Just two days after a grand opening of the Abdul Kalam memorial in Rameswaram, a controvery broke out over a Bhagavad Gita copy that was placed in front of a statue of Kalam. Following the furore, Kalam’s grandson in response, kept a copy of the Quran and Bible today along with the Hindu text.
According to a report of The News Minute, MDMK founder Vaiko brought up the matter on July 29 while addressing the media in Ezhumpur. Vaiko claimed that it was not right to place a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in front of the statue of the former president of India.
The veteran politician alleged that this was against the values of secularism that the former President stood for.
Vaiko reportedly claimed that Kalam never liked such controversy. “It is my duty to end it. These texts were already in a glass box near the statue and due to the haste with which the memorial was completed, it couldn’t be placed there. And since the public keep visiting, it seemed like a better idea to showcase them in the glass box,” he said, according to TNM report.
Vaiko also said, “If they had kept the Tirukkural nobody would have questioned it. Kalam is known to have spread the messages of that scripture. But making the Bhagavad Gita part of that installation shows that there is a Hindutva agenda in place.”
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Kalam’s grandson on the other hand says, “An unnecessary controversy was raised by some people. DRDO officials worked tirelessly for the memorial construction and had not sculpted the Bhagavad Gita near the statue with any (ill) intention. Now we have left two books — Quran and Bible near the statue.”
He also said that soon they would also place a copy of Tamil treatise Thirukkural near it soon. His relatives said Kalam was a leader to all Indians and no one should seek to politicise the episode.