Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam passed away Monday after reports claim he collapsed during a lecture at IIM (Indian Institute of Management) in Shillong during the evening.
Kalam, who would have turned 84 in October, was pronounced dead more than two hours after being wheeled into the ICU of Bethany hospital in critical condition. Doctors have reported that Kalam suffered a massive cardiac arrest.
Kalam became the 11th head of the state and held the post between 2002 and 2007. He was an “everyman” which did not curry favor with the politician and, as a result, was denied a second term in office.
Arrangements were made to carry his body from Guwahati to Delhi, Tuesday morning, A seven-day national mourning will be declared. Both the Houses of Parliament are expected to make obituary references and adjourn as a mark of respect to Kalam’s memory.
Avual Pakir Jainuladeen (APJ) Abdul Kalam rose from humble origins to become President, during the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government under Atal Biharia Vajpayee. As a aeronautics engineer from Madras Institute of Technology, Kalam was considered the brains of the Indian missile program and was the Chief Scientific Adviser to Vajpayee. He was also instrumental in the Pokhran nuclear test in 1998.
Prior to his collapse Kalam had been active on social media, tweeting about the lecture scheduled later that evening. Many political leaders and colleagues have expressed their deepest condolences for the former President.
During his Presidency Kalam seized any chance to address students—more importantly, young school children—suggesting they dream big so those dreams can be achieved in life.
“He had a special love for children and fought to constantly inspire the youth of our country,” said President Pranab Mukherjee. “Dr. Kalam will long be remembered for his passion, science and innovation, along with his contributions which have enabled scientists, educationist, and writers. His achievements as leader of the DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization) vastly enhanced the security of our nation.”
“I got to work with him closely…,The country has lost a son who worked for the strength of India. He had spent every moment for the youth of India. No person will be able to fill the gap left by him. His work will inspire us to work for the development of the nation,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“He was the best human being I came across. I feel very sorry. He had good humour, had very good presence of mind and always wanted to give something to society,” noted Former President Pratibha Patil.
“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” ~ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.~ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam October 15, 1931 – July 27, 2015 Former President of India Writer, Aeronautics Engineer, Scientist