Former President and Bharat Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam passed away on Monday after suddenly falling ill during a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong. He was 83.
Kalam was rushed to the Bethany Hospital as efforts to revive him began at an intensive care unit in the medical facility. A seven-day national mouring period is expected to be declared in the former President’s honour.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh later confirmed that the former President had died as condolences came pouring in from all across the country and abroad.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also later deeply condoled Kalam’s death, calling the former President a ‘marg darshak’ for India. It was also announced that PM Modi would attend Kalam’s last rites in Rameshwaram on Thursday.
Deeply saddened at the sudden demise of the former president of India Dr. APAJ Abdul Kalam. He was an inspiration to an entire generation.
— Rajnath Singh (@BJPRajnathSingh) July 27, 2015
V sad to hear that Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is no more. Nation has lost a real bharat ratna. — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 27, 2015
So sad to hear about the Gurdaspur terror attack & now the news of Dr. Kalam’s demise. May Allah bring peace upon all.
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) July 27, 2015
Dr. Kalam, when you became the President, you gave the word ‘hope’ a new meaning for Indians… Today, we have… http://t.co/ld4rtRwqWA
— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) July 27, 2015
Earlier, this morning Kalam had tweeted, “Going to Shillong.. to take course on Livable Planet earth at iim. With @srijanpalsingh and Sharma.”
Going to Shillong.. to take course on Livable Planet earth at iim. With @srijanpalsingh and Sharma.
— APJ Abdul Kalam (@APJAbdulKalam) July 27, 2015
Kalam was India’s most respected nuclear scientist and was operational in-charge of the 1998 Pokharan-II Tests before becoming the President.
A lot of people remember him as the man who transformed the Indian presidency during his tenure from 2002 to 2007 by making the Rashtrapati Bhawan much more accessible.
Kalam was also given the sobriquet of the ‘Missile Man of India’ for his scientific contributions.