Of the several monumental men India has produced, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has been the most humble and accomplished. He was a people’s man, an educationist, spiritual and believed in good karma. And yes, he was India’s President, too.
When such a person relocates to heavenly abode, what is left behind should be sanctified, and set aside as special, something that the people have access to. Unfortunately, in Dr Kalam’s case, no such thing happened.
The belongings of the former President, known as the ‘Missile man’ of India, have been packed and delivered to his ancestral home because Union Culture Minister, Mahesh Sharma, has taken a liking to the house and will be its new resident.
It would have been better had Mahesh Sharma moved into former president APJ Abdul Kalam’s house on 10, Rajaji Marg. Though it is a by the book decision on the part of the central government, this just doesn’t feel right. It is very rare for an entire nation to mourn the death of a political figure, but Kalam’s death had pained India as a whole, we all grieved the loss.
In two days, around 30,000 people have signed on the change.org online petition – Don’t insult Dr. Abdul Kalam! Make his Delhi home a knowledge Centre. This initiative was started by one Bhagwan Singh. Usually, official housing decisions don’t generally evoke public interest, but Mahesh Sharma shifting to the house of ‘People’s President’ has, been the centre of attention, especially after Mahesh’s shocking remark that Kalam was a ‘nationalist despite being a Muslim’.
Kalam’s memory must stay alive, it’s precious and acts as a guiding force. The suggestion of converting his residence into a knowledge centre would be a fitting tribute to him. Packing his stuff in hurry and sending it to his house in South India is an insult which I feel should be condemned.