New Delhi :Hours before he collapsed and died while delivering a lecture, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had voiced concern over the terror attack in Punjab’s Gurdaspur, and about the continuous disruptions paralysing parliament, which he felt was “not right”.
Kalam’s advisor Srijan Pal Singh, who was with him throughout Monday till the end, in a touching post on Facebook, said he joined Kalam at noon on Monday for the flight to Guwahati.
Kalam was wearing a dark coloured “Kalam suit”, and Singh gave him a compliment: “Nice colour!”
“Little did I know this was going to be the last colour I will see on him,” he says.
During the two and a half hours of flying time and the equally long car drive to IIM-Shillong, the two “talked, discussed and debated. These were amongst hundreds of the long flights and longer drives we have been together over the last six years”.
“First, Dr. Kalam was absolutely worried about the attacks in Punjab. The loss of innocent lives left him filled with sorrow. The topic of lecture at IIM-Shillong was ‘Creating a Livable Planet Earth’. He related the incident to the topic and said, ‘it seems the man-made forces are as big a threat to the livability of earth as pollution’,” Singh recounts.
“We discussed on how, if this trend of violence, pollution and reckless human action continues we will forced to leave earth. ‘Thirty years, at this rate, maybe’, he said. ‘You guys must do something about it, it is going to be your future world’.”
Kalam was also worried about the continuing chaos in parliament.
“He said, ‘I have seen two different governments in my tenure. I have seen more after that. This disruption just keeps happening. It is not right. I really need to find out a way to ensure that the parliament works on developmental politics’.
“He then asked me to prepare a surprise assignment question for the students at IIM Shillong, which he would give them only at the end of the lecture.
“He wanted to them to suggest three innovative ways to make parliament more productive and vibrant. Then, after a while he returned on it.
“But how can ask them to give solutions if I don’t have any myself,” Singh recalled Kalam as saying.
The terror attack on Monday in Gurdaspur left seven people — three civilians and four security personnel — dead and ended after an 11-hour gunbattle. The three attackers, believed to have come from across the border, were killed by security forces.
The monsoon session of parliament, which began on July 21, has seen continuous disruptions over the Opposition demand for the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over the Lalit Modi episode, as well as for the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam recruitment scam.
Srijan Pal Singh describes himself on his Twitter handle as “Author, Entrepreneur. Advisor to Dr. Kalam. pragmatic spiritualist. IIMA All Rounder Gld Medlist. ex iima student president.”.