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OneIndia Special: Dr Abdul Kalam’s family wants no controversies in his name

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru, Aug 07: Caught in an unexpected controversy over former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam's official social media accounts, his family members are keeping a close watch on the developments and have decided to stay away from the issue.

Speaking to OneIndia on Friday, one of Guru Kalam's grandsons A P J M J Sheik Saleem, said that the family is aware of all the developments that unfolded in the last few days.

Sheik Saleem with Kalam

"We are aware of what triggered this controversy. I don't want to make any comments. We don't want his name to be dragged into any controversy. The family has unanimously decided to convey our sentiments to his office staff, well-wishers, friends and followers. Not to forget that the mourning period is not yet over for us," Saleem told OneIndia from his Rameshwaram residence.

40th-day ceremony on September 4

He said the family is offering daily prayers (duas) for Guru Kalam so that his soul rests in peace.

"We have the 15-day ceremony coming up on August 10 and after that the all-important 40-day ceremony, on September 4. All these prayer meetings are being held under the supervision of the Jamaat representatives. On September 4, we will be making all the food items loved by him (Guru Kalam)," Saleem said.

Currently Saleem looks after the Guru Kalam's house which is being officially called as House of Kalam in Rameshwaram. It is located on the famous on Mosque Street and attracts tourists from all part of India.

The family has plans to convert House of Kalam into a bigger establishment once his assets (books and other items being used by Guru Kalam in Delhi) are handed over to them.

House of Kalam to get bigger

House of Kalam, now converted into a museum, with the help of BrahMos Aerospace in 2010, gives the visitor a glimpse of Guru Kalam's simple life. The museum also has a store that sells a number of merchandise items.

"We are waiting for the government formalities to get over. Right now his rooms are locked. We are told that his books and other assets will be listed and handed over to us," says Saleem, who will henceforth be the family spokesperson.


He also expressed his displeasure over too many aides of Guru Kalam making statements in the media.

"His mission should be spread without any publicity. He wanted India to be a shining nation. It's not in good taste too many people taking claims. Let the family decide the future course of action," the soft-spoken Saleem said.

(The writer is a seasoned aerospace and defence journalist in India. He is the Consultant Editor (Defence) with OneIndia. He was instrumental in launching Dr A P J Abdul Kalam's e-paper Billion Beats as its National Affairs Editor and has been spreading the Missile Man's vision through the Inspired Indian Foundation. He tweets @writetake.)

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