Fitting tributes to Dr Kalam’s memory
By VISH VISWANATHAN
On August 2, community members in Sydney gathered to pay homage to the late Dr Abdul Kalam, former President of India and a respected scientist and personality who passed away in Shillong, India on July 27, following massive cardiac arrest. The condolence meeting was organized by the Sydney Tamil Manram at Seven Hills Sports School, and was supported by Indian community organizations including United Indian Associations, Council of Indian Australians, Hindi Samaj of NSW, Indian Senior Group, Tamil Arts and Cultural Association (TACA), Technocrat Association, Confederation of Indian Australian Association Inc. (NSW), among others.
The condolence meeting in Sydney commenced with community members lighting candles in memory of Dr Kalam, followed by Mr Raj Thangamani from the Sydney Tamil Manram paying a glowing tribute to the late leader. Community members such as Dr Chandrika Subramanian, Dr Balu Vijay, Mr Arvind, Mr Susai Benjamin, Mr Philip, Mr Dave Passi, Mr Ismail Neeram, Mrs Kalai Neeram, Mrs Vinodini, Mr Kumara Selvam, Mr Narasimhan, Mr John Kennedy and myself spoke on the occasion, highlighting various achievements of Dr. Kalam and his great contribution to India and the world in many spheres. Dr Balu Vijay recited a poem in Tamil, specially written for the occasion. Some members poignantly recalled their personal experiences of meeting Dr Kalam who visited Sydney in 2011, and presented a memorable and inspiring message titled, “What can I give?”
The community members then observed a minute of silence and paid a floral tribute to the picture of Dr Kalam.
Thanking attendees, Mr Thangamani quoted the ex-President’s famous speech in the United Nations stating, “Where there is righteous in the heart, there is beauty in the character; when there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home; when there is an order in the nation, there is peace in the world”.
The condolence event was a humble tribute to this great leader, who will live in hearts of many and will be remembered for his humility and down to earth nature. His speeches were inspirational, and his vision for India and in particular its youth, will go down in the annals of history.