Former president, renowned scientist and Bharat Ratna, APJ Abdul Kalam passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to students at IIM-Shillong on Monday evening. He was 84.
Kalam collapsed during his lecture and was rushed to Bethany Hospital in Shillong where he was declared dead. The man, was referred to as the 'Missile Man of India' and 'People's President' owing to his scientific achievements and popular stature.
The entire nation, saddened by his death, went into mourning and eminent people, from politicians to actors, expressed their grief.
Here's what India had to say when Kalam passed away:
President Pranab Mukherjee: "He had a special love for children and fought to constantly inspire the youth of our country Dr Kalam will be long remembered for his passion, science and innovation and his contributions have enabled scientists, educationists and writers. His achievements as leader of DRDO vastly enhanced the security of our nation. In his passing away, we have lost a great son of India who dedicated his entire life to the welfare of his motherland. Dr Kalam was a people's president during his lifetime and will remain so."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi: "I got to work with him closely. I have lost an uttam marg darshak. The country has lost a son who worked for the strength of India. He had spent every moment for the youth of India. No person will be able to fill the gap left by him. His work will inspire us to work for the development of the nation."
RJD chief Lalu Prasad: "He was not just an astute statesman, Kalam was also a scholar and a renowned scientist. Despite being the President, he always used to relate and react with the common people and under his supervision, India's defence system got a huge boost."
BJP patriarch LK Advani: "Shocking! And he has come so suddenly. A few days back, I attended his book release function. If I were to sum up what I feel his personality indicated, I would say that he was a unique combination of science and spirituality."
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar: "This is a personal loss for me. Dr Kalam was a great scientist and eminent social worker. On my request, he had come to Bihar on a number of occasions and guided the development of the state. He had also immensely contributed towards setting up of the Nalanda International University."
Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung: "He left inspirational thoughts with us. India has lost a son. When will we get a son of this caliber?"
Former president Pratibha Patil: "He was the best human being I came across. I feel very sorry. He had good humour, had very good presence of mind and always wanted to give something to society"
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah: "I think it's the saddest news I've heard in a long time. He was the people's president. I remember when I went with Vajpayee ji to Pokhran, that was my first meeting with him."
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra: "Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Sh (sic) Abdul Kalam ..words cannot express the loss."
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel : "Deeply shocked & saddened by the demise of former President of India and one of the finest human-beings Shri APJ Abdul Kalam. An eminent scientist, a visionary & an inspiration - Shri APJ Abdul Kalam will be missed by one and all. May his soul rest in peace!"
Home Minister Rajnath Singh: "Deeply saddened at the sudden demise of the former president of India Dr. APAJ Abdul Kalam. He was an inspiration to an entire generation. Dr. Kalam was a man of impeccable character, indomitable spirit, profound knowledge and firm conviction. The death of Dr. Kalam is an irreparable loss to this nation. He has left a big void hard to fill. I deeply mourn his death. RIP Kalam Sahab."
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal: "V (sic) sad to hear that Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is no more. Nation has lost a real bharat ratna."
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah: "I hope the news trickling in from Shillong is false, if it is true then a bad day has just gotten worse."
Congress President Sonia Gandhi: "Kalam inspired millions in the country and abroad and he even breathed his last while infusing a new zeal to young Indians in the course of his last address to IIM students. Indian National Congress stands with the entire nation in condoling Dr Kalam's death."
The nation mourns the loss of a great person (1/2)
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 27, 2015
Former President of India, a renowned scientist, an inspiration to all, a terrific human being...RIP Dr. Abdul Kalam (2/2)
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 27, 2015
Updated Date: Jul 28, 2015 08:15:20 IST