Delhi’s Culture minister Kapil Mistra on Tuesday expressed the Delhi government concern regarding Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s bungalow, saying that, limiting the People’s President’s work to Rameshwaram only and shifting all his documents, books and even Veena to Rameshwaram is an injustice. He said details regarding the Knowledge Centre and the time period for setting it up in Delhi will be released soon.
In a response to a petition in the Change.org titled, “Don’t Insult Dr. Abdul Kalam! Make his Delhi home a Knowledge Centre,” the AAP Minister said, “His residence should have been converted into a Knowledge Centre in a loving memory of the legend. His memorial should be in Delhi as well as in Rameshwaram because Dr. Kalam belongs to all of us. This is what the Delhi government had been urging all through.”
The petition describes: “Thousands of Dr. Kalam’s books and documents that he worked on through his life, the Veena that he often played, are being boxed up, so that Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who has been in the news recently for his sexist and discriminatory comments, can move in.”
Mishra said the Delhi Government wants to ensure that late President Dr. Kalam’s legacy is respected and given the rightful honour even if the Central Government evacuated Dr. Kalam’s house despite repeated requests from family members and various sections of the society.
The Delhi government have decided to bring Dr. Kalam’s legacy, books and possessions to New Delhi, Mishra said, based on Dr Kalam’s family’s consent letter to the Honourable Chief Minister of Delhi Shri Arvind Kejriwal dated November 11, 2015.
“As per the family’s request, the Delhi government is ready to bring back all of Dr.Kalam’s books and possessions that were sent away from his 10, Rajaji Marg residence in Delhi. This will first begin by an exhibition at Delhi Haat INA with a creative presentation of his memories and heritage,” Mishra, on behalf of Delhi government, said in the statement.
“This will be a temporary home for the public to visit one of the country’s most loveable Presidents. In the next few months, we will help set up the Research and Knowledge Center that Dr. Kalam would have truly loved to be his resting place, in the hearts and minds of people,” he added.
Mishra further added that a three-member committee consisting of Chandramohan Bassi, Senior Chief Manager at DTTDC; Sanjay Garg from Delhi Archives and BS Vasisht, Deputy Secretary of Art, Culture and Languages Ministry has been set up to facilitate this transfer of Dr. Kalam’s memories to its rightful place, New Delhi.
Officials from the Ministry of Art and Culture will soon visit Dr Kalam’s house in Rameswaram to assess the quantity of his possessions and books, he said, adding, “They will also make necessary arrangements in consultation with Dr Kalam’s family to move his belongings to Delhi as soon as possible.”