DHARAMSALA, July 28: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama today expressed deep sadness at the sudden demise of former Indian President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and offered condolences and prayers to his family and the people of India.
“I am very sad to learn of the sudden passing away of our former President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam yesterday evening. This is an irreparable loss. He was not only a great scientist, educationist and statesman, but also above all a real gentleman,” the 80-yr-old Tibetan pontiff’s official website, dalailama.com quoted him as saying.
“Over the years I had the opportunity to meet and interact with him on many occasions and always admired his down to earth simplicity and humility. I used to enjoy our discussions on a wide range of subjects of common interest, but mainly concerned with science, spirituality and education. I offer my condolences and prayers to his family and the people of India at this sad time,” the website further quoted the Tibetan leader as saying.
Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, who served as the 11th President of India from July 25, 2002 to July 25, 2007 collapsed after a massive cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Manegement in Shillong.
Kalam, who would have turned 84 in October, was confirmed dead more than two hours after he was rushed to the ICU of Bethany Hospital following his collapse at around 6:30 pm at IIM, Shillong.
The Indian government has announced a seven-day state mourning in honour of Kalam, India’s ‘missile man’ who later came to be known as people’s president.
The political leader of the Tibetan people, Sikyong Dr lobsang Sangay also condoled the sudden demise of the former Indian President.
“It is with the deepest sorrow that I learned of His Excellency Dr A P J Abdul Kalam’s sudden passing away on 27 July in Shillong, Meghalaya. The fact that he was giving a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management when he collapsed on stage, reflects his deep conviction to impart knowledge to the youth of the nation till his last breath,” the Central Tibetan Administration’s official website, Tibet.net quoted Sikyong Sangay as saying in a condolence message today.
“Dr. Kalam’s sudden demise is a loss to not just India but the entire world. Therefore, on this sad occasion, I, on behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration and the entire Tibetan people, extend my deepest sympathies and condolence to the whole nation of India,” Sikyong expressed.
“Dr Kalam was also close to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and during their numerous meetings, they have discussed the various religious traditions and its contribution to modern science,” Sikyong said, adding, Tibetan people hold him in the highest of regards.