On July 27 this year, the nation mourned the death of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam – unarguably India’s greatest President and one of the country’s finest scientific minds.
Today, five months down the line, the burial ground of the late President is in a pathetic state.
By now, Pei Karumbu in Rameswaram should have had a national memorial in the name of Dr. Kalam. Instead it is being defiled by dogs and cows defecating all over the 1.5-acre land that has been left completely unguarded and unmaintained.
Anyone can walk up close to the grave of Dr. Kalam and take pictures. There are barricades but those cannot prevent anyone from sneaking through.
So a Facebook campaign with the name Justice4GuruKalam started a silent protest demanding a proper memorial for the illustrious scientist and president.
Started by aerospace and defence journalist Anantha Krishnan, who considered Kalam his guru, the project aims to protect the burial ground of the late President from not just such humiliation but from the elements as well.
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“Rameswaram is a cyclone prone area and the temporary structure can fall apart anytime. Why is there a delay in even building a decent structure on his kabr (burial place)?”
In fact Kalam’s family members allowed the burial to take place at an open ground because he was a beloved public figure.
The grandson of the Kalam’s elder brother, Salim questioned, “All his life Dr Kalam worked for the country. Is this any way to treat a great leader?”
Indeed, it is not.
The reason why this campaign is significant is because in the absence of any initiative from the government, students have offered to build a memorial.
Krishnan rightly points out: “You can’t have a Bharat Ratna being left like this. If it was a politician, by now some structure would have come up.”
This video will show you how his memorial is now: