IGNITED INDIA MOURNS MENTOR
President, Prime Minister lead tion in paying tributes to Dr Kalam; State funeral on Thursday
NEW DELHI, July 28: President Prab Mukherjee and Prime Minister rendra Modi led the tion on Tuesday in paying tributes to former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
Thousands of people visited the ‘Missile Man’s’ official residence here to pay their last respects to the “People’s President” who collapsed while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Magement in Shillong on Monday evening.
The two Houses of Parliament were adjourned for two days as a mark of respect to Dr Kalam as political parties gratefully recalled his contributions to the tion.
The Union cabinet met in the morning to formally pay tributes to Dr Kalam who rose from humble beginnings to become one of India’s leading scientists and later a popular President.
Dr Kalam’s body, wrapped in the Tricolour, arrived on Tuesday at the Palam technical area of Indira Gandhi Intertiol Airport at around 12.30 p.m. in a special Indian Air Force plane.
After a ceremonial guard of honour at the airport in the presence of the three service chiefs, Dr Kalam’s mortal remains were brought in an army vehicle to his official residence at 10, Rajaji Marg in central Delhi.
Thousands of people visited his residence to pay homage as cries of “Abdul Kalam amar rahe” and “Long live Abdul Kalam” rent the air.
The Prime Minister and the President went to the airport to pay tributes to the late leader. Other dignitaries present at the airport included Vice President Hamid Ansari, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Delhi Lt. Governor jeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
While the Central government declared a seven-day mourning on Monday, the Goa government declared a seven-day mourning on Tuesday. Kejriwal announced that the Delhi government will me its scheme providing educatiol loan up to Rs10 lakh after Kalam.
Modi, who addressed a meeting of the Bharatiya Jata Party (BJP) parliamentary party on Tuesday, paid glowing tributes to Dr Kalam and said India has lost a “rat (jewel)”.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was President of India from 2002-2007 and assumed the highest office when BJP-led tiol Democratic Alliance was in power.
Modi said Kalam was “rashtra rat” (country’s jewel) and his “persolity was special”. “His life inspires us; it inspires the youth,” he said.
The former President died on Monday evening in a private hospital in Shillong after he collapsed while delivering a lecture on ‘Liveable Planet’ to students of the Indian Institute of Magment, Shillong.
Dr Kalam will be accorded a state funeral with full military honours at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Rameswaram in Tamil du. His family had wished that his last rites be performed in his hometown.
The Union cabinet, which met on Tuesday to pay its condolences to Kalam, said the country lost a visiory scientist, a true tiolist and a great son.
“Kalam made significant contribution in developing India’s first indigenous satellite launch vehicle and made India an exclusive member of the space club,” the resolution said, adding that strategic missile systems were developed and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during Kalam’s term as scientific advisor to the defence minister.
It said Dr Kalam was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for many development applications and piloted India Millennium Mission 2020.
Born on October 15, 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil du, Kalam specialised in aeroutical engineering from Madras Institute of Technology.
He was the recipient of many tiol and intertiol awards, including honorary doctorates from 48 universities from India and abroad. He received the country’s highest civilian award, Bharat Rat, in 1997.
Tributes continued to pour in for Kalam with political leaders from the BJP, CPI-M and the Congress recalling his decades of dedicated service to the country in various fields. (IANS)