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Photo Story: The nation mourns the demise of 'People's President' Abdul Kalam

Kunal Majumder | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 7:30 IST

Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, India's 11th President, passed away in Meghalaya on the evening of 27 July. The former president had suddenly collapsed while addressing students at IIM, Shillong.


Students in Ahmedabad make a formation, spelling out KALAM in honour of the former president. Photo: AFP/Sam Panthaky

The parliament has been adjourned till the 30 July, and a 7-day long state of mourning has been announced in his memory. Dr Kalam was elected as the president of India in 2002.

Students_Agartala_pay tribute to Kalam

School children form a missile during condolence ceremony for Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Photo: AFP/Arindam De

A scientist by profession, Dr Kalam had graduated from the Madras Institute of Technology with a specialisation in aeronautical engineering. From thereon, he worked with various government research and development institutions, such as DRDO and ISRO.

Prime Minister Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee at Palam receive mortal remains of Kalam

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Palam Airport in New Delhi. Photo: AFP/Prakash Singh

Dr Kalam's mortal remains were flown to Delhi from Shillong via Guwahati, where it will lie in state till 29 July. From there it will be taken to his home town Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, which is to be his final resting place.

Former PM Manmohan Singh pays tribute to Kalam

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paying last respects to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at 10 Rajaji Marg, New Delhi. Photo: PTI/Manvender Vashist

As a scientist, he is credited for forwarding India's missile, space and nuclear programme. Development of India's maiden Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) and ballistic missiles such as Agni and Prithvi are credited to Dr Kalam, who was also called India's Missile Man.

Students of University of Jammu pay tribute to Kalam

Condolence ceremony for Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in Jammu. Photo: AFP

As president, Dr Kalam is credited for modernising India's highest constitutional office. He exercised President's veto power over the office of profit legislation and delayed 50 out of 51 mercy pleas he received. A few weeks before his demise, he has expressed that deciding on the matter was one of the most difficult task for him.

 Sudarsan Pattnaik gives tribute to Kalam on Puri beach

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik pay tribute to Dr Kalam through his sand sculpture at Puri beach. Photo: AFP/Asit Kumar

Dr Kalam authored various books, including his autobiography, and lectured extensively. His unique ability to touch hearts, his affability and his inspiring vision are qualities for which he will always be remembered and loved.

First published: 14 February 2017, 7:30 IST
Kunal Majumder @kunalmajumder

Editor for Speed News aka Catch Live and Operations at Catch, Kunal enjoys measuring his life in numbers. Of his 30 years of life, 12 have been spent working, 9 of them in journalism. The remaining 3 were spent in 2 call centres, talking to British and Australians about insurance and cellphones. In his journalistic capacity, Kunal has worked at 3 publications and headed 2 online teams. The '3' includes Images Multimedia, Tehelka and DNA. The '2' includes Tehelka and DNA. Catch is Kunal's 6th workplace, where he will head his 3rd team as speed news editor. As a reporter, he won 2 awards - Statesman Award for Rural Reporting and UNFPA-Laadli Award for Gender Sensitivity. That's his story in Prime Numbers (a section on this site from which he's taken inspiration).