Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu): The mortal remains of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam were on Wednesday taken by helicopter from Madurai to Mandapam, around 22 km from here, where state ministers and others paid their last respects to the departed soul.
Members of the armed forces too paid their respects to Kalam, following which the casket containing the former president’s body was put an army truck to be transported by road to Rameswaram.
At Rameswaram, around 600 km from Chennai, Kalam’s body would be kept at a location near the bus stand for the people to pay their last respects.
A large number of people have been waiting at the location to pay their homage to the the distinguished scientist and teacher popularly known as ‘People’s President’ and ‘Missile Man’.
Speaking to reporters at Mandapam, union minister Venkaiah Naidu said there was no leader like Kalam in recent times who had endeared himself to the people, particularly to the youth.
“People in large numbers have assembled to pay their last respects,” A.P.J.M.K. Sheik Saleem, the former president’s brother’s grandson, said. “All our relatives have also arrived to attend the last rites,” he added.
Kalam was born in Rameswaram on October 15, 1931 and died in Shillong on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest during a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management.
It was in this town that Kalam hawked newspapers to supplement his family income in his younger years. His father owned a boat, and his mother constantly struggled to keep the family sufficiently fed and clothed.
His sister pawned jewellery with a moneylender so that the studious Kalam could have Rs.600 when he decided to leave Rameswaram to join the Madras Institute of Technology.
Saleem said Kalam’s body would be kept near the town’s main bus stand to enable people to pay their last respects.
“Public can pay their homage till 8 p.m. after which the body will be taken to his house on the Mosque Street,” he said.
According to Saleem, the last rites will be performed around 10.30 a.m. on Thursday.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said the government had allotted land for burying Kalam’s mortal remains at the request of his family.
Meanwhile, public emotions were running high that a boy with humble origins from this coastal town who rose to great heights had passed away.
Many locals were unable to believe the passing away of one of India’s most popular presidents, who was born and raised in this Hindu pilgrim centre.
Rameshwaram resident A. Johnson told IANS: “Kalam was Rameswaram’s gift to the world. It is sad that this gift has left us.”
Another resident Inoja said: “There are no words to express my feelings. I am still not able to believe that Kalam is no more. I feel like crying.”
Muthunambu said in a choking voice: “I am unable to accept his death. Kalam had come to our school. He stressed that we all should study hard.”
Security has been tightened at Rameswaram in view of the large number of people, including ministers and others, expected to attend Kalam’s last rites.
Hoteliers said that all the rooms in major hotels had been booked for two days.
Tamil Nadu is also the second largest contributor to India’s GDP
Tamil Nadu inhibits many forms of classical arts, classical music, and classical literature
The enormous area of Tamil Nadu makes it the 11th largest state in India and in terms of population
The word Tamil Nadu literally means ‘The Land of Tamils’ or ‘Tamil Country’. The existence of this place dates back to 1000 of years back. It is one of the 29 states of India, Chennai is its capital. The state is also the second largest contributor to India’s GDP and second most industrialized state in India.
The state inhibits many forms of classical arts, classical music, and classical literature. The diversity can be seen in language, caste and many more things. Tamil Nadu is also home to a number of historic buildings and religious sites including historic hill stations and Hindu temples of Tamil architecture.
Take a tour of the mesmerising beauty of Tamil Nadu and its culture.
1. When the world is going super costly day by day, Tamil Nadu has something very unique in its Corporation restaurants in Chennai, where one can get Idlis for Re 1 and curd rice for Rs 3.
2. One of the oldest known languages is said to be Latin. But as it’s not being in use anymore, Tamil language grabs the spot of oldest living language.
3. The great M.S. Subbalakshmi and Rukmini Devi Arundel have redefined the way the whole city buzzes with enthusiasm over art forms. But very few people know that Chennai’s Music and Dance festival is often counted as one of the major festivals of the city which goes side by side with other festivals like Pongal.
4. The trend of the banking sector in the country was initiated by the Tamilians. They started certain banking institutions like Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, The United India Insurance etc for the smooth transaction of the money. Even the credit and debit system of banking was also introduced by them.
5. Myanmar owes Tamilians their one-third of the rice fields. As many years back, Tamil Nadu was in major trade with Burma and Ceylon to enhance their economy. Tamil Nadu was also involved in direct with some of the European nations.
6. The political scenario of the Tamil Nadu is quite blunt. There are only two parties who are the heavy weight of that region. One as DMK, headed by Karunanidhi family and other as AIADMK, which was headed by Lt. Jayalalithaa.
7. The enormous area of the state makes it the 11th largest state in India and in terms of population, its 7th most populous state in India.
8. Tamil Nadu has much of diversity in languages in its region. Interestingly, the language is spoken in Chennai and the interiors of Chennai are different.
9. Tamil Nadu holds the record of state with the highest literacy rate with 80.3%. All the schools and colleges in Tamil Nadu are only in Tamil Medium or English medium. Hindi is acknowledged as the third language in the private schools.
10. The brilliance of Tamil Nadu’s tourism can be understood by state topping the list of States with the most tourist arrivals, both domestic and international for the third consecutive year.
11. Tamilians prefer to grow rice in their filed rather than wheat and hence their staple food is rice and not chapattis.
12. Tamil Nadu has a spectacular reservation policy for its citizens. The Brahmins and the high castes are not covered under it, rest 90% of this state population comes under the reservation quota.
13. The state is home to some very ancient and splendid temples. Tamil Nadu has around 33,000 ancient temples and some even 1400 years old. The likes of Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Brihadeswara Temple in Thanjavur, Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram, Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram and Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Chennai among many others.
14. Tiruchi is a favourite destination for many of the tourist visiting the state. In 2016, Tiruchi received almost 1.21 crore tourists which were slightly more than 1.20 crore in 2015. The notable attractions of Tiruchi include Rock Fort, the Ranganathaswamy Temple and the Jambukeswarar Temple.
15. For many people, Hill stations are a synonym for states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir. But, in reality, Tamil Nadu also has the best and the most visited hill stations all over India. Places are Kodaikanal, Ooty, Coonoor, Ketti Valley, Valparai and Yelagiri Hills are a delight to watch. Some of the most prominent tourist spots include waterfalls, wildlife and bird sanctuaries, national parks and beaches. The state holds both hill stations and beaches in its territory.
16. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department has come up with a unique way of absorbing the excess traffic on road and at the same time promoting state’s tourism. Tourism Department has identified 32 of new tourist destinations apart from the key destinations like Udhagamandalam, Kodaikanal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Mamallapuram, Kanniyakumari etc.
17. Tamil Nadu has tourism friendly policies with an aim to developing the high-priority tourism infrastructure. By this way, the state ought to promote environmentally and culturally sustainable tourism.
18. The state is bestowed with age-old temples and complex infrastructures. To honour such structures, UNESCO has marked eight World Heritage Sites in Tamil Nadu.
19. For any state, trade is a considerable source of tourism. As Tamil Nadu state is the largest producer of turmeric and banana. Also, the state is the second largest producer of Coconut, Mango and groundnut.