While there was a widespread demand from several political leaders on Saturday to remove the wooden replica of Bhagavad Gita placed by the side of the wooden statue of Kalam playing the Veena at the memorial at Peikarumbu, Sunday saw a series of events in succession that intensified the whole issue, besides resulting in an investigation by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) of the Central government.
According to sources, Saleem, kin of the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, placed The Bible and The Quran near the wooden Kalam statue in an attempt to set the political controversy surrounding the replica of Bhagavad Gita at rest. Hours later, suddenly, the holy books were removed from near the statue and kept in a glass box.
A little later in the evening both the books went missing from the glass box too triggering anxious moments at the memorial. It may be recalled that the wooden statue of Kalam playing the Veena was unveiled the same day by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he inaugurated the memorial. A wooden replica of Bhagavad Gita was also placed near the statue.
However, the placing of a replica of Bhagavad Gita drew severe criticism from various political leaders like DMK working president and Leader of Opposition MK Stalin and MDMK leader Vaiko. The issue also spurred a debate on social media and news channels. On Sunday, Kalam’s grandson Saleem placed The Quran and The Bible near the Bhagavad Gita to quell the criticism.
Speaking to DTNext , Saleem said that Kalam was a common leader and did not belong to any particular religion. He always had The Quran, The Bible, The Bhagavad Gita, The Ramayana, The Mahabharata and The Tirukkural on his reading table. “He used to read the Tirukkural every day and mostly relied on Subramania Bharati’s verses while addressing students. He was a scientist and as such he was above all religions.
Parties should stop politicising the issue,” Saleem said. DRDO workers in charge of the memorial removed both the holy books and placed them in a glass box. By evening, both the sacred books went missing from the glass box and an original Bhagavad Gita was placed near the replica. When reports last came in, sleuths attached to IB started investigating the matter.