‘Despite’ being Muslim, Kalam was great nationalist, says Union min

New Delhi, Sept 18, 2015 (PTI) Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has triggered a row by saying that late president A P J Abdul Kalam was a great nationalist “despite” being a Muslim.

Sharma’s comment has come against the backdrop of row surrounding resignation of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) Director Mahesh Rangarajan, which the Congress has alleged that was the result of “unbearable pressure” mounted by the government.

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has triggered a row by saying that late president A P J Abdul Kalam was a great nationalist The Union minister has also recently called for freeing the country of “cultural pollution” and teaching Mahabharata and Ramayana to students.

“We have renamed Aurangzeb Road after a person, who despite being a Muslim, is a great nationalist….” the Minister told a news channel.

On August 28, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) gave its nod to rename Aurangzeb Road in Lutyen’s Delhi as A P J Abdul Kalam Road here


  1. I do not agree with the comments of Mr. Mahesh Sharma. This clearly shows that irrespective of the frequent foreign trips politicians make, they do not change and remain to be communal, have a regimented mind and have a distorted view of their own religion, other religions (and the world) and stick to it at the cost of their, people;s and country’s development. How can the country have uneducated people, sanyasis, sanyasin and a baba as ministers and politicians? Whatever you do, you cannot straighten a dog’s tail. It will always be crooked. One does not become patriotic by resorting to harming, killing and violence, just because they do not agree with the work of some painters, writers, orators, are against beef eaters, etc. If they feel that someone has done anything wrong, then they can approach the authorities, police and courts, protest peacefully, including hunger strikes. For obese people, to start with, fasting is better than yoga. Once the faster has lost weight, then he can take up to yoga. There is a democratic way of expressing one’s hurt sentiments and feelings.

    Though, I am not at all a fan of both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi or most of Indian politicians, who are totally corrupt, live in their ivory towers and do not have any connect with the common people, however, withdrawing these stamps is nothing but petty-mindedness. Though, I am not a fan of Indira Gandhi (a Hindu), I cannot forget the services rendered by her, Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw (a Parsi), Gen. Jagajit Singh Arora (a Sikh) and Gen. J.F.R. Jacob (a Baghdadi Jew). So, are the fanatics like Mahesh Sharma going to dub them as unpatriotic, because they did not live their lives in a certain manner prescribed by him or the R.S.S.? Narendra Modi gives bombastic speeches, but has he lived up to the promises he has made? I wonder! When it suits him, he gives eloquent speeches and other times, he remains in his shell. For example, the Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Chauhand scandals. Has he visited all or some of the dengue-affected areas in Delhi? He has to realise that he can fool some of the people, all the time. However, he cannot fool all the people, all the time.

    Is India a democracy or becoming a religious state? They want to introduce the teachings of Bhagwant Gita, ban cow slaughter, portray people like Veer Savarkar and Nathuram Godse as icons. Portray British rulers and Mughal Kings in bad light and paint them with black brushes. That should not be the job of politicians, but respected and impartial historians based upon their study, research, documentary and material evidence. Why change the name of roads and cities? Make new roads and give whatever names that strikes one’s fancy or lyrical and romantic names like Prem Kali, Raswanti, Chameli, Champa, etc. Is their any criteria for dishing out Bharat Ratna? If personalities like Ratan Tata, Narayan Murthy, et al were awarded Bharat Ratna, because they have done a lot fo India’s economic development and given employment to countless people, either directly or indirectly, most people would be happy and not cry foul. Why award Bharat Ratna to cricketers or filmstars when, in fact, they have enriched themselves by earning in millions and billions – more than their true worth or abilities? Do not tell me cricket (a game that is a colonial hangover played actively in the islands of West Indies, England, South Africa, Pakistan, Banladesh, Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand and Australia (that is all), is more important than educationists, administrators, scientists, service personnels, industrialists, technocrats, etc., whose contributions are either linked to the country’s development or security?

  2. RSS/BJP and the abolition of the past. ISIS blasting Palmyra temples. Taliban destroying Buddhist statues, RSS/BJP/VHP destroying Babri Masjid. The reason for destruction varies, the offending structure is unclean, foreign, polluting and humiliating. The urge to destroy does not stop at one target. The rage is never quelled. It finds new objects to destroy. The list keeps expanding, remove the name of Aurangzeb from roads, stop the sale of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi stamps, change the name of the Nehru memorial museum to the museum of governance, I will end with excerpts from George Orwell’s essay “Revising HistorY”. “The really frightening thing about totalitarianism is not that it commits “atrocities” but that it attacks the concept of objective truth; it claims to control the past as well as the future.

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