Shillong, July 30 (IANS) Authorities of the Madina Masjid, the only glass mosque in the northeast, have decided to christen its library in honour of the “people’s president” A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
“We have decided to name our library on the top floor of the mosque in honour of Kalam’s rich contribution to the nation,” Shillong Muslim Union general secretary Sayeedullah Nongrum told IANS on Thursday.
He said the library would have books on comparative religious studies and also on other subjects besides books authored by Kalam himself.
“We feel the best way to pay rich tributes to this great soul is to name the library after him, since Kalam always asked parents to have a small library at home to encourage children to read books so that they get the habit of reading,” he said.
The four-storey glass mosque — 120 feet high and 61 feet wide — stands inside the Idgah in Shillong’s Lahan area, close to the garrison grounds along the Umshyrpi river.
The mosque also houses an orphanage named Meherba, a library and a ‘markaz’, an Islamic theological institute.
Earlier, hundreds of Muslims took part in a special prayer ‘Namaze-Zanajah Gaybana’ (funeral service in absentia) at the Idgah to pay their last respects to Kalam when the funeral service was being simultaneously held in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
The Indian Institute of Management-Shillong also paid tributes at a ‘Shraddhanjali’ held at the institute complex on Thursday.
The Meghalaya unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) urged the Congress-led government in the state to erect a statue of Kalam in state capital Shillong, “so that students can remember him and get inspiration”, according to state BJP general secretary Dipayan Chakraborty.