Strongly opposing the move, a senior journalist from Tamil Nadu on Wednesday launched an online campaign demanding the Central government to convert former President Kalam's official bunglow into a knowledge centre.
Talking about the petition, R Bhagwan Singh, Managing Editor, of Tamil news channel News7, said, "All we plead for is a knowledge centre. It serves the ideas he (President Kalam) propounded till his last breath...."
Mr Singh hopes the Centre would reconsider its decision. He says "I'm sure this happened without the knowledge of the Prime Minister. I'm sure he would intervene."
The petition posted on the International Petition Platform,which has been signed up by more than 20,000 people so far Mr Singh said "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. I'm shocked and appalled at this dishonour."
The former president known as India's missile man was allotted the house in 2007 and lived there till his death in July.
President Kalam's grand-nephew APJMJ Sheik Saleem who recently joined the BJP also said, "We'd happy if they (Central government) starts a knowledge centre in his name. If that doesn't happen, we would use the proposed memorial at Rameswaram to display his books."
It is not for the first time that there have been requests for setting up a knowledge centre at the official residence of India's Missile Man. His family has also asked the Centre to convert his residence into a knowledge centre.
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