Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dr Kalam – people’s President, politician’s nightmare!


The reasons surrounding the decision of Dr Abdul Kalam to opt out of the presidential elections say it all – that the country does not want nor accept the best and the eligible ones. The so-called social justice that is keeping away the best and the eligible ones from education and jobs is at work as Political Justice also - in matters pertaining to the self interests of the politicians. They do not want the best and straight forward persons to deal with. They can get along only with those people who know the language of  2C – Corruption and CBI net.

The irony is that his religious identity as a Muslim did not carry any value in these political circles. Last time they ditched him out to make way for a 'woman' President, but accepted a Muslim Vice President. The same Vice President could have been elevated as the President on the Muslim tag, but Kalam spoiled it. The root cause of the disdain for him is that he would not become a Rubber stamp – the exact job that the Congress bosses want the President to do. The scenario is such that the upcoming years would see a role for the President as a Rubber stamp. Clearly Kalam does not fit in the bill.

The first salvo against him was expectedly from the Emperor of Corruption, Karunanidhi.  Karunanidhi made a nasty and uncharitable remark that Kalam means Kalagam. Almost all the news reports translated Kalagam as confusion whereas the actual meaning of that word is 'mischief'. It really surprised me that no one corrected it and no writer or editor condemned the uncharitable remark of Karunanidhi. That he could say this in spite of his exploitative politics on Muslim and Tamil tags goes to show how the media and the constituencies that he is supposed to nurture through minority and Tamil politics are dumb and are the pawn in the games of Karunanidhi. No Tamil and no Muslim from Tamilnadu took him to task for maligning Kalam's  name like this, while the fact is that  'Kalam' in his name is  not a Tamil word.  It is a Muslim name, though a word called Kalaam exists in Tamil.

The word Kalaam was used in Tamil Literature in a different meaning. The popular literary work called Pazhamozhi ( adage)  has a verse (verse 215) that mentions "Vey kalaam veRpa' in which the word kalaam is used to mean 'fitting' or suitable' or 'merging with' .


சிறத்த நுகர்ந்தொழுகும் செல்வ முடையார்
அறஞ்செய் தருளுடைய ராதல் - பிறங்கல்
அமையொடு வேய்கலாம் வெற்ப! அதுவே
சுமையொடு மேல்வைப்பா மாறு.




அமை - கெட்டி மூங்கில். வேய் - உள் துளை உடையது. செல்வத்தின் பயனாகிய இம்மை யின்பங்களை அவர் அடைந்தொழுகலான் அறஞ்செய்து அருளுடையராகி மறுமையின்பமும் பெறுகவென்று கூறியவாறு. 'அமையொடு வேய்கலாம் வெற்ப' என்பது, இன்பமாய நாட்டை உடையவன் என்பதைக் குறித்து நின்றது.)

If Karunanidhi wanted to discourage Dr Kalam from entering the fray, he could have done it in other ways, but not by using a meaning that is not appropriate and in no way reflective of Dr Kalam's character. It is really shocking to see Karunanidhi get away with what he has said as no one has challenged him.

The Muslim saviour Mulayam finds it comfortable to see Kalam as a closed chapter. The Congress spokespersons accused Kalam in the TV debates of craving for post and as one who could not even contest a Gram sabha. Strangely I did not come across any eminent writer or editor or magazine speaking for Kalam's candidature. It is certain that all these people would have been up in arms to defame Dr Kalam in every possible way if only Dr Kalam had agreed to contest the Presidential poll.

He backed out of the race which is hailed by many as right or wise decision. The Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari calls it as an appropriate decision. In the worst ever Editorial written in the recent past, The Hindu praised Dr Kalam for backing out and not giving into the self serving political motives of his supporters whereas the politicians who benefited from Kalam's exit were those belonging to the Congress and its supporters. The same Editorial says that Kalam enjoys the love of the people and he is heard wherever he goes. What then made the Hindu editor think that Kalam is not the right person for the post?  (Hindu Edit given below)

This kind of adversarial postures of the politicians of 2C and their supporters in media forced Dr Kalam out of the contest. Yes, I would say that he was forced out of the fray. He did not leave because there was no guaranteed support for him.  The campaign of character assassination started even before he could be convinced to contest. By sullying his image, the ruthless politicians have achieved what they wanted – of making him quit the contest. The "totality of the matter and the present political situation" that he mentioned as the causes for his decision were indeed paved by the advice of his two mentors, his elder brother and his teacher who told him  , "If you contest, then political parties will try to damage your image. So it's better if you keep away from it," Perhaps his mentors sensed a tit for tat in the game let loose by Sonia who wanted to deny Presidentship to Dr Kalam in return for what he did to her as a constitutionally driven decision.


This news did not appear in most newspapers of India but found its way into the TOI of today. A President's post is not a political post. There need not be any stake being invested on that post. But the way the Congress had chosen its nominee and discouraged Dr Kalam from contesting shows that we are definitely going to see a degradation of the President's role within the next 5 years. If this is the way a non political post is getting filled up, how are things going to be in the coming years? If this could happen to a person like Dr Kalam, how are we going to inspire the likes of him to enter into public service and politics?

From another angle, I would say that if only Dr Kalam had entered the fray, the political dynamics would have changed by a pitched campaign by the people of India themselves through all possible forums.  Persons like Karunanidhi could have been made to think of a possible backlash  before making such remarks. A strong public opinion could have been created forcing the non congress politicians to support Dr Kalam. All these could have become possible if the BJP and Mamata planned well in advance and projected Dr Kalam ahead of everyone else.


-          Jayasree





Kalam pulled out of Prez race on advice of his brother and teacher

Karthick S & C D S Mani TNN

Chennai: A combination of reasons, including advice from his 96-year-old elder brother, his school teacher and a few family members, prompted former President A P J Abdul Kalam to stay away from the contest for the President's post. Besides, there were pragmatic considerations, the main one being there was a compulsion to enter the fray only if there was a consensus for his candidature and the numbers were in his favour.

    Sources close to Kalam said his Rameswaram-based brother Muthu Meeran Maraikkar and his teacher Reverend Fr Chinnadurai, who stays in the Dindigul Diocese Hostel, had been in touch with him over telephone for the past three days, counselling him not to contest the presidential election. They spoke several times on Sunday night and Monday morning, as pressure mounted on the former President to throw his hat into the ring. "Kalam has great respect for the views of his brother and teacher and always followed their advice," the sources said. "If you contest, then political parties will try to damage your image. So it's better if you keep away from it," is the gist of the advice given to Kalam by his teacher, it is learnt.

    Over the past three days, insiders said, Kalam had been besieged by requests to contest the presidential elections as his supporters felt he could use the platform of a presidential campaign to address various issues confronting the nation and pursue his development agenda. Irrespective of whether he won or not, Kalam was sought to be persuaded that he could utilize the opportunity to unite development-oriented groups and political parties.

    Kalam on Monday made it clear that he was not in the race for the post of President, saying his "conscience" did not permit him to contest. In a formal statement released to the media after communicating his decision to BJP senior leader L K Advani, the missile man from Tamil Nadu said, "Though I have never aspired to serve another term or shown interest in contesting the elections, the TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and other political parties wanted me to be their candidate. Many, many citizens have also expressed the same wish…this being their wish, I respect it… and want to thank them for the trust they have in me. I have considered the totality of the matter and the present political situation … and decided not to contest."

    Though he is not in the presidential fray, Brand Kalam, political observers say, will continue to hold sway as his 2020 vision of India as a knowledge superpower with self-sufficiency in energy and extensive rural infrastructure has won him a legion of followers and admirers. Kalam's popularity across the society also stems from his single status, vegetarianism, educational initiatives and proficiency as a Veena player, observers point out.



The Hindu Editorial



Well done, Mr. Kalam

Political parties, as is their wont, play political games, whether in a parliamentary or presidential election. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who distinguished himself as one of India's most popular Presidents during 2002-2007, seems to have been quick to sense the designs of self-serving politicians who were seeking to drag him into another presidential contest. With the ruling United Progressive Alliance announcing Pranab Mukherjee as its candidate, and the opposition National Democratic Alliance divided over forcing a fight, Mr. Kalam would have been staking his personal prestige and international reputation in a presidential bout without standing a realistic chance of winning. Often celebrated as the People's President during his years in office, Mr. Kalam enjoys the love and affection of countless youth in the country. The octogenarian bachelor is seen as a selfless patriot standing apart from the much-derided political class. In 2002, when he decided to contest, the political circumstances were markedly different: both the major political formations, the NDA and the Congress, were with him, and only the Left parties put up a token fight. Now, with Mr. Mukherjee getting the support of even the Samajwadi Party — whose leader, Mulayam Singh, was instrumental in first proposing Mr. Kalam's name in 2002 and floating his candidature this time around too — the presidential race is as good as over. The Left parties will decide on their stand on June 21, but no matter what, they would be averse to backing an NDA nominee even if it is Mr. Kalam.

Mr. Kalam would surely have realised he would be placing his own legacy under threat if he were to contest again. As a former President, he is taken seriously wherever he goes. On the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant issue, his views had a bearing on the broader public opinion, even if not on the local populace. If West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the BJP wanted him as President, it was only to serve their respective political ends. The BJP will do anything to embarrass the Congress, and Ms Banerjee will stop at nothing to stay in the spotlight and project herself as the prime mover of all things. To his credit, Mr. Kalam was able to see through the motives of his supposed backers, and resist the temptation to enter the fray. In 2007, when there was a similar move to make him contest again, he had rightly stepped back as he did not want to involve Rashtrapati Bhavan in any political process. Five years on, Mr. Kalam's statesmanship, vision and sense of his own legacy remain undiminished.





Arun said...

Dr.Kalam can then be a Prime Minister ! He just said he would not become the President , who is just a nominal head ! Our current Prime Minister Useless Manmohan Singh is a useless puppet! He acts upon Sonia's words! I hope Dr.Kalam would nod for P.M. candidature atleast...

Skandan said...

Respected Madam,

I was hearing few of my muslim friends making comment that the muslim community doesnt consider Kalam as muslim at all. They were saying he is a "Parpaan", he doesnt have any of the qualities that a muslim should possess. How then we can expect support from them and the corrupt politicians. What they say is also correct in a way.... somem of the things you quoted like vegetarianism, playing veena and having respect for elders and teachers.... May be his elder brother and Fr. chinnadurai are having real affection and they dont want him to become a puppet in the hands of politicians...WHAT IS SAD IS BJP WAS NOT DECISIVE AND DIDNT PLAYED ITS CARDS WELL. Now alread the Paid media is projecting modi against nitish to spoil modi becominga candidate... only GOD has to save this country.

Sheela said...

Dear Mam,

Even in last term 2007 election - it was Sharad Pawar who said Mr.Kalam your game is over!!! now Karunanidhi & Mulayam have continued offense. We can also point Nitish for not supporting APJ. Shiv sena ofcourse made it clear if Kalam yes and if Sangma no!!

Being a Bharat Rathna he has to uphold his tall stature. Still it was a painful day when he opted out.

I have a doubt if Sangma itself a play foiled to break probable NDA alliance in Presidential election well ahead. Now reports say that he may back out.

Whatever it is 2014 is going to be a tough time for BJP.


BK Chowla, said...

It is such a pity.A few selfish,corrupt in colinial mind set have stopped a genuine andidate from contesting.
Kalam may have opted out,it is this country which will a heavy price.

jayasree said...

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts.

The Muslims of Tamilnadu must know that they too could have been paarpaan (Brahmins) or some Hindu caste originally / earlier. Until 1900s the Muslims all over India retained their Hindu customs and remembered that their ancestors were originally Hindus only.

Let me draw the attention of readers to the book "Islam in India" written by one Jafer Sharif in 1832 in which he has written about the customs of Indian Muslims of the day. All those customs were Hindu customs - which the muslims of that day did not want to change or lose though they were forced to be muslims.

The link to that article is here

Instead of telling how barbaric Islam is, it is high time people start translating books like this in Tamil and other native languages to reach out to all muslims that they were Hindus only and they behaved like Hindus only until we got our Independence.

Of interest and importance in this context is that muslims were less or almost nil until 1850s, in South India and Madras presidency barring Hyderabad. Page 32 of this book makes a clear statement that 'musalman population, particularly in Bengal and South India are by race practically Hindus pure and simple."

Almost the entire muslim population of Tamilnadu were Hindus which was also proven genetically. Those who were converted by force but held on to Hindu way of life were made to forget their Hindu lineage by politicians of post-Independence period.

If Dr Kalam has interest in Veena it is because he has Hindu culture running in his blood. He listened to the natural instincts of his inner self and is living as an exalted person like a rishi. Like a rishi he has concern for the humanity and country and does not mind the brickbats thrown at him. Let all muslims particularly Tamil muslims understand this.

jayasree said...

A must read article on Islam is given here. The link is


If the Muslims become literate and read Koran by themselves, certainly a revolution kind of change will happen. In the article in the above link the author expresses exactly that. In this age of internet, more such revelations must be written in English and local languages to reach the muslim masses.