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People’s President laid to rest

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on July 31, 2015 with No Comments

Leaders from various political parties paid their tributes to the departed former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.  For the size of the crowd — over a lakh — that swarmed the little island of Rameswaram
over the two days to pay homage to the Missile Man, People’s President the discipline they displayed throughout Wednesday and Thursday is a new culture for the political and other outfits of the State. Never in the recent past any congregation of such magnitude in the southern districts showed such discipline in conducting themselves.

 Neither was there any scuffle nor any quarrel among themselves or with the police personnel over attempts like jumping the queue. At one point of time — around 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday — the serpentine queue wound through the vacant ground for nearly 1500m. Significantly, no drunk person was seen creating any ruckus in the pretext of giving vent to agony over the departure of his most beloved leader of the town.

“A scientist and statesman, Kalam rose from humble beginnings to become one of India’s most accomplished leaders, earning esteem at home and abroad. 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. Suitably named as the People’s President, his humility and dedication to public service served as an inspiration to millions of Indians and admirers around the world.” President Obama said in a statement
The mortal remains of former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam , who passed away on Monday, was laid to rest with full state honours, including a 21-gun salute at his native island town, Rameswaram, in Tamil Nadu on Thursday afternoon.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah, Chief Ministers of neighbouring States, Union Ministers, and State Ministers were among thousands who took part in the funeral.
After a guard of honour given by the tri-forces, the Prime Minister laid a wreath and paid his last respects to the 11th President of the country. He was followed by Mr. Rosaiah, Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Manohar Parikkar and MoS Pon. Radhakrishnan.

Later, Tamil Nadu Ministers, led by Finance Minister, O. Pannerselvam, paid a floral tribute on behalf of the State Government as the indisposed Chief Minister Jayalalithaa could not attend the funeral. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and former Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad also paid their respects.

Mr. Kalam’s elder brother, 98-year-old A.P.J. Maraikkayar, was present on the occasion.Defence personnel of the tri-services formally handed over the body to the relatives of Mr. Kalam.After a series of rituals and prayers, the body was interned in the cemetry amidst shouting of slogan “Bharat Matha Ki Jai,” by thousands of mourners who attended the funeral at Pei Karumbu along Madurai highway. Kerala Governor N. Sadasivam, Chief Ministers Siddharamaiah of Karnataka, N. Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh, and Oommen Chandy of Kerala, his predecessor, V.S. Achuthanandan,

Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly, Vijayakanth, leaders of political parties, E.V.K.S. Elangovan (Congress), G.K. Vasan (Tamil Maanila Congress) and Tamilisai Soundarajan (BJP), R. Anbumani (PMK), Vaiko (MDMK) were among those present.

Earlier the body was brought in a procession from his home, House of Kalam, before rituals were performed in a local mosque. Thousands of people from across the State joined in the last procession of the People’s President.


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