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Condolences pour-in as the nation mourns Kalam’s death

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday led the nation in paying respects to former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who rose from humble beginnings to become one of India’s leading scientists and later a hugely popular president.

Leaders from across the political spectrum, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BJP president Amit Shah and Lok Janshakti Party president and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan paid their tributes to Kalam who was the president from 2002 to 2007.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh was among the first to pay his tributes.

Officials said a meeting of the union cabinet would be held on Tuesday to pay formal condolences to Kalam.

Leaders including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and former prime minister Manmohan Singh recalled their personal association with Kalam.

Kalam breathed his last at 7.45 p.m. at Bethany Hospital where he was rushed to from IIM-Shillong where he was delivering a lecture.

President Mukherjee said the death of Bharat Ratna Kalam was “a deep personal loss”.

He said Kalam was “a people’s president” during his lifetime and will remain so even after his death.

“As president of India, Dr. Kalam was immensely popular and greatly admired. His warmth, humility and simple ways endeared him to one and all. He had a special love for children and sought to constantly inspire the youth of our country through motivational speeches and personal interaction,” the president said.

He said Kalam will be long remembered for his passion for science and innovation and his contributions as an eminent scientist, administrator, educationist and writer.

“In his passing away, we have lost a great son of India who dedicated his entire life for the welfare of the motherland and its people,” he said.

In his message, Modi said: “India mourns the loss of a great scientist, a wonderful president and above all an inspiring individual.”

Modi said he learnt a lot from Kalam. “My mind is filled with so many memories, so many interactions with him. Always marvelled at his intellect, learnt so much from him.”

Modi said Kalam enjoyed being with people. “People and youngsters adored him. He loved students and spent his final moments among them.”

Sonia Gandhi said Kalam was “one of the greatest scientific minds and a scholar statesman” and one of India’s iconic leaders.

Manmohan Singh, who worked with Kalam as prime minister, said he greatly benefited from the advice of the late leader.

“In his death, our country has lost a great human being who made phenomenal contribution to the promotion of self-reliance in defence technologies. I worked very closely with Dr. Kalam as Prime Minister and I greatly benefited from his advice as President of our country.

“His life and work will be remembered for generations to come,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi said Kalam was a man of many parts — a scientist, an inventor, a visionary thinker and a teacher. “He will be missed dearly and remembered fondly by every Indian.”

Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani said Kalam “served Mother India literally until the last breath”.

Union ministers Najma Heptullah, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, and Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were among leaders who paid their respects to Kalam.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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Glory to PM Modi and Country Angers Certain Forces

A few months back, the UN as well has crowned him with the Champions of the Earth, the highest environmental honor

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A few months back, the UN as well has crowned him with the Champions of the Earth, the highest environmental honor.

By: Salil Gewali

Many will not disagree that the PM Modi is fairly unpopular among a certain popular elite within the country. However, he has earned an immeasurable number of admirers outside the country. The fact why he is an eyesore for certain groups of people and celebrities while they are bowled over and ever supportive of specific dull-witted and inexperienced leaders is something very weird and contrasting. This phenomenon defies the long-held assumption that “education” makes one rational and free from the psychological shortfall. Nevertheless, PM Modi is least bothered what his smart detractors think and do against him.  He hardly wishes evil upon anyone. He has multiple of reasons to stay buoyed and cheery. The flood of praises coming from outside the country has always swelled PM Modi’s chest. Therefore, even in the foreign soil he goes, without a hitch, shouting at full throttle —‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.  

Truly, it’s totally wrong to ignore many achievements associated with PM Modi. Yes, he has been chosen to be honored with the highest civilian award – Order of Zayed by the UAE government.  Not just that, the countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Palestine also have come forward to honor the Indian PM with their respective highest awards. A few months back, the UN as well has crowned him with the Champions of the Earth, the highest environmental honor. His unfaltering dedication and devotion to execute formulated policies and planes have yielded positive results, though some section of powerful people try to undermine and demean them all.

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Modi government has been able to pull off many thorny external affairs and issues too quickly.

What is most attractive in PM Modi is that he is smartly clever to strike the personal kinship with any individual foreign leaders and diplomats. Yes, due to his personal touch and warmth, the Modi government has been able to pull off many thorny external affairs and issues too quickly. Of course, this is doubtlessly praiseworthy. Yes, good truths should be not suppressed and falsehood should not be exaggerated.

However, a very strange vibe is noticed in the country. It is nothing but an unenthusiastic silence maintained by the popular media when Modi receives some accolades and appreciation. Many choose not to mention it at all, not even as news-item. This all makes everything all the more conspicuous. Well, this, in fact, only prompts the swarm of netizens to be more active in social media, their battlefields. They are seen furiously vocal. The ranting, raving, and name-calling against the backdrop of the importance given to a certain class of leaders make the situation less pleasant and logical. Not just that people in the social media are quick to throw up contrasting examples citing how media goes gaga over a “less intelligent lot” while keeping deafening silence over things that bring glory and fame to the nation. This is doubtlessly a bizarre development. This way the detractors or opponents always run the risk of losing their own integrity.

ALSO READ: Modi Suggests Pakistan to Stop Exporting Terror for Peace

A business done by sacrificing integrity ends up in disaster. Opposition to ideas and political parties is always welcome, which is democratic, but the biased attitude against the “truth” and positivity can only dilute the sanctity of the enterprise and professionalism. As concerned citizens, should we not first want that the light of glory and joy dispel the gloom of darkness and despair in the country? Let’s not waste our precious life by struggling to call the untruth as truth and vice versa. This exercise only contributes to polluting our mindset and the country becomes less peaceful and more vulnerable.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great Minds on India’.

Twitter:  @SGewali