Indian PM Modi to attend funeral of Bharat Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam in Tamilnadu!

Indian PM Modi to attend funeral of Bharat Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam in Tamilnadu!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal


The final journey of a great Indian by name APJ Abdul Kalam is now on its way upon his successful and committed mission.

An Air Force helicopter carrying the body of former President APJ Abdul Kalam landed on July 29 in Rameswaram, the Tamil Nadu town where Dr Kalam was born. Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu was among three ministers who accompanied Dr Kalam’s body today from Delhi to Madurai in Tamil Nadu and then to Rameswaram.

Dr Kalam’s funeral will be held in Rameswaram at 11 am on July 30. According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa will not attend the funeral as she is not well, the state government said, but will send seven ministers.

The last rites of former President APJ Abdul Kalam will be held at his native place at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu on 30th July.  APJ Abdul Kalam died on 27 July after a massive cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. He was 83.

With the funeral of former President Kalam slated on July 30 in Rameswaram, the Tamil Nadu government has announced a public holiday on that day (Thursday)  to private and government educational institutions and establishments under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881″as a mark of respect” to the departed soul.

People in Rameswaram in long queues on the sunny day paid their last respects to Dr Kalam at a ground near the bus terminus where his body has been taken now. Hundreds had visited 10 Rajaji Marg, Dr Kalam’s Delhi residence, on July 28 to pay tribute to the People’s President. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, had visited the Delhi bungalow where Dr Kalam lived for the last seven years after leaving the Presidential palace.

Penning his tribute to the ‘missile man’ and who was felicitated with the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, PM Modi 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. For him, the counterpoint to poverty was the wealth of knowledge, in both its scientific and spiritual manifestations,” the Prime Minister said.

PM Modi remembered President 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.

PM Modi said his profound idealism was secure because it rested on a foundation of realism. President Kalam was “equally at ease before an audience of suave, globe-trotting ministers and a class of young students”. 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.”

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth has called Kalam another Mahatma as he feels “blessed enough” to have lived during a time that had a “mahatma” like former president A P J Abdul Kalam. Paying tribute to Kalam, Rajinikanth today said the scientist inspired millions of people with his life and achievements. “I did not have the privilege of seeing our mahatma Gandhiji, Kamaraj or poet Barathiyaar but was blessed enough to live admist Mahatma Kalamji”. Like Dr. Kalam who was a paper boy in Rameswaram, Rajinikanth also, began life earnestly as a bus conductor in Bangalore city and today he is the king of Tamil cinema.

Apart from leading a simple life throughout even while thinking very high, Dr. Kalam was honest statesman and kept the genuine interest of nation above all other considerations.  He never went after money and never sought to waste nation’s resources even by foreign tours. This distinguishes Dr. Kalam from other presidents of India.

Like Nehru, the first PM of India, Kalam also was fond of children and roses.

Following are among quotes by the scientist, author and former President Kalam:

  1. You have to dream before your dreams can come true.
  2. Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.
  3. Life is a difficult game. You can win it only by retaining your birthright to be a person.
  4. Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.
  5. We will be remembered only if we give to our younger generation a prosperous and safe India, resulting out of economic prosperity coupled with civilizational heritage.
  6. Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.
  7. Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model.
  8. 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.
  9. If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.
  10. My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.

Kalam will be remembered for his engagement with the people – especially children – even after his presidency and the books that he wrote – India 2020 and, of course, igniting minds.   “If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun,” APJ Abdul Kalam had said in one of his inspirational speeches. He certainly did. It was the role he will probably be most remembered for – a president who brought Rashtrapati Bhavan to the people  earning him the tribute of the People’s President.


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