Many people in Qatar are joining millions of Indians in expressing their grief and paying their respects following the sudden death of the country’s 11th president.
A scientist turned politician, 83-year-old Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam served as India’s president from 2002 to 2007 after a landslide electoral win.
He suffered massive cardiac arrest early yesterday evening while holding a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong, and was rushed to an intensive care unit. He was declared dead two hours later.
In his wake, the Indian government has since declared a seven-day mourning period.
Dubbed the “missile man of India,” Kalam was one of the forefathers of missile and space technology in India, and played a vital role in India’s civilian space exploration and military missile programs.
The deceased was also known as the “people’s president,” and is one of only a handful of Indian leaders to receive a Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian honour.
His death was marked by an outpouring of well-wishes, condolences and remembrances across social media and news networks. Many quoted some of his most famed lines in their tweets and posts.
In Doha and around the world, people posted messages honoring the late president:
According to the Gulf Times, the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) will hold a condolence meeting at 8pm tonight at the center’s Ashoka Hall.
Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Qatar has opened two condolence books – located at the embassy’s reception area and on the first floor – for residents wishing to honor the late president.
Diplomats, Qataris Indian nationals, and expats from other countries are invited to express their condolences from 10am to 1pm and 3 to 5pm on July 29 and 30.