Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India

Prime Minister Modi says Kalam was a leading light; President cut short visit to Karnataka; body arrives in Delhi from Shillong…. reports Asian Lite News (Please see the video – His speech at European Union)

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi among top leaders and celebrities expressed his deep condolences over the death of former president Bharat Ratna A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, saying he was a leading light who will be always remembered for his services to the country.

For some, it was his child-like demeanour which made him affable and for some, it was his inspirational vision and work in the field of science which made A.P.J. Abdul Kalam a “universally-loved” Bharat Ratna, who managed to be in politics without being a “politician”.

“India mourns the loss of a great scientist, a wonderful president and above all an inspiring individual. Rest in peace Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam,” Modi said.

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

Modi said Kalam enjoyed being with people and they, in turn, adored him.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India

“He loved students and spent his final moments among them,” the prime minister said, adding that Kalam’s work as president, his life and his words have given direction to the country.

“In personal capacity, I have lost a valuable guide. India has lost a great son who worked to make it strong, who spent each moment of his life to empower the youth. I don’t think that the void left by the great man will ever be filled.”

“I again bow to the work of the great man… I do not have words to say,” Modi said.

A.R. Rahman, a fellow Tamilian, Tweeted : Dr. Kalam, when you became the president, you gave the word ‘hope’ a new meaning for Indians… Today, we have lost a great leader who inspired our young minds to feel that we live in the greatest nation on the Earth and that each one of them can achieve great things… May the creator lead you to heaven.

Death in Shillong

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India

The body of Dr Kalam was flown to New Delhi on Tuesday morning. Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmughanathan, Home Minister Roshan Warjri, Assembly Speaker Abu Taher Mondal and Director General of Civil Defence and Home Guards R.K. Sharma accompanied Kalam’s body.

From Shillong, his body was carried by a special Indian Air Force helicopter to Guwahati airport and from there his body was flown to New Delhi on Indian Air Force aircraft C-130.

The former president died at 7.45 p.m. on Monday in a private hospital here in Shillong after he collapsed while delivering a lecture on “Liveable Planet” to students of the Indian Institute of Managment-Shillong.

An official communique from Bethany Hospital said Kalam was brought to the hospital at 7 p.m.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India

“He was received in the emergency room and on arrival, Kalam showed no spontaneous respiration, no pulse, blood pressure was not recordable, pupils fixed and dilated. Intubation was done immediately and CPR started,” hospital medical consultant A.M. Kharbamon said in the statement. She said Kalam was shifted to the ICU immediately but could not be revived.

President Condoles

President Pranab Mukherjee will fly back to Delhi on Tuesday morning, cutting short his visit to Karnataka following the sudden death of Dr Kalam.

“The president is returning to Delhi on Tuesday morning instead of evening, cancelling his programmes during the day,” a protocol official said. The president is on overnight stay at Raj Bhavan in the city centre.

Mukherjee was on a two-day visit to this southern state for attending a few events at Mysuru, Bengaluru and Kalaburgi in the state’s northern region.

“With the central government declaring a seven-day national mourning as a mark of respect to Kalam, the president is constrained to cancel two events he was to attend on the second day of his state visit,” the official said.

Mukherjee was to fly to Kalaburgi via Bidar to preside over the Central University of Karnataka’s second annual convocation. On the first day of his visit, Mukherjee heralded the year-long centenary celebrations of University of Mysore at Mysuru, about 140km from here, and then flew into the city and inaugurated the centenary year of the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce & Industry at Vidhana Soudha in the city centre.

Nation Mourns

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India

Indian celebrities paid heartfelt tributes to the former president, who suddenly passed away on Monday evening in Shillong.

Several names from the Hindi film industry took to Twitter to remember their moments with Kalam, and to bid their ‘aakhri salaam’.

Here’s what they tweeted:

Amitabh Bachchan: A brilliant mind, a child like demeanour, simple caring and loved by all .. ex POI passes away .. PRAYERS.

Shah Rukh Khan: So sad to hear about the Gurdaspur terror attack & now the news of Dr. Kalam’s demise. May Allah bring peace upon all.

Salman Khan: Never had the opportunity to meet Kalam saab but always loved and respected him. As scientist and as president, Kalam saab was a true inspiration for many generations of Indians. When your heart says you should meet someone, don’t delay. I always wanted to meet Kalam saab and I should have made the effort. My loss. I will miss Kalam saab. India will miss him.

Priyanka Chopra: “They say Good & Great are seldom in the same man. Dr Kalam was the epitome of both. A big loss for India. May his beautiful soul Rest in Peace.”

Anupam Kher: Thank you Dr. Kalam for your wisdom, for your inspirational life, for your generosity, for your patriotism & for your teachings. #MyHero

Kabir Bedi: Saluting the memory of APJ Abdul Kalam, India’s most loved President, a truly inspirational Bharat Ratna. RIP @APJAbdulKalam.

Sajid Khan: He was in politics,but was never a politician..R.I.P. APJ ABDUL KALAM SAAB…a great human being.

Meiyang Chang: Few people are admired so universally. Thank you Dr. Abdul Kalam for inspiring us. And now you fly on Wings of Fire to your final abode. RIP.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India

Mohit Chauhan: Dr #Kalam the real rockstar and a true icon for millions of Indians esp the youth… we shall miss ur benign presence and ur vision. RIP sirYou will live in our hearts forever sir. And forever inspire us. RIP Kalam saheb.

Abhishek Bachchan: RIP Dr. Kalam. Huge loss to us all.

Divya Dutta: Not one person Awho’s not tweeting abt dr kalam! A truly loved n admired person!! By all! Unanimously!!! Rare n special! RIP sir!

Shreya Ghoshal: Dr. Abdul Kalam inspired millions with his intellect n vision. You taught our nation that knowledge is power. We are indebted to you. RIP.

Neha Dhupia: An author, a teacher, a scientist and one of the best presidents India has ever seen… RIP Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

Madhur Bhandarkar: I consider myself fortunate that I had the honor & the privilege of receiving two National Awards at the hands of Shri Abdul Kalam. RIP, Sir.

Kunal Kemmu: A great mind and an inspiration to millions. Keep shining your light from the other side you are our brightest star. APJ Abdul Kalam – RIP.

Farhan Akhtar: Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of one of the most inspirational Indians of our time, former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. RIP.

Ayushmann Khurrana: The silver lining of this era. An epitome of righteousness, intelligence & wisdom. A rare gem. A big loss. Thanks for everything sir. #Kalam.

Anushka Sharma: Very sad to hear about the passing of APJ Abdul Kalam. Loss of an inspiring visionary and a wonderful soul. May his soul RIP.

Sujoy Ghosh: RIP Dr. Kalam. In respect of one the greatest Indian to walk this earth.

Adnan Sami: Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam loved every element of life. Amongst many things, he preached “Unity of Minds through Music”. RIP.

Lara Dutta Bhupathi: RIP APJ Kalam. A visionary, a man of honour and Indias pride. Salute! #Respect

Sushmita Sen: What a glorious life!!Greatness lead by example!!#Respect#Salute d life n divine grace of Mr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam #Godspeed

Manoj Bajpayee: His contribution in putting India on top has been immense incomparable. We bow down to true son of this nation. RIP Kalam sahib!

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India