, that will ensure a skilled bank of millions of children every year, making each of them a member of the knowledge society.For instance, the Delhi government has started skill development programmes in 200 schools in sectors like retail, hospitality, IT, as a part of their regular course. The government’s plans of starting a world class skill centre in collaboration with Singapore government, starting three new centre in collaboration with corporate sector and plans to start a separate Delhi Skill University were also discussed in the meeting between the two.Other topics such as improving teacher student ratio in classrooms by building 45 new schools, adding 12,000 new classrooms to existing schools and recruiting 20,000 new teachers were also discussed during the meet.Constructing more toilets, drinking water systems and labs in schools, installing CCTVs in schools, ensuring transparency in admissions of Economically weak students (EWS), were also discussed during the meeting.As part of the process, The Kejriwal government is also contemplating bringing a law to prevent siphoning of funds from private schools, reducing their fees and preventing illicit donations.

Asaduddin Owaisi demands Mahesh Sharma’s dismissal for remark on APJ Abdul Kalam

Flaying Union minister Mahesh Sharma for his comments that APJ Abdul Kalam was a great nationalist despite being a Muslim, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi today demanded his dismissal for “suspecting” the nationalism of 17 crore Indian Muslims.

Asaduddin Owaisi

Flaying Union minister Mahesh Sharma for his comments that APJ Abdul Kalam was a great nationalist despite being a Muslim, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi today demanded his dismissal for “suspecting” the nationalism of 17 crore Indian Muslims.Owaisi said it was a travesty that even after 69 years of independence, the nationalism of Muslims was being suspected by a minister and wondered if Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his opinion.”He (Sharma) clearly says that the late (President) Kalam despite being a Muslim was a nationalist and humanist. What does that convey? In plain and simple language, it clearly says that Muslims cannot be trusted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is a travesty that even after 69 years of independence of this great nation, we have a minister in the Modi cabinet who is suspecting my nationalism,” he said. He called Sharma, the culture minister, an “uncultured” man who must be “kicked out” from the government.Owaisi demanded that the Prime Minister clarify whether his government viewed the 17-crore Muslims of the country as “not nationalists”.”Is this the opinion of the Prime Minister that this government views 17-crore proud Muslims in India as not being nationalist… I would like to know from Modi who has said that he wanted Muslims to have Quran in one hand and computer in the other hand,” he asked.”We have renamed Aurangzeb Road after a person, who despite being a Muslim, is a great nationalist…,” Sharma told a news channel.

US school’s Islamophobia to Mahesh Sharma’s Kalam remark: When the clock struck prejudice

Mahesh Sharma, India’s Culture minister, and a high school in Irving, Texas have more in common than they realise. On the face of it, the two incidents appear poles apart.

Ahmed Mohamed, a fourteen-year-old freshman in a high school in Texas, was handcuffed and detained by police after he took a homemade alarm clock to school to show his engineering teacher. But another teacher thought it looked like a bomb and called the police. The boy in his NASA T-shirt was interrogated and taken to a juvenile detention centre, triggering off a huge row about Islamophobia and stereotyping.

BJP leader Mahesh Sharma's communal remark on APJ Abdul Kalam has a lot in common with the Texas school treatment given to Ahmed. IBNLive

BJP leader Mahesh Sharma’s communal remark on APJ Abdul Kalam has a lot in common with the Texas school treatment given to Ahmed. IBNLive

Meanwhile over in India, Mahesh Sharma, the culture minister who has recently found his tongue with a vengeance, tells India Today TV that it makes sense to rename Aurangzeb Road after APJ Abdul Kalam because Kalam “despite being a Muslim” was a great nationalist and humanist. Sharma was actually trying to deliver a compliment. The Texas police were reacting to young Mohamed as a threat but both responses draw from the same wellspring of prejudice.

Both see being Muslims ultimately from a base level of suspicion. The Texas authorities might insist anyone carrying a contraption with wires to school would be subject to the same treatment but they will never be able to demonstrate that Ahmed’s name and religion were not factors as well. “I like science, but I look like a threat because of my brown skin,” said Ahmed. He is not just a teenager building a clock, he is a Muslim teenager building a bomb-like device. As has been pointed out, if it was indeed a bona fide bomb scare, why was the school not evacuated? why was a bomb squad not called? And if it was a bomb hoax, why would the perpetrator call it a clock and defeat the point of a hoax?

Sharma might insist he was trying to prove that he, in fact, had no prejudice towards Muslims by making Kalam the “good” Muslim to Aurangzeb’s “bad” Muslim. That was belittling enough to Kalam’s memory but Sharma took it a step further because as Siddharth Vardarajan writes in The Wire, “In the Culture Minister’s perverted worldview, being Muslim is a handicap that the former President had to overcome in order to serve the country.” That’s a fine message to send out to the country’s Muslims.

The point of the story is the stereotypes we harbour. And that includes Taslima Nasreen who tweeted out, “If I could see Ahmed Mohamad’s home made clock, I would hv mistaken his thing for a bomb. Why ppl think Muslims can bring bombs? Cause they do.” But Muslims don’t bring bombs. Bad people, who come in all shapes, sizes and denominations, do. Just because there are terrorists who find their inspiration in their religion does not mean Ahmed Mohamed deserves to be interrogated for building a clock. America’s greatest school tragedies have not been caused by Muslims bringing bombs. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Springfield. Blacksburg. Those shooters had names like Eric Harris, Dylan Kiebold, Adam Lanza and Seung-Hui Cho.

Ahmed, however has been flooded with support from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to President Obama. “Cool clock, Ahmed,” tweeted President Obama. “Want to bring it to the White House?” It’s unlikely the Indian Prime Minister will say anything to Sharma. PM Narendra Modi, after all, is the face that launched a thousand #DespiteBeingAWoman hashtags after telling Sheikh Hasina, “I am happy that Bangladesh Prime Minister, despite being a woman, has declared zero tolerance for terrorism.”

Of course, it’s also highly unlikely that Ahmed would have gotten anywhere near the White House with his contraption without triggering a security alert. But the point is the context. An unknown person with a jerry-rigged device with wires sticking out near the White House is clearly not the same as your fellow student bringing a clock to school and showing it to the engineering teacher.

Let’s be clear. No Qurans were desecrated here. No mosques vandalised. No one was beaten up for wearing a headscarf or a “beard like Osama”. But these forms of covert prejudice are more insidious and all the harder to root out because someone like Mahesh Sharma probably genuinely believes he was paying an ex-President a well-deserved compliment. Just as Ahmed’s high school, in a display of obdurate tone-deafness, has issued a statement without even a hint of apology, patting themselves on the back instead for “always” taking “the necessary steps to keep our school as safe as possible.”

Ahmed says he can “never look at the world in the same way”. But he is fourteen and hopefully the scars will fade and the support he has received is also unprecedented. As for Kalam, he is beyond caring about what anyone thinks of him. But what do we do about a Culture Minister who, despite being a Culture Minister, seems to show little appreciation for the breadth and diversity of India’s culture? Ahmed’s clock was just a clock, but given his slew of explosive statements, Mahesh Sharma seems to be a ticking time bomb.

Suggestion for renaming Aurangzeb Road came from Pakistani journalist: Venkaiah Naidu

On August 28, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) gave its nod to rename Aurangzeb Road in Lutyen’s Delhi as APJ Abdul Kalam Road. Naidu further said it is not the question of Muslim or Hindu.
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dna Research & Archives
The suggestion for renaming Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road after APJ Abdul Kalam had not come from VHP or Bajrang Dal, but from a Pakistan-born Muslim journalist, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday and added that he no longer felt “shy” while giving his address. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said earlier he used to feel shy when he had to give address of his residence (in Delhi) as- 30 Aurangzeb Road.”One road in Delhi was named after a great son, an inspirational man from Rameswaram- APJ Abdul Kalam. There was so much of furore, and so much criticism and all, as if it was named after a foreigner,” he said while speaking after releasing a book titled ‘The Chronology of Ancient India-Victim of concoctions and distortions’, penned by Vedveer Arya.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But you will be surprised to know, the truth should also be known that the suggestion to change Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road to Abdul Kalam Marg came not from a Hindu, or an Indian, nor from VHP or Bajrang Dal. But from a non-Bharatiya… He is a Muslim…Tariq Fateh, born in Pakistan and who is now settled in Canada and works as a journalist,” Naidu said.”When he (Tariq Fateh) visited India for the first time in 2013, he was shocked to see the name of Aurangzeb adorn one of the most majestic streets of capital of Bharat (India). It is he who had appealed the Indian Muslims to take the initiative in demanding to change the name of the Aurangzeb Road to be named as Dara Shikoh, the brother of Aurangzeb,” the Minister said.”…I also used to feel little shy when I had to give my address…I had to say I am living in 30 Aurangzeb Road. But now I am happy because now I am living in 30 Abdul Kalam Road,” Naidu said.On August 28, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) gave its nod to rename Aurangzeb Road in Lutyen’s Delhi as APJ Abdul Kalam Road. Naidu further said it is not the question of Muslim or Hindu.”There are many Muslim rulers who have also done good to the country. History is very clear about it. All Muslims who have chosen not to go to Pakistan but decided to be in India..they are all Indians and they are equal citizens and they have got equal rights,” he said.”When we talk of Hindutava…Hindu is a cultural identity of nation. I told the Parliament also. Hindu is not a narrow religious bigotic concept, it is a broader cultural identity of this nation,” he added.”People have got every right to preach and practise whatever religion they want and that has been the great tradition of this Hindustan”, he added.”You have seen what happened in Pakistan and Bangladesh and other countries also. This land, this water, this air, this civilisation, this culture has got something unique “sarve jana sukhino bhavanthu”. This is the greatness of this land and we have to remember the past always and move towards future,” Naidu said.Taking a dig at media, the Union Minister said recently there was more focus by some TV channels on Yakub Memon than Abdul Kalam (for his last rites).”Unfortunately in this country it has become a fashion for some people to degrade India and degrade Hindu. Some of them are influenced by Western thinking and some of them are influenced by the Leftist thinking and now most of them are inspired by vote-bank politics,” he asserted.”I am astonished…sometimes I feel very sick, what is happening to this country. Some of these people are well entrenched in various sections of the media and also in communication sector and give such wonderful ideas,” Naidu added.

Small issues in OROP will get automatically addressed, says Manohar Parrikar

Bengaluru: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said there might be a few small issues pertaining to implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, which over time will get automatically addressed.

“OROP as a principle has been accepted, full financial requirements have been fulfilled. There might be a few small issues which over a period of time will get automatically addressed,” he told reporters here.

Manohar Parrikar. PTIManohar Parrikar. PTI

Manohar Parrikar. PTI

Parrikar said the issue has more or less been resolved.

“According to me the issue is more or less resolved, have you ever seen that 100 percent things are fulfilled to everyone’s satisfaction?,” Parrikar said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made it clear that the armed forces jawans who have had to give up their jobs prematurely would be covered by OROP benefits announced by the government yesterday. Welcoming the statement the agitating ex-servicemen decided to call off their hunger strike but said would continue their protest till all the “sticky” issues are resolved.

Maj Gen (retd) Satbir Singh, leader of the association leading the agitation, said the protest will continue till four specific points raised by the ex-servicemen are not accepted by the government.

One of them was revision of pension every two years but the government has decided to revise pension every five years.

Meanwhile, Union Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Congress has no moral right to criticise the Centre on the OROP issue.

“The people who have not done anything for the last 10 years have no moral right to criticise the government,” he told reporters here reacting to the allegation by Congress leader and former Defence Minister AK Antony that the Centre had “substantially diluted” the UPA’s OROP scheme as well doing politics over it.

Naidu said the the former Defence Minister had not done anything on implementing OROP except making an announcement during election.

“A K Anthony, you were the Defence Minister. You haven’t done anything, except making an announcement during election,” he said.

Naidu also flayed the Congress for not “understanding” the seriousness of the OROP issue when they proposed Rs 5,000 crore for the scheme compared to Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 crore proposed by Narendra Modi government.

“The UPA government did not understand the seriousness of the issue as they proposed Rs 5,000 (rpt) 5,000 crore for the scheme. But when the NDA government sat down for resolving it, we found the issue required Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 core to implement it,” he said.

The government will also pay all the arrears to the jawans in four instalments and widows of slain soldiers will be paid in one, Naidu said.

Naidu also appealed to the agitating ex-servicemen, who later in the day called off the hunger strike, to hold talks with the government to resolve few remaining glitches in the OROP scheme.

“There may still be some problems. We appeal to the veterans to sit with the government and sort out the issue. The government is open-minded,” he added.

Naidu also urged opposition, mainly Congress, to allow to function the extended session of the Parliament to pass the GST Bill.

“The opposition, mainly the Congress should allow the extended Parliament session and cooperate with the government to pass the Goods and Services Tax Bill. After all, it is their proposal. They have the right to oppose it, but not allowing the House to function is not fair,” Naidu said.

Naidu said Congress might be thinking that they were hurting Modi by stalling the Parliament. But they were hurting the country’s interests in larger perspective.

“They (Congress) are thinking that they are hurting Modi. But they are hurting country’s interests,” he said.

Reacting to Congress’ allegations that Modi and his cabinet colleagues were unconstitutionally taking part in the deliberations with RSS, Naidu said, “can anybody say child going to mother unconstitutional? RSS is mother to many Swayamsevaks,” he said.

Naidu said RSS would not interfere in the political affairs of BJP and the Centre would go by the BJP manifesto and will be guided by NDA’s common minimum programme.

On the controversy surrounding rechristening of Aurangzeb Road in Delhi to Abdul Kalam Road, Naidu said the Central government is nowhere in picture on the issue as it was the decision of the New Delhi Municipal Council and was approved by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“This (renaming) was decided by the NMDC unanimously, and it was agreed upon by Chief Minister of Delhi. Centre is nowhere in he picture – that’s the end of the matter,” he said.

“The road is being rechristened in the name of the great son of the great country – (late) Dr Abdul Kalam. Nobody should have any objection. There has been overwhelming public opinion in favour of Abdul Kalam’s name,” Naidu said.

PTI

Odisha renames Wheler Island as Abdul Kalam Island

Patnaik said the association of Kalam with Odisha and the state’s former chief minister Biju Patnaik was well known.

The Odisha government on Friday renamed the Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district as Abdul Kalam Island.”It’s a humble tribute to the People’s President. The Wheeler Island will henceforth be named as Abdul Kalam Island,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said. APJ Abdul Kalam had passed away at 83 in Meghalaya last month. He had suffered a massive cardiac arrest.Patnaik said the association of Kalam with Odisha and the state’s former chief minister Biju Patnaik was well known. “It was Biju Babu (Naveen’s father) who allotted this historic Wheeler Island to the Ministry of Defence on the request of Dr Kalam in the year 1993,” Patnaik recalled.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Renaming the island as Abdul Kalam island will inspire our youngsters to work dedicatedly for the scientific research,” Patnaik said. The island was named after an English commandant Lieutenant Wheeler. The first successful land-to-land test of the Prithvi Missile was conducted from the mainland and it landed on the then uninhabited ‘Wheeler Island’ on November 30, 1993.

Renaming Aurangzeb Road first step to communalism, says CPI(M)

Creating controversies is an undignified manner of paying tribute: CPI(M).

The Left party also accused the Arvind Kejriwal government for being party to the decision.

CPI(M) on Tuesday slammed New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) move to rename Aurangzeb Road after late President APJ Abdul Kalam, terming it as “first step in a campaign to rename historical places and roads on communal grounds”. “The recent road renaming is a very unfortunate measure since it is widely regarded as first step in a campaign to rename historical places and roads on communal grounds,” the party said in a statement.The Left party also accused the Arvind Kejriwal government for being party to the decision. “It is regrettable the Delhi government under AAP leadership also became party to this decision. The politburo demands the decision be reversed,” it said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The party maintained that there are many other ways to perpetuate Kalam’s memory, other than “creating controversies that, in fact, is an undignified manner of paying tribute”. The NDMC had given its nod to rename the road in Lutyen’s Delhi on August 28. The decision was taken reportedly in the wake of a proposal by BJP’s Delhi MP Maheish Girri and “requests from certain sections of society”.The Parliamentarian had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider renaming the road to correct “wrongs” of history and had said it will be a fitting tribute to the memory of Kalam widely regarded as ‘People’s President’. Muslim outfits had yesterday objected to the renaming of the Aurangzeb Road, terming it as a “deliberate” move that is “likely to set the trend of rechristening other cities/streets distorting history”.

Death penalty- 306 out of 437 mercy petitions accepted by Presidents: Law Commission

Late A P J Abdul Kalam had supported abolition of capital punishment as most of them had “social and economic bias”

File Photo
Death sentence of 306 convicts has been commuted by successive presidents so far out of total 437 such mercy petitions. This was disclosed by Law Commission, which has given a chart of mercy petitions disposed of by successive Presidents since January 26, 1950 till today in its report released yesterday on death penalty. The analysis of the chart suggests that a death-row convict’s “fate in matters of life and death may not only depend on the ideology and views of the government of the day but also on the personal views and belief systems of the President”, the Commission said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report, which recommended abolition of death sentence except in cases of terrorism and waging war against country, said from January 26, 1950 till today, out of a total of 437 mercy pleas, 306 were accepted — death sentence commuted to life in jail — and 131 rejected. It said during 1950-1982, which saw six Presidents, only one mercy petition was rejected as against 262 commutations of death sentence to life imprisonment.Quoting available records, it said President Rajendra Prasad commuted the death sentences in 180 out of the 181 mercy petitions he decided, rejecting only one.President S Radhakrishnan commuted the death sentences in all the 57 mercy petitions decided by him. President Zakir Hussain and President V V Giri commuted the death sentence in all the petitions decided by them, while President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and President N Sanjeeva Reddy did not get to deal with any mercy petitions in their tenure. “In contrast to the first phase (1950-1982), between 1982 and 1997, three Presidents rejected, between them, 93 mercy petitions and commuted seven death sentences. President Zail Singh rejected 30 of the 32 mercy petitions he decided, and President R Venkataraman rejected 45 of the 50 mercy petitions decided by him. “Subsequently, President Shankar Dayal Sharma rejected all the 18 mercy petitions put up before him,” the report said.In what the law panel described as the “third phase” — between 1997 and 2007, two Presidents had kept almost all the mercy petitions received by them from the government of the day pending, and only two mercy petitions were decided during this period. “While President KR Narayanan did not take any decision on any mercy petition (that came up) before him, President APJ Abdul Kalam acted only twice during his tenure resulting in one rejection and another commutation. During their combined tenure of ten years, they put the brakes on the disposal of mercy petitions,” it said.Later, President Pratibha Patil during her tenure rejected five mercy petitions, and commuted 34 to death sentence. Incumbent Pranab Mukherjee has “thus far rejected 31 of the 33 mercy petitions decided by him”. The Commission said the data on mercy pleas is based on archival research and collected through RTI by Bikram Jeet Batra and others. It also said the official figures on mercy petitions disposed of by Presidents Rajendra Prasad, S Radhakrishnan, Zakir Hussain, V V Giri, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, N Sanjeeva Reddy, Zail Singh, R Venkatraman and Shankar Dayal Sharma are not available and the figures are based on empirical verification from the archives which may not be complete.The report said while the President, in considering a mercy petition, is constitutionally obligated to not deviate from the advice rendered by the Council of Ministers, “there have been occasions where the President has refrained from taking any decision altogether on the said mercy petition, thus, keeping the matter pending.” Late A P J Abdul Kalam had supported abolition of capital punishment, saying that as President of India, he felt pain in deciding on such cases as most of them had “social and economic bias”. Kalam had responded to a Law Commission consultation paper on capital punishment and was one of the few people who had supported abolition of death sentence. Most of the over 400 respondents had supported continuing with the provision of death penalty.In his response to the consultation paper, Kalam had said capital punishment was one of the most difficult tasks for him as President. The report is based on responses to the paper and a day-long consultation held recently.

Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road to be renamed after APJ Abdul Kalam

New Delhi: Aurangzeb Road in Lutyen’s Delhi will soon be known as APJ Abdul Kalam Road with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on Friday giving its nod in this regard.

“There were requests from certain sections of the society for changing the name of the road as a tribute to the former President. The matter was placed before the council today which unanimously gave a go ahead for the same,” NDMC vice chairman Karan Singh Tanwar told PTI.

Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam. AFP

Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam. AFP

He said NDMC is the final authority and no further statutory clearance is required for the renaming.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, also a member of the NDMC and who was present during the meeting, lauded the decision.

“Congrats. NDMC jst now decided to rename Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road,” he tweeted.

Following the former President’s demise last month, there had been a demand from many sections of the society for dedicating a road after him as a token of love and tribute to the “missile man”.

BJP MP Maheish Girri had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider renaming Aurangzeb Road after Kalam to correct “wrongs” of history and had said it will be a fitting tribute to the memory of Kalam, widely regarded as the people’s President.

“Happy to share that NDMC has today decided to rename AurangzebRoad as Dr APJ #AbdulKalamRoad. Thank u all for your support in this campaign!,” Giri said in a tweet today.

Aurangzeb road begins at the Taj Mansingh hotel near India Gate and joins Safdarjung Road near the official residence of the Prime Minister.

PTI

APJ Abdul Kalam’s inspirational message animated in web comic

Late former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s inspiring and motivational message and minimalistic lifestyle forms the basis for a new art based web comic.

Image Courtesy: Zen Pencils
A quote by the “Missile Man of India” from his 1999 autobiography “Wings of Fire” has been animated by Zen Pencils, online comic portal by Australia-based freelance artist Gavin Aung Than.The comic begins with a depiction of a young girl whose passion for swimming is frowned at by persons of authority presumably her parents.Then introduces Kalam’s words intended to equip at least a few young people to stand up to the authoritarianism in society.”A characteristic feature of the authoritarianism in our society is its insidious ability to addict people to the endless pursuit of external rewards, wealth, prestige, position, promotion, approval of one’s lifestyle by others, ceremonial honours and status symbols of all kinds,” Kalam wrote.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”To successfully pursue these goals they have to learn elaborate rules of etiquette and familiarize themselves with customs, traditions protocols and so on.”The youth of today must unlearn this self-defeating way of life,” said the country’s 11th President.In his autobiography Kalam recounts how he, a poor country boy from the small town of Rameswaram went on to study physics, work his way through the ranks of the Defence Research and Development Organisation and then the Indian Space Research Organisation. He visited NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Centre in the United States during the height of the space race.The scientist, aeronautical engineer and writer had during his 40 year scientific career pioneered India’s space missile and nuclear programmes. Read the full comic here.

Independence Day: AIR to broadcast APJ Abdul Kalam’s last interview tomorrow

The byte was recorded on July 16 and it was his last conversation with any media house, AIR claimed.
File Photo
PTI photo
From the tale of unsung heroes who fought for India’s independence to what has been claimed to be the last byte by former President AJP Abdul Kalam to any media entity, public broadcasters All-India Radio and Doordarshan have lined up these and other shows as part of their offering on August 15.AIR will broadcast what it has claimed was the last conversation the late Dr Kalam had with any media house for its English feature on India’s space mission, entitled ‘Moon, Mars and Beyond — A Space Odyssey’. The byte was recorded on July 16 and it was his last conversation with any media house, AIR claimed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On August 15, we are going to run this special byte at 2:30 pm on the Rajdhani and FM Rainbow channels, officials said. Besides its live coverage of the official Independence Day event, AIR is also going to rerun a special feature from its English archive, ‘While the World Slept’, on the events that unfolded on the intervening night of August 14-15, 1947. The feature will run at 9:30 P.M. on the Rajdhani and FM Rainbow channels on August 15.As for Doordarshan, it has planned to start with a period drama based on the story of a path-breaking newspaper ‘Ranbheri’, which not only played a significant role in the freedom struggle in the 1940s but had also joined the different voices of the freedom fighters. The one-hour show, scheduled to run on August 15 at 8 P.M., not only tries to tell the story of unsung heroes of our freedom struggle, but also shows how the media had played a major role during the independence struggle. Doordarshan, meanwhile, said it has also planned the launch of several other programmes later this month.

APJ Abdul Kalam didn’t have any property in his name, says ex-scientific advisor

Former president APJ Abdul Kalam, who passed away after a massive cardiac arrest during a function at IIM Shillong on 27 July, had no property in his name.

APJ Abdul Kalam. Reuters

APJ Abdul Kalam. Reuters

According to his former scientific advisor V Ponraj, Kalam did have a property in Bengaluru but he disposed of it for a cause, according to The Hindu.

PTI had also earlier reported that Kalam may not have left behind any will and had asked his elder brother to take care of a small piece of property he owned.

“I am not aware of any will left behind by my uncle (Dr Kalam). One by one, several of our properties were sold. What remains is the ancestral house and a small site near the house which Dr Kalam’s father Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen had left for him,” the late former president’s nephew Jainulabdeen had told PTI.

Kalam had asked his elder brother Muthu Meeran Labbai Marakier to take care of his properties.

“We have been taking care of that,” Kalam’s elder brother’s son had added.

Kalam’s ancestors once had commercial interests and vast property. They had also operated ferry services to transport pilgrims coming to Pamban by boats centuries ago, when there was no bridge between the mainland and this island, he had said.

This was what got them the family title ‘Mara Kalam’ (wooden boat) Iyakkivers – which over the years came to be called Marakier.

Their commercial interests involved transporting groceries from the mainland for sale to people in Rameswaram, as well as Sri Lanka. But their fortunes took a nosedive when the bridge was laid across the sea connecting the mainland to the island.

“Though they initially had enormous property in the island, they all had to be sold to maintain the family as well the Mohaindeen Andavar mosque, housed in the street where Kalam’s ancestral property is located,” Jainulabdeen said.

(With inputs from PTI)

Yakub Memon hanging: VHP says those who attended funeral ‘sympathisers’ of terrorist

VHP said the Muslim community can only progress if they follow the footsteps of Kalam, who was a “great patriot.”

Police at Yakub Memon’s funeral

PTI
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday urged the Muslim youth to follow the example of former President APJ Abdul Kalam and said those who attended the funeral of Yakub Memon were “sympathisers” and “followers” of a terrorist. “The Muslim youth should follow the example of President Kalam, who was true patriot and worked tirelessly for the country till his last breadth and not Asaduddin Owaisi, Azam Khan and Abu Asim Azmi,” Surendra Jain, Joint General Secretary of the VHP said.Speaking to reporters here, Jain said the Muslim community can only progress if they follow the footsteps of Kalam, who was a “great patriot.” Attacking those who attended Memon’s funeral, Jain said not all those who attended the ceremony were the relatives of 1993 Bombay blast accused. “Not all those who attended the funeral of Memon were relatives of Memon. Some 20,000 people were present and they are the ones who sympathised with the terrorist.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also lashed out at the “Gang of 40”, referring to those who signed the petition urging the President to commute Memon’s death penalty. “After Yakub’s hanging many wrote on social media saying ‘Mein Yakub Hoon’. This Gang of 40 and Owaisi, Azmi and Azam give strength to such sentiments,” Jain added.

APJ Abdul Kalam’s death, Yakub Memon’s execution: Has plural secularism died in India?

In an almost eerie coincidence, APJ Abdul Kalam- the former President of India- died just a few days ago before another Indian Muslim, Yakub Menon – sentenced and convicted for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts – was hanged to death. Kalam’s death was greeted with shock and condoled across a cross section of India’s society and polity. Yakub was roundly condemned, reviled and hated for his alleged role in the Mumbai bombings. Whatever the nature of the arguments for hanging Memon, – the revulsion towards him by the majority community and the accolades for Kalam-, the two deaths and the reaction to these appear to reflect a dichotomous and contradictory typology present in India temporarily: the ‘Good Muslim’ and the ‘Bad Muslim’.

Yakub Memon, in this imaginary, falls in the ‘Bad Muslim’ category and Kalam in the ‘Good Muslim’ one. The ‘Good Muslim ‘ is one who is assimilated into the cultural, social and politico-economic fabric of India and says the ‘right’ things- the Khans of Bollywood spring to mind here. ‘Bad Muslims’ can fill in any void in the ‘othering’ schema of the imaginary of the majority community- the skull cap wearing and bearded Muslim man or the burkha-clad Muslim woman, to cite a couple of instances.

PTI imagePTI image

PTI image

This dichotomy and binary raises questions about the nature of secularism in India , or what Sunil Khilnani, called the Idea of India. Indian secularism, in theory, differs from its Western variant or even progenitor. The former, given the nature, diversity – religious, ethnic and cultural – and fault lines that define India, acknowledges the existence of religion in the public sphere wherein the state accords equal treatment to all religions. The recognition accorded to Muslim Personal Law in India is held as an instance of this variety of secularism.  The ‘Idea of India’ that emanated and accrued from this configuration was held by Khilnani to be the fullest manifestation of ‘plural liberalism’ that “skillfully mediated an ungainly, unlikely and inelegant concatenation of differences”. Or, in other words,  it was held to be the essence and epitome of political modernity. The architects of the concept and idea were Nehru and his other like-minded elites.

However, the condition of Muslims in India appears to offer a sharp contrapuntal to ‘India’s peculiar path to political modernity’. The hanging of Memon or even Afzal Guru perhaps indicate and reflect that the Idea of India as touted by elitist intellectuals is more theoretical than real. Would Memon or Afzal have been hanged if rights  were real, rather than notional, in the country? The implication here is not that the rights of Memon and Afzal were abrogated.(Perhaps they were and perhaps they were not). The issue pertains to the rights of Muslim minorities in India.

By any indicator , Muslims in India conform to what Victor Hugo called, in a different permutation and condition, Les Miserables. A sullen mass of peoples, Muslims live on the fringes of economic, social and political life of the country. The reasons are both structural and idiosyncratic but it cannot be gainsaid that the Muslim condition in India is rather wretched. One major consequence of this condition is the non-presence of Muslims in India’s political and public life (save a handful of ‘Good Muslims’). The corollary here is the that political rights for Muslims exist in the domain of theory and arcane constitutionalism.

The absence of Muslims in India’s politico-economic and public spheres means that they can be taken for granted (used as vote banks) or in the Far Right’s schema, a foil for the Othering of India. It also means Memons and Afzals of the country can be hanged at will. Cumulatively, all this means that plural liberalism in the country is more a theoretical construct formulated and adumbrated upon by elitist intellectuals in the cool and cushy confines of the Western academy. This is as sad as can be.

The future of a whole community is contingent on the vigorous practice and reification of plural liberalism. But alas, theory does not appear to meet reality in India. What would be the long term implications and consequences of this fall in the domain of the ‘unknown unknown’.  The assertions stated here will be challenged and even impugned. If, however, the premises and hypotheses offered here are held to be wrong, I would close by citing a quote- which carries the essence of plural liberalism- of the doyen of the philosophy, Isaiah Berlin. According to Berlin:

“Let us have the courage of our admitted ignorance, of our doubts and uncertainties. At least we can try to discover what others require, by making it possible for ourselves to know men as they truly are, by listening to them carefully and sympathetically, and understanding them and their lives and their needs…’

Who in the country, I dare ask, knows Muslims as they are? Who listens carefully and sympathetically? Who understands Muslims’ needs and lives? Suffice it to say that I am happy to review my assumptions and hypotheses if a robust answer is provided to these questions.

Kalam’s death, Memon’s execution: Is plural secularism dead in India?

In an almost eerie coincidence, APJ  Abdul Kalam- the former President of India- died just a few days ago before another Indian Muslim, Yakub Menon – sentenced and convicted for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts – was hanged to death. Kalam’s death was greeted with shock and condoled across a cross section of India’s society and polity. Yakub was roundly condemned, reviled and hated for his alleged role in the Mumbai bombings. Whatever the nature of the arguments for hanging Memon, – the revulsion towards him by the majority community and the accolades for Kalam-, the two deaths and the reaction to these appear to reflect a dichotomous and contradictory typology present in India temporarily: the ‘Good Muslim’ and the ‘Bad Muslim’.

Yakub Memon, in this imaginary, falls in the ‘Bad Muslim’ category and Kalam in the ‘Good Muslim’ one. The ‘Good Muslim ‘ is one who is assimilated into the cultural, social and politico-economic fabric of India and says the ‘right’ things- the Khans of Bollywood spring to mind here. ‘Bad Muslims’ can fill in any void in the ‘othering’ schema of the imaginary of the majority community- the skull cap wearing and bearded Muslim man or the burkha-clad Muslim woman, to cite a couple of instances.

PTI imagePTI image

PTI image

This dichotomy and binary raises questions about the nature of secularism in India , or what Sunil Khilnani, called the Idea of India. Indian secularism, in theory, differs from its Western variant or even progenitor. The former, given the nature, diversity – religious, ethnic and cultural – and fault lines that define India, acknowledges the existence of religion in the public sphere wherein the state accords equal treatment to all religions. The recognition accorded to Muslim Personal Law in India is held as an instance of this variety of secularism.  The ‘Idea of India’ that emanated and accrued from this configuration was held by Khilnani to be the fullest manifestation of ‘plural liberalism’ that “skillfully mediated an ungainly, unlikely and inelegant concatenation of differences”. Or, in other words,  it was held to be the essence and epitome of political modernity. The architects of the concept and idea were Nehru and his other like-minded elites.

However, the condition of Muslims in India appears to offer a sharp contrapuntal to ‘India’s peculiar path to political modernity’. The hanging of Memon or even Afzal Guru perhaps indicate and reflect that the Idea of India as touted by elitist intellectuals is more theoretical than real. Would Memon or Afzal have been hanged if rights  were real, rather than notional, in the country? The implication here is not that the rights of Memon and Afzal were abrogated.(Perhaps they were and perhaps they were not). The issue pertains to the rights of Muslim minorities in India.

By any indicator , Muslims in India conform to what Victor Hugo called, in a different permutation and condition, Les Miserables. A sullen mass of peoples, Muslims live on the fringes of economic, social and political life of the country. The reasons are both structural and idiosyncratic but it cannot be gainsaid that the Muslim condition in India is rather wretched. One major consequence of this condition is the non-presence of Muslims in India’s political and public life (save a handful of ‘Good Muslims’). The corollary here is the that political rights for Muslims exist in the domain of theory and arcane constitutionalism.

The absence of Muslims in India’s politico-economic and public spheres means that they can be taken for granted (used as vote banks) or in the Far Right’s schema, a foil for the Othering of India. It also means Memons and Afzals of the country can be hanged at will. Cumulatively, all this means that plural liberalism in the country is more a theoretical construct formulated and adumbrated upon by elitist intellectuals in the cool and cushy confines of the Western academy. This is as sad as can be.

The future of a whole community is contingent on the vigorous practice and reification of plural liberalism. But alas, theory does not appear to meet reality in India. What would be the long term implications and consequences of this fall in the domain of the ‘unknown unknown’.  The assertions stated here will be challenged and even impugned. If, however, the premises and hypotheses offered here are held to be wrong, I would close by citing a quote- which carries the essence of plural liberalism- of the doyen of the philosophy, Isaiah Berlin. According to Berlin:

“Let us have the courage of our admitted ignorance, of our doubts and uncertainties. At least we can try to discover what others require, by making it possible for ourselves to know men as they truly are, by listening to them carefully and sympathetically, and understanding them and their lives and their needs…’

Who in the country, I dare ask, knows Muslims as they are? Who listens carefully and sympathetically? Who understands Muslims’ needs and lives? Suffice it to say that I am happy to review my assumptions and hypotheses if a robust answer is provided to these questions.

Teach science in madrasas to produce more Abdul Kalams: Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria

Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria on Saturday advocated teaching of science along with theology in madrasas and said such a move will help students in these religious schools to become great scientists like the former President APJ Abdul Kalam.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria on Saturday advocated teaching of science along with theology in madrasas and said such a move will help students in these religious schools to become great scientists like the former President APJ Abdul Kalam.”What will be the difficulty if science is taught in madarsas? Should the students toe a particular line for good? Why science shouldn’t be taught to produce someone like Kalam,” Katheria, who is MoS, HRD told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We want that science should be taught in madarsas… students should become ideal citizens … be they Hindus or Muslims and syllabus will be tailored keeping this in mind,” he said.The minister said,”If we stick to old thought now, it won’t do any good. It is right to talk about one’s own religion but dragging it into every issue isn’t right.” He further said that the hanging of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon was given a religious colour.He also expressed dismay about the uproar over Maharashtra government’s move to derecognise madarsas teaching only theology.Denying Congress’s charge that Modi government was saffronising education, he said, “We have neither given a direction for teaching Bhagwat Gita nor made teaching of Tulsidas’s Ramayan mandatory. We have not stopped any madarsas from teaching.”He said that mentality of Congress was such that if we make some change in education system, it will drub it saffronisation. Congress was making wild allegations against us as they were troubled with our schemes launched since last one year, the MoS added.Katheria said that they will go for changes in education system for its improvement.Asked to comment of the remark of Congress leader Gurudas Kamat that HRD minister Smriti Irani had swept a restaurant once, he said that it wasn’t a bad job to earn a livelihood. Katheria said that Irani was efficiently performing her role.

Delhi BJP MP Maheish Girri urges PM Modi to rename Aurangzeb road after APJ Abdul Kalam

Girri has written a letter to the Prime Minister in this regard saying the move would be a fitting tribute to the memory of Kalam, widely regarded as the people’s President.

APJ Abdul Kalam

AFP
BJP MP Maheish Girri has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider renaming Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road after former President A P J Abdul Kalam to correct “wrongs” of history.Girri has written a letter to the Prime Minister in this regard saying the move would be a fitting tribute to the memory of Kalam, widely regarded as the people’s President. “The whole nation is mourning the death of Kalam. He was a great scientist and social reformer who inspired millions across the country as well as dedicated his whole life for our motherland. As a tribute to the people’s president, I hereby propose to rename the Auranzzeb road in New Delhi as Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Road,” the East Delhi MP wrote in the letter.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Later, talking to the media, he justified his demand saying that the name Aurangzeb symbolises “cruelty” and “if there has been wrongs we can always correct them.” Girri claimed his demand had the backing of several members of other political parties as it was not a part of “BJP’s agenda”.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon condoles APJ Abdul Kalam’s death

Describing former President A P J Abdul Kalam as a “great statesman”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the outpouring of grief around the world following his death is a testament of the respect and inspiration he has garnered during and after his Presidency.

APJ Abdul Kalam’s last rites

Describing former President A P J Abdul Kalam as a “great statesman”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the outpouring of grief around the world following his death is a testament of the respect and inspiration he has garnered during and after his Presidency.In a special gesture, the UN Chief visited the Permanent Mission of India to the UN here yesterday to sign the condolence book placed following the death of the 11th President of India and an accomplished scientist.The book has been open over the last couple of days to Ambassadors of all member state to express their condolences.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ban expressed his deepest condolences on the passing of the former Indian President in his message.”The outpouring of grief around the world is a testament of the respect and inspiration he has garnered during and after his Presidency. The UN joins the people of India in sending our deepest condolences for this great statesman. May he rest in peace and eternity,” Ban said in his message.Kalam died on July 27 following a cardiac arrest at the age of 83. He was in Shillong to deliver a lecture at the prestigious IIM and collapsed on stage just a few minutes into his speech.

Sorry, but the story of US flag flying half-mast to honour Kalam is a hoax

It all started when somebody put up a picture of the US flag being hoisted on the White House at half-mast and claimed that it was done in honour of the former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam, who passed away on Monday.

People all over social media began posting about the “first time in history the US White House flag was half down for Dr APJ Abdul Kalam” and how they were “proud to be an Indian”.

Even Subhash Ghai tweeted about it.

There’s just one problem though: The entire story is a hoax.

Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam. AFP

Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam. AFP

According to International Business Times, while it is true that recently US President Barack Obama had asked the US flag to be hoisted at half-mast, it was not done in honour of Kalam.

In fact, it was also done before Kalam’s death. In an official circular which Obama released on 21 July, it was announced that the US flag, at the White House as well as all federal buildings including overseas embassies, will be lowered till 25 July to honour the soldiers killed in a shooting incident at Chattanooga, Tennessee.

However, Obama had condoled the demise of Kalam. “On behalf of the American people, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the people of India on the passing of former Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam,” he had said, according to PTI.

“A scientist and statesman, Kalam rose from humble beginnings to become one of India’s most accomplished leaders, earning esteem at home and abroad,” he had said in a statement. “His tenure as India’s 11th president witnessed unprecedented growth in US-India ties. Suitably named ‘the People’s President’, Dr Kalam’s humility and dedication to public service served as an inspiration to millions of Indians and admirers around the world.”

(With inputs from PTI)

Must Watch: Usha Uthup singing a song written by APJ Abdul Kalam will break your heart

The song goes: “Oh almighty, create thoughts and actions in the minds of the people of our nation, so that they are united.”

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was a man who wore many hats. He was a scientist, science administrator, leader, teacher and a long-hair enthusiast to boot. He also seems to have the unique distinction of being a person who united all Indians across the spectrum, irrespective of their religion or political leaning.The People’s President was also a man who loved playing the veena and he wrote songs as well. Here is a video in which popular singer Usha Uthup, sings a song penned by the former president. Alogn the lines of Rabindranath Tagore’s Where the mind is without fear, the song asks us to imagine an India where everyone is united. The song goes: “Oh almighty, create thoughts and actions in the minds of the people of our nation, so that they are united.” <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Tamil Nadu government to observe APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthday as ‘Youth Renaissance Day’

Tamil Nadu government will also constitute the ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award’ for persons who strive towards promoting scientific growth, humanities and students’ welfare

APJ Abdul Kalam at Jaipur Literature Festival 2015

Amid widespread demands to conserve the legacy of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Tamil Nadu government on Friday said an award would be constituted in his name and his birthday would be observed as “Youth Renaissance Day”.Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said she had issued directions to constitute the ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award’ for persons who strive towards promoting scientific growth, humanities and students’ welfare and that the award would be given away during Independence Day every year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This was in line with her government’s policy of creating a ‘Strong India and Resourceful Tamil Nadu,’ she said in a statement here.The award will carry an 8 gram gold medal, Rs 5 lakh in cash and a citation and would be presented to a person hailing from the state, she said, adding it would be given away from this year.Further, October 15, Kalam’s birthday, would henceforth be observed as ‘Youth Renaissance Day’ by the Tamil Nadu government, she said.”Abdul Kalam always wanted to remain a teacher. He was a driving force behind the growth of youth by his enlightening remarks that struck a chord with students,” she said while recalling his contributions towards India’s growth.Kalam was a multi-faceted personality, often described as ‘Missile Man’ and ‘Nuclear Hero,’ Jayalalithaa said while tracing his humble origins.His hard work and dedication not only made him a veteran scientist, but also the President, she said, adding, he had a vision that the country should become a superpower by 2020.Kalam died on July 27 in Shillong and was laid to rest at his native Rameswaram in the state with full state honours yesterday, with thousands of people attending his funeral.

Yakub Memon execution: In death, has the 1993 Mumbai blast convict brought India closer to life?

What were Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon’s thoughts as the hangman’s noose was lowered around his neck in a Nagpur prison, a little before 7 am on 30 July?

Did Yakub die a stronger man? Did he die as a man who listened to his conscience 21 years ago and returned to his country to face trial? Or as a man who repented his role in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts that killed 257 innocent people? Or did he breathe his last as a man who felt betrayed by the investigating officials who had promised him leniency in exchange for his surrender?

File image of Yakub Memon. PTI imageFile image of Yakub Memon. PTI image

File image of Yakub Memon. PTI image

Irrespective of whether or not you support capital punishment for Yakub, it is undeniable that we witnessed a momentous occasion in the history of crime and jurisprudence in India. His case has forced us to re-examine the death penalty, and strengthened the movement for the abolition of capital punishment in the country. Ironically, Yakub, who was buried on the same day as former president APJ Abdul Kalam, would probably have lived another day had Kalam still been the President.

Yakub has paid for his crime with his life, but India will need to answer the questions raised by his hanging: How are we as a nation going to deal with the politics of capital punishment where a death row convict’s religion and political support―and not the gravity of his crime―can lead to the annulment of the death sentence? (See State’s eagerness to hang 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon doesn’t quite pass the smell test)

What about the possibility―as revealed in former RAW official B Raman’s letter―that Yakub was promised a lighter sentence by Indian intelligence agencies in return for his surrender and cooperation during the investigations into the 1993 blasts case?

If such a promise was indeed made to Yakub by top intelligence officials who had brought him to India, was he then betrayed by the Indian establishment which failed to bring this fact before the courts?

Barring one instance where Justices AR Dave and Kurian Joseph differed on capital punishment for Yakub, the Supreme Court repeatedly upheld the death penalty and consistently rejected petitions challenging that decision.

The judicial bench decided on the basis of the evidence―or lack thereof―placed before it. However, should the bench have gone the extra mile to look into the emergence of new evidence through B Raman’s letter, the unusual circumstances of Yakub’s return to India, and the assistance provided by him in the investigations? Were these factors, in addition to his good conduct during the 21 years of his incarceration, not mitigating enough for the commutation of his death sentence?

There is no doubt about Yakub’s criminal involvement in the Mumbai blast case. But the failure to commute his death sentence will always be questioned amidst the examination of the circumstances of his return.

Wrongful executions and miscarriages of justice have occurred all over the world from time to time. In the United States, the Death Penalty Information Center published a list of 10 inmates who were “executed but possibly innocent”, and has also cited 39 other executions where there were serious doubts about the guilt of the convicts, and the emergence of evidence of innocence. Apart from the US, wrongful executions were also reported from Australia, China, the United Kingdom and Taiwan.

Political compulsions and the fallibility of individuals and institutions, including the highest court of the land is always a real possibility resulting in the miscarriage of justice. That is part of the rationale for the call to abolish of the death penalty.

India, which along with the US, China and Japan, is among the 50-odd nations upholding the death penalty, was perceived as moving towards a moratorium on capital punishment. This was because of just one execution in the 13 years between 1999 and 2011. That perception changed with three executions in the last four years (Ajmal Kasab, Afzal Guru and Yakub). The controversy around the third of these executions has been the most intense since Independence, significantly bolstering the call for the abolition of the death penalty. India has always had a small, but influential set of people calling for the abolition of capital punishment; that number has now expanded significantly.

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi dances, plays snooker & Golf as nation mourns loss of APJ Abdul Kalam

A video of Gogoi has surfaced where he is seen dancing with ladies.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was busy dancing on tunes, playing snooker and Golf on the day when the whole nation bids a teary adieu to its much loved President APJ Abdul Kalam.A video of Gogoi has surfaced where he is seen dancing with ladies. Not only that, Gogoi also landed his choppper in middle of golf course in Nagaon. He was also seen playing snooker The last rites of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, who died on Monday, was held on Thursday in his hometown Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.His death witnessed a huge outpouring of grief across the nation. In Delhi, thousands waited in the sultry heat for hours to pay their last respects to him. Serpentine queues were also witnessed in Rameswaram, where his body was brought on Wednesday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and a host of other dignitaries, including and chief ministers of some states, attended his last rites after ‘Namaz-e-Janaza’.

How APJ Abdul Kalam saved HIV affected siblings

“I was overwhelmed with joy when the postman had brought me a letter signed by the then President and a draft of Rs 20,000 in June, 2005. I had written to Kalam uncle highlighting the plight of my siblings,” the woman of Olaver village in Kendrapara district recalled.

PTI
While nation mourns the death of the “peoples’ president”, an orphaned girl from a far flung village of Odisha remembers the gesture of APJ Abdul Kalam towards her HIV positive siblings ten years ago.”For me, he was a saviour. My younger brother and sister were HIV/AIDS carriers. My infected siblings are alive today, thanks to the timely intervention of Kalam uncle,” she said requesting not to be named.”I was overwhelmed with joy when the postman had brought me a letter signed by the then President and a draft of Rs 20,000 in June, 2005. I had written to Kalam uncle highlighting the plight of my siblings,” the woman of Olaver village in Kendrapara district recalled.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”At that time, I was hardly 11-years-old while my siblings were six and four-years-old. As my parents had passed away, I was looking after them. I had learned from media that he was people’s president. He loved children. I wrote a letter to him,” she said.Kalam intervened and the local administration came the rescue of the family. Help later came in from various quarters, she said.The Chief Minister’s office had also come forward to grant Rs 20,000 financial grant. President’s gesture had also brought about a change of heart of the health officials, the woman said. “They had begun to pay added medical attention towards my brother and sister.””My siblings have successfully fought against AIDS since past one decade. The presidential intervention had given a new lease of life to them. We are deeply sad over his demise. I feel as if I have lost a close member of my family,” she said.A resident of Ramnagar district too remembered Kalam and condoled his death.”We are bonafide citizens of this country. But the administration had branded us Bangladeshis and had been served notice to leave India on January 15, 2005. We dispatched post cards to the then President Kalam,” Prafulla Mistry said.”The President intervened and sought a report. A month later, the deportation drive was put on hold. We believe that union government suspended deportation because of presidential intervention. His death is a personal loss to us,” Mistry said.

PM Modi to attend Kalam’s last rites in Rameswaram

Speaking to reporters at the Palam technical area from where the mortal remains of the former president was flown to his hometown Rameswaram by a special aircraft, Naidu said some chief ministers are also expected to attend the last rites.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the last rites of former president APJ Abdul Kalam in Rameswaramon Thursday, whose demise he described as a loss of “Ratna (gem) of Bharat”.”The Prime Minister is coming,” Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu confirmed when asked if he would be attending the last rites of the former “scientist-President”.Speaking to reporters at the Palam technical area from where the mortal remains of the former president was flown to his hometown Rameswaram by a special aircraft, Naidu said some chief ministers are also expected to attend the last rites.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister will arrive early in the morning and attend the rituals at around 11 am, sources said.Penning his tribute to the ‘missile man’ and who was felicitated with the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, Modi in his blog, said “Bharat has lost a Ratna”.”Our scientist-President – and one who was genuinely loved and admired across the masses – never measured success by material possessions,” he said.”For him, the counterpoint to poverty was the wealth of knowledge, in both its scientific and spiritual manifestations,” the Prime Minister said.He remembered Kalam as one who took little from the world, and gave all he could to the society.”Kalamji refused to be defeated by circumstances. His character, commitment and inspirational vision shine through his life. He was unencumbered by ego; flattery left him cold,” Modi said.Describing him as a “hero” of India’s defence, the Prime Minister said his contributions to “our nuclear and space achievements have given India the muscle to be confident of her place in the region and the world.”Modi said his profound idealism was secure because it rested on a foundation of realism.Kalam was “equally at ease before an audience of suave, globe-trotting ministers and a class of young students”, Modi said.

APJ Abdul Kalam was ordinary scientist; elected as President to get BJP Muslim vote bank, says Pakistani scientist

Khan also said that Kalam was elected as the President in 2002 during the rule so that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) could get the Muslim vote bank of the country.

Disgraced Pakistani scientist and nuclear physicist AQ Khan has called former President APJ Abdul Kalam an ordinary scientist.In a telephonic interview to BBC, Abdul Quadeer Khan, known for his contributions in Pakistan’s atomic bomb project said, “Kalam was an ordinary scientist and I cannot recall any big inventions by him.”He further said that Kalam was a man who believed in simple living and was an ordinary scientist.Khan also alleged that India developed its missile program with help from Russia.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Khan also said that Kalam was elected as the President in 2002 during the rule of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) so that it could get the Muslim vote bank of the country.Meanwhile, mortal remains of Kalam, who passed away on Monday were today flown to his hometown Rameswaram from Delhi in a special aircraft, as people in the national capital bid an emotional adieu to the country’s ‘missile man’.The funeral of the former President will be held in Rameswaram, his birth place in Tamil Nadu, on Thursday with full military honours.A seven-day state mourning has been declared by the government in honour of Kalam.

Obama mourns Kalam, calls him an inspiration to millions around the world

Washington: US President Barack Obama has condoled the death of former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam describing him as an advocate for stronger US-India relations, and who worked to deepen the two countries’ space cooperation.

“A scientist and statesman, Kalam rose from humble beginnings to become one of India’s most accomplished leaders, earning esteem at home and abroad,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Extending his “deepest condolences to the people of India” on behalf of the American people, Obama noted Kalam’s “tenure as India’s 11th president witnessed unprecedented growth in US-India ties”.

PTI ImagePTI Image

PTI Image

“An advocate for stronger US-India relations, Kalam worked to deepen our space cooperation, forging links with NASA during a 1962 visit to the United States,” he said.

“Suitably named athe People’s President, his humility and dedication to public service served as an inspiration to millions of Indians and admirers around the world.”

Meanwhile, the US media highlighted his role in advancing India’s nuclear, space and missile programmes.

The influential New York Times in an obit said Kalam’s “role in advancing India’s nuclear programmes made him one of his country’s most beloved figures”.

“Kalam’s celebrity could be traced to 1998, when India detonated five nuclear devices in the northwestern desert, to widespread international condemnation,” it said.

“Described at the time as an ‘impish, shaggy-haired bachelor’ of 66, he was one of the most exuberant boosters of the country’s nuclear programme,” the Times said.

“Kalam spent a little time outside India. For him, it was a point of pride that India had developed its bomb without much help from foreign powers. And he described himself as thoroughly Indian,” the Times said.

“I am completely indigenous!” he told the newspaper in 1998, it recalled.

Time magazine described Kalam as “one of India’s most renowned rocket scientists who served as the nation’s 11th president”.

Kalam, it recalled told TIME in a 1998 interview that he developed an early fascination with flight while growing up on the south Indian isle of Rameswaram.

“Then there were a lot of birds on the island,” he was quoted as saying, “and I used to watch their beautiful flight paths. That got me interested in aeronautics.”

The Washington Post noted Kalam was “a scientist who was known as the father of the country’s military missile programme”.

“He was credited with helping develop his country’s first space satellites,” it said. “In the 1980s, he helped design the nuclear-capable Prithvi and Agni ballistic missiles.”

“He played a crucial role when India tested its nuclear weapons in 1998,” the Post said noting, “The test resulted in sanctions against the country but helped elevate Kalam’s to the status of folk hero in his country.”

Several Indian-American organisations have also offered condolences on the death of “India’s missile man”.

The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) said along with the Indian-American community it mourns the “loss of our beloved and eminent scientist” who “was an irreplaceable role model for the young and passionate of India”.

IANS

Jayalalithaa won’t attend APJ Abdul Kalam’s last rites due to ‘health condition’

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said she won’t attend the funeral of former president APJ Abdul Kalam in Rameswaram on Thursday owing to “health condition”.

Jayalalithaa. PTIJayalalithaa. PTI

Jayalalithaa. PTI

“I have great affection and respect for Abdul Kalam. I would like to attend his funeral and pay my respects to him. However, owing to my health condition I am not in a position to travel,” she said in Chennai.

Kalam’s funeral will be held in Rameswaram, around 600 km from Chennai.

Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, Electricity Minister Natham R Viswanathan, Housing Minister R Vaithilingam and several other ministers will attend the funeral on behalf of the Tamil Nadu government.

Jayalalithaa said as a mark of respect for Kalam, Thursday would be a public holiday in the state.

She added that following a request from Kalam’s family, government land had been allotted for burying the mortal remains of the former president who died on Monday in Shillong.

IANS

Live: Mortal remains of ‘Missile man’ APJ Abdul Kalam flown to Rameswaram for last rites

Mortal remains of former President A P J Abdul Kalam were flown to his hometown Rameswaram from Delhi in a special aircraft, as people in the national capital bid an emotional adieu to the country’s ‘missile man’.

AFP photo
Mortal remains of former President A P J Abdul Kalam were flown to his hometown Rameswaram from Delhi in a special aircraft, as people in the national capital bid an emotional adieu to the country’s ‘missile man’.The special aircraft took off from the Palam airport at around 08:15 AM after all three forces gave a sendoff to the former head of the state.Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain were present at the airport.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The funeral of the former President will be held in Rameswaram, his birth place in Tamil Nadu, on Thursday with full military honours.Latest update:8:40 IST Wednesday, 29 July 2015Special Ganga Aarti performed to pay tribute to Kalam in Varanasi8:38 IST Wednesday, 29 July 2015The aircraft will fly to Madurai, from where the mortal remains will be flown in to Rameswaram by an IAF helicopter.8:39 IST Wednesday, 29 July 2015Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar are accompanying the mortal remains of Kalam to Rameswaram. 8:39 IST Wednesday, 29 July 2015Wrapped in a tri-colour, Kalam’s body was taken to the airport in a gun carriage from his 10 Rajaji Marg residence, as officials and commoners bid farewell to the man.

APJ Abdul Kalam spoke of literature with Rashtrapati guards, was not picky about security arrangements

The DCP, was a professor in Delhi’s Jawahar Lal University before joining police ranks. A cadre of IPS 2013 batch, Singh said that he opted for the position of PSO to the president when he learnt about Dr Kalam being appointed to the office.

Former president APJ Abdul Kalam might go down in history as one of India’s favourite presidents of independent India but for those who know him closely remember him as someone who used to be more excited to meet people instead of staying in the confines of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Brajesh Kumar Singh, now posted as the deputy commissioner of police in the Economic Offence Wing of the Delhi Police, spent five good years serving as personal security officer to the former president and spoke to dna a day after Kalam’s demise. “Dr Kalam was a staunch academic but that did not stop him from enjoying all the bureaucratic work during his tenure as president. However, I can say without a doubt that the excitement he displayed while interacting with people, especially with the youth, was unparalleled,” said DCP Singh who prior to his stint with Kalam had also served as PSO to former president Dr KR Narayan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> His stint as PSO to Kalam started from July 2002 and continued until the full tenure of the former president which ended in July 2007. DCP Singh told dna that he has so many fond memories of the former president that it would take ages to document them. “He never saw us as policemen. In fact, I don’t remember a single instance of him discussing his security arrangements. All he ever talked to me about, was literature, poetry and sometimes music. Dr Kalam was influenced by Tamilian Sangam literature and I being a student of Hindi literature was fortunate enough to have a kind of a cultural exchange with none other than the President of India,” said Singh. “One day Dr Kalam asked me who my favourite sage was. Dr Kalam himself was influenced by sages of the Vedic period and when he learnt that I liked the works Vishvamitra he engaged me in several discussions,” said DCP Singh who went on to author a book about Vishwamitra. He added that during his last meeting, a month ago, Dr Kalam only spoke about literature, poetry and spiritualism. “He practised what he believed in. He took the best of all religions and applied them to his own life,” said Singh. The DCP, was a professor in Delhi’s Jawahar Lal University before joining police ranks. A cadre of IPS 2013 batch, Singh said that he opted for the position of PSO to the president when he learnt about Dr Kalam being appointed to the office. “Even my officers were so much in love with him that one of the inspectors wrote poetry for him. It was an absolute honour to know him,” he said. “In a speech in South Africa, Dr Kalam got a roaring response from the audience. The South African president told Dr Kalam after the speech that had he run for elections, he might have ended up defeating him,” said the DCP. “On many occasions he was asked if he was in favour of developing nuclear arms. Dr Kalam would say, that, like others scientists belonging to any part of the world, his dream too was to see his country stronger and more developed,” said DCP Singh adding,” Dr Kalam was not an idealist.”

Chhattisgarh to include Abdul Kalam’s biography in school curriculum

The government has declared a seven-day national mourning as a mark of respect for Dr. Kalam, who played a stellar role in advancing India’s nuclear programme.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Condoling the demise of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Tuesday said the former’s biography will be included in the state’s school curriculum.”He was fond of Chhattisgarh. We have decided to include his biography in the textbooks so that the coming generations know about such a humble personality,” said Singh.Dr. Kalam passed away in Shillong last evening. He collapsed after suffering a massive cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong yesterday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has declared a seven-day national mourning as a mark of respect for Dr. Kalam, who played a stellar role in advancing India’s nuclear programme.Considered one of the most popular presidents of India, Kalam became the11th head of the state and occupied the post between 2002 and 2007 during the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

AAP govt removes its posters and hoardings critical of PM Modi

Officials said the government decided to remove the posters and hoardings as a mark of respect to former President APJ Abdul Kalam who died yesterday.

The BJP had slammed the AAP for the advertisements against the Prime Minister.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The AAP government on Tuesday removed from several areas posters and hoardings in which it had taken a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to allow it to work.Last week, the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation had put up the posters and hoardings which were critical of Modi, suggesting the Prime Minister was creating hurdles in its functioning.”Prime Minister Sir, Please, let Delhi government work,” the posters read. The AAP government had came out with similar advertisements on TV channels and radio.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The posters and hoardings were put up across the city after Chief Minister Kejriwal shot off a terse letter to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on July 23, accusing him of acting at the behest of Modi.The letter was written two days after Jung had struck down appointment of Swati Maliwal by Kejriwal as chief of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).On Monday, the Lt Governor had cleared the file pertaining to Maliwal’s appointment as head of the women’s panel.Earlier, Delhi government had posted an audio clip on social media where Kejriwal appealed to Modi to spare at least one hour every week to improve the city’s “deteriorating” law and order situation or hand over police to the city government.The BJP had slammed the AAP for the advertisements against the Prime Minister.Officials said the government decided to remove the posters and hoardings as a mark of respect to former President APJ Abdul Kalam who died yesterday.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre condoles APJ Abdul Kalam’s death

“He was an ordinary man with extra ordinary achievements,” VSSC said in a condolence message.
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dna Research & Archives
Describing the demise of former President APJ Abdul Kalam as a great national loss, “particularly for the ISRO community”, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) condoled his death.”This is a great national loss, particularly for the ISRO community, because he was one amongst us. He was the Project Director of SLV3 launch vehicle from which all the later rockets of ISRO evolved,” VSSC said in a condolence message.Kalam was a peoples’ President, who believed that the glory of India would be measured by the temples of education, Science and Technology and ignited the minds of countless students to dream big in life. “He was an ordinary man with extra ordinary achievements,” the message said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Life is finite but ideas and vision are immortal. Even though he is no more, his vision and ideas are always going to be with us. There are no goodbyes from us, wherever he is, he is always going to be in our heart, inspiring us to fly on the wings of fire in all our future endeavours’.

APJ Abdul Kalam’s role in India’s nuclear programme highlighted by US media

United States media described the former president as one of the most “exuberant boosters” of India’s nuclear programme.

File Photo

Describing him as one of the most “exuberant boosters” of India’s nuclear capabilities, the US media on Tuesday highlighted the contribution of ‘missile man’ APJ Abdul Kalam to the country’s atomic and space programme.Kalam, who would have turned 84 in October died after suffering a massive cardiac arrest during a lecture at the IIM Shillong on Monday, plunging his country into overwhelming grief. “He was one of the most exuberant boosters of the country’s nuclear program,” The New York Times wrote in a rare obituary for Kalam. “He used the spotlight to urge India to build up its military strength and to free itself from the threat of domination by outside forces,” the daily said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Times said that Kalam spent little time outside India. “For him, it was a point of pride that India had developed its bomb without much help from foreign powers. And he described himself as thoroughly Indian,” it said. Kalam has been credited with helping develop his country’s first space satellites. In the 1980s, he helped design the nuclear-capable ‘Prithvi’ and ‘Agni’ ballistic missiles, The Washington Post said. “He played a crucial role when India tested its nuclear weapons in 1998. The test resulted in sanctions against the country but helped elevate Mr Kalam to the status of folk hero in his country,” the Post said in its obituary.The Wall Street Journal reported that Kalam, who was born into a poor Muslim family in Tamil Nadu, was at the forefront of the country’s efforts to develop a space programme and a strong advocate for India’s self-reliance in defence technologies. “He encouraged the development of India’s first indigenous satellite launch vehicle that brought the country into an elite club of space-faring nations and guided India’s missile-development programme,” the daily said. “Dr. Kalam also played a key role in boosting India’s nuclear capabilities, leading to nuclear tests in 1998, a technological achievement seen as pivotal in asserting the country’s place in global politics,” the WSJ said. “He was the first scientist to hold the office, and was widely viewed as an apolitical figure,” the CNN said.

APJ Abdul Kalam wanted India to shine, says Bharat Ratna CNR Rao

Dr. Kalam was the simplest human being I have ever known. His simplicity was the greatest quality he had, the bigger you get simpler you become, he was like that. Dr. Kalam wanted India to shine, everything he did in his life was for this, he wanted India to be very powerful.

AFP
Expressing condolence over the demise of APJ Abdul Kalam, Bharat Ratna CNR Rao on Tuesday said that the former president wanted India to shine and added that everything the latter did was for the same.Dr. Kalam was the simplest human being I have ever known. His simplicity was the greatest quality he had, the bigger you get simpler you become, he was like that. Dr. Kalam wanted India to shine, everything he did in his life was for this, he wanted India to be very powerful, he said.Dr. Kalam even passed away while talking to children, god must have blessed him. It’s a wonderful way to go away, saying good bye to the World doing exactly what you like, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kalam’s mortal remains, who passed away at the age of 84 in Shillong on Monday, were flown to Delhi from Guwahati earlier on Tuesday .Army personnel paid tributes to the former president in Shillong before his body flown to Guwahati.Both the Houses of Parliament are likely to make obituary references and adjourn today as a mark of respect to the former president’s memory. On Monday, Kalam passed away in Shillong after he was admitted to a hospital in the city.The former president collapsed during a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management. He was in a critical condition and had been admitted to the city’s Bethany Hospital.Kalam served as the 11th President on India from 2002 to 2007.

APJ Abdul Kalam: The man whose legend endured a myriad controversies

“I am completely indigenous,” APJ Abdul Kalam told The New York Times in 1998.

Nobody could have put it better. Kalam was the embodiment of every Indian ideal. His rags-to-success story made him an achiever against insurmountable odds; contribution to Indian defence and military gave him the aura of a nationalist; conduct in the Rashtrapati Bhawan turned him into a People’s President– a People’s Prince type epithet that instantly gave the West a measure of his popularity; and his inspiring speeches and books made him a hero of the youth and children.

As a son, student, scientist, President, teacher, preacher, poet, writer, aficionado of classical Indian music, inspiration for a film (I am Kalam) and the new Chacha of children of India, Kalam lived an all Indian dream.

PTI image.PTI image.

PTI image.

“In recent history, only a few had endeared themselves to the young and old, poor and the rich, and to people belonging to different faiths,” former finance minister P Chidambaram rightly summed up Kalam’s enormous popularity.

Kalam had many virtues that we hold close to our heart. Never give up, don’t let failure destroy your dream, concentrate on your karma without thinking of the result, don’t let success get to your head and put country above race and religion. Kalam practiced all of them.

As a student born in a humble family, he sold newspapers to support the family and finance his education. When Kalam was rejected for the job of a fighter pilot, a dream he had nourished since childhood, he took up an entry-level post at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

And there was no looking back. A man, who was considered not good enough to fly a plane, became the architect of India’s missile programme. From somebody who was rejected as a fighter, Kalam went on to become the face of India’s nuclear programme. Kalam showed the world that he had wings of steel and determination of iron.

Kalam’s karma brought him not just the deserved fruits of labour, but much more than that. “Kalam did not seek office; the office sought him,” Natwar Singh memorably said after he was elected President. He remains a compelling example of how a karma yogi becomes destiny’s favourite child.

Kalam was not the original choice for President in 2002. It was widely believed that PC Alexander, principal secretary to former PM Indira Gandhi, would get the job. Alexander, who was the governor of Maharashtra during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, was acceptable to most of the NDA constituents. And his past made him believe that even the Congress would back him. To his dismay, Sonia Gandhi refused to back Alexander’s candidature.

For a very brief period, it seemed vice-president Krishna Kant would get the job. But he was also denied the opportunity after being tipped off to be ready for the election.

During this period, the BJP was trying to shed its rabid pro-Hindutva image — a pursuit that ultimately ended with LK Advani’s ill-fated paean to MA Jinnah. And Mulayam Singh, it is believed, offered a deal that the BJP couldn’t resist. (Ironically, when Kalam became the front-runner for the President’s post in 2012, it was Mulayam Singh who backed out at the last minute, paving the way for Pranab Mukherjee‘s election.)

When the Samajwadi Party agreed to support Kalam as the next President, a consensus soon developed even within the Congress to back his presidency. His election could have been unanimous, but for the Left’s decision to prop up Captain Lakshmi Sehgal as token of resistance. Kalam’s tenure had the potential of getting marred with controversies. But it is an ode to his personal integrity and administrative tact that he managed to steer India through a political storm.

His biggest challenge, of course, was the issue of Sonia Gandhi‘s eligibility to become PM. After the Congress emerged as the single-largest party in 2004, Sonia’s expected ascent to the top job created a political furore. Unexpectedly, Sonia opted out of the race and named Manmohan Singh as the party’s choice for PM.

There were rumours that Sonia had backed out because President Kalam raised the issue of her Italian citizenship. But Kalam maintained a dignified silence through the brouhaha. Years later, in his memoirs, Kalam revealed that if Sonia had staked claim to the post, he would have had no option but to appoint her.

Controversies, though, dogged Kalam for his role as a nuclear scientist. Some of his critics, like Homi Sethna, questioned Kalam’s credentials saying he had received his masters degree in aerospace engineering, which is completely different from nuclear engineering. Kalam’s entire cult as the face of India’s nuclear programme also came under cloud when K Santhanam, the site director of Pokaran II, called the test a ‘fizzle’ and criticised Kalam for giving a false report.

And when Kalam became the President, Princeton scholar M V Ramana attributed it to Kalam’s ability to “dress up even mediocre work with the tricolour to pass them off as great achievements.” But, nothing could stop Kalam from becoming a legend.

When the history of post-Independence India is written, Kalam would rank right up there, in the company of legends like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore. He will inspire India and Indians for years to come.

In his poignant goodbye to Kalam, his aide Srijan Pal Singh says, he once asked Kalam what would he like to be remembered as: “President, scientist, writer, Missile Man, Indian 2020, Target 3 billion..what?”

Kalam replied: “Teacher.”

Yes, Kalam would be remembered for teaching us the value of both karma and raj dharma.

APJ Kalam’s Twitter account to remain alive in new form

Although former President APJ Abdul Kalam is no more, but his Twitter account will continue to be active in a new form.A team of his close associates has decided to run his official Twitter account which has now been renamed as ‘In memory of Dr Kalam’.”Dedicated 2 immortal memories of Dr Kalam. this account wil nw reflect his thoughts, his lessons & missions. Miss you sir! (sic),” Kalam’s close aide Srijan Pal Singh said in a tweet.Singh would now act as the administrator of his Twitter account and will keep sharing inspirational quotes from an innumerable number of speeches made by Kalam and his books like Wings of Fire, India 2020 and Ignited Minds.Another book Advantage India, co-authored by Kalam and Singh, is due to release later the year.Since February 2011, Kalam had been regularly posting his views on contemporary issues facing the country besides sending out inspirational messages on Twitter.He had more than 1.4 million followers on the microblogging site which is now flooded with his one-liners.Hashtag ‘KalamSir’ has been trending on Twitter in India since last night. Related read: How Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s lived his last day

‘Goodbyes should be short, really short’: Missile Man’s advisor documents Kalam’s last moments

Indians reacted with shock and sadness on learning that former President APJ Abdul Kalam had passed away while giving a speech at IIM-Shillong. Bharat Ratna, President, scientist and author, Kalam had taken on many roles during his lifetime and everyone had something that they remembered fondly about him.

But even as Twitter and Facebook was flooded with quotes and other memories, an innocuous post by Srijan Pal Singh was perhaps the most insightful into the last days of the former president. Singh, an adviser to Kalam, was on the stage with him in Shillong when he collapsed and was taken to hospital. In a touching post, he documented his memories and interactions with Kalam over the past few weeks. Here are the highlights:

Kalam meets the guard who was part of his convoy. Image courtesy: Facebook/ Srijan Pal SinghKalam meets the guard who was part of his convoy. Image courtesy: Facebook/ Srijan Pal Singh

Kalam meets the guard who was part of his convoy. Image courtesy: Facebook/ Srijan Pal Singh

What Kalam spoke about on the way to Shillong

Singh wrote of what Kalam spoke of during his trip to Shillong and not surprisingly it was all about national issues. Singh’s post says that Kalam was very worried about the loss of life in the terror strike in Gurdaspur and said “it seems the man made forces are as big a threat to the livability of earth as pollution”. The former president was also of the view that mankind may have to leave earth in 30 years and advised Singh that the future generation needed to take better care of it.

He was also worried about Parliament’s functioning for the last few days.

“I have seen two different governments in my tenure. I have seen more after that. This disruption just keeps happening. It is not right. I really need to find out a way to ensure that the parliament works on developmental politics,” Kalam had said earlier, according to Singh.

In what some would say was a typical Kalam-like plan, the former scientist said he would like to give a surprise assignment for the students of IIM-Shillong at the end of his speech. Kalam said he would ask them for innovative ways to make Parliament more productive.

“Then, after a while he returned on it. ‘But how can ask them to give solutions if I don’t have any myself’.” the former president noted, according to Singh.

‘Sir aapke liye toh 6 ghante bhi khade rahenge’

Even on his last trip, Kalam showed why he was a beloved president.

“We were in a convoy of 6-7 cars. Dr. Kalam and I were in the second car. Ahead us was an open gypsy with three soldiers in it. Two of them were sitting on either side and one lean guy was standing atop, holding his gun. One hour into the road journey, Dr. Kalam said, ‘Why is he standing? He will get tired. This is like punishment. Can you ask a wireless message to (be) given that he may sit?'” Singh wrote.

Singh said he tried to convince Kalam that the guard had probably been instructed to stand for better security but the former president wouldn’t relent. They tried to signal him to sit down and even through radio message but they were unsuccessful.

“Finally, realizing there is little we can do – he told me, ‘I want to meet him and thank him’. Later, when we landed in IIM Shillong, I went inquiring through security people and got hold of the standing guy. I took him inside and Dr. Kalam greeted him. He shook his hand, said thank you buddy. ‘Are you tired? Would you like something to eat? I am sorry you had to stand so long because of me’. The young lean guard, draped in black cloth, was surprised at the treatment. He lost words, just said, ‘Sir, aapke liye to 6 ghante bhi khade rahenge‘(for you I would stand even for six hours),” Singh noted.

The last moments

Singh said that Kalam was characteristically enthusiastic about the lecture and never wanted to keep students waiting.

“I quickly set up his mike, briefed on final lecture and took position on the computers. As I pinned his mike, he smiled and said, ‘Funny guy! Are you doing well?’

“‘Funny guy’, when said by Kalam could mean a variety of things, depending on the tone and your own assessment. It could mean, you have done well, you have messed up something, you should listen to him or just that you have been plain naïve or he was just being jovial. Over six years I had learnt to interpret Funny Guy like the back of my palm. This time it was the last case,” he wrote.

“‘Funny guy! Are you doing well?’ he said. I smiled back, ‘Yes’. Those were the last words he said. Two minutes into the speech, sitting behind him, I heard a long pause after completing one sentence. I looked at him, he fell down,” Singh wrote.

Singh said that they picked up the former President and tried to revive him.

“His hands clenched, curled onto my finger. There was stillness on his face and those wise eyes were motionlessly radiating wisdom. He never said a word. He did not show pain, only purpose was visible. In five minutes we were in the nearest hospital. In another few minutes the they indicated the missile man had flown away, forever. I touched his feet, one last time,” Singh wrote.

What Kalam wanted to be remembered for

Singh spoke about a discussion he had with Kalam some time ago about what they would want to be remembered for.

“‘First you tell me, what will you like to be remembered for? President, Scientist, Writer, Missile man, India 2020, Target 3 billion…. What?’ I thought I had made the question easier by giving options, but he sprang on me a surprise. ‘Teacher'”, he said.

Singh said that Kalam while discussing his friends, the former president had said that children should take care of their elders but it wasn’t taking place always.

‘He paused and said, ‘Two things. Elders must also do. Never leave wealth at your deathbed – that leaves a fighting family. Second, one is blessed is one can die working, standing tall without any long drawn ailing. Goodbyes should be short, really short’,” he noted.

Here’s the full Facebook post:

What I will be remembered for.. my memory of the last day with the great Kalam sir…It has been eight hours since we…

Posted by Srijan Pal Singh on Monday, July 27, 2015

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