Ranchi, July 28: In what can be described as a bitter truth, Jharkhand education minister Neera Yadav, had five days back, had committed a blunder when she paid homage to the very much alive former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
The shocking incident had happened at an event in Koderma, where she was invited as the chief guest, to inaugurate smart classes. Before the event started, Yadav paid homage to Kalam's photograph. [Dr APJ Abdul Kalam passes away: Follow Live Updates]
No one imagined that Neera's goof-up will turn into reality on Monday, July 27, when the people's president Dr Kalam will bid adieu to the world. [Jharkhand Education Minister pays tribute to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam]
According to a report published in TOI, Yadav was extremely disturbed when she got the news about Dr Kalam's demise.
Yadav also said "she had been praying ever since the moment she heard about Kalam taking ill."
She was quoted saying as, "I just can't believe that he is no more. He had been like a guru to me and I could have never dreamt of insulting him. Whatever happened at the school was unintentional and I apologise from the depth of my heart."
83-year-old Dr Kalam breathed his last at 7.45 pm while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong, when he suddenly collapsed at the dais.
He was immediately rushed to a hospital, where doctors could not revive him.
Surprisingly, none of those who saw Yadav while garlanding Kalam raised an objection. BJP MLA Manish Jaiswal, the school principal and teachers were also present there.
In an attempt to downplay the goof-up, Yadav said "photos of great leaders are also garlanded to honour them and is a way to pay respect".
"She also added that Kalam is a great scientist and there is nothing objectionable in garlanding the picture of a leader",
On the lack of her knowledge, she was criticised on social media.
Jharkhand Governor, Chief Minister condole Kalam's death
Meanwhile, Jharkhand Governor Droupadi Murmu and Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Tuesday expressed grief at the death of A P J Abdul Kalam and described the former President as a role model and inspirational personality with his multi-faceted talent.
"A P J Abdul Kalam was a great personality and his ideals had inspired the people. He was a role model for children and youth," Murmu said in her statement, adding Kalam's death had left an irreparable loss.
Murmu said she had the privilege of sharing dais with the scientist at the convocation ceremony at Birsa Agriculture University, her first programme after taking over as Jharkhand Governor recently.
The scientist, who authored several books, including India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium, died after suffering a cardiac arrest at Shillong tonight.
"He was a great scientist, writer and a sensitive person," the Governor further said in her condolence message.
In his message, Chief Minister Raghubar Das said the country was in the grip of sorrow following the passing away of a great human being.
Former chief ministers Babulal Marandi, Arjun Munda, Hemant Soren and several other leaders expressed sorrow at the demise of Kalam.
Here are some Twitter reactions on Neera Yadav, who is, ironically or coincidentally, at the receiving end of Dr Kalam's demise:
Jharkhand edu min Neera Yadav paid shraddhanjali 2 @APJAbdulKalam on 22/7.None thought she did it 4 real.Kalam leaves 4 heaven on 27/7— Narendra Pandey (@ProfNKPandey) July 27, 2015
It's just freaky that the Education Minister of Jharkhand, Neera Yadav put a garland on the photo of #APJAbdulKalam just 6 days ago. Freaky!— Mihir Bijur (@MihirBijur) July 28, 2015
Just remembered that only recently Neera Yadav Jharkhand education minister had paid shraddhanjali to #KalamSir! Pure coincidence or what?!— BindiyaChotrani (@BindiyaChotrani) July 28, 2015
The futurist: Many angry at Jharkhand Minister Neera Yadav who nearly predicted Abdul Kalam's death http://t.co/2SCp5FtCic— Madhusudan Thakkar (@madhusudan41) July 28, 2015