Roots of Kalamís charisma
The widespread outpouring of grief which followed
the sudden death of former Indian President and scientist A. P. J.
Abdul Kalam on July 27 was unprecedented in Indiaís history since
the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, in
1948. The passing away of Indian leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru,
Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi also triggered widespread grief
across India. But the machinery of the State or a political party
had a major role to play in organizing and directing the expression
of grief. In the case of Kalam, however, the outburst was
unorganized, spontaneous, and natural. It cut across political,
regional, linguistic, communal and generational divides.