CHENNAI: Expressing profound grief and sorrow over the demise of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday described him as a great youth icon who had touched everyone with his simplicity and grace.
“He was a true patriot who placed the interests of the country above all else. His mind was full of ideas for harnessing technology for the benefit of the rural poor. I join the people of India and of Tamil Nadu in deeply mourning his passing away,” the Chief Minister said in her condolence message.
“He has been a great source of inspiration for the people of this country and in particular for children and students. He wrote and spoke with great felicity for all Indians and the youth in particular. He was one of the greatest public figures of post Independence India,” Jayalalithaa observed.
Stating that Kalam was a great inspirational scientist and a beloved son of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa said starting from a very humble background, born into a poor family in Rameswaram, President Kalam rose to the greatest heights through dint of sheer perseverance, hardwork and brilliance,” she added.
“A visionary scientist, he gave India the pride of place on the global stage of space technology and research,” she said and added that Kalam had reinforced India’s stature as a responsible and self-reliant nuclear power. He led the Satellite Launch Vehicle Development team in the Indian Space Research Organisation. She also recalled that Kalam had led the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme of Defence Research Development Organisation with great success.