When APJ Abdul Kalam cancelled his visit to RSS headquarters after being warned by friends.....

A new book "Kalam: The Untold Story," written by his then private secretary R K Prasad, claimed that the flip flop by Kalam literally "annoyed the RSS leadership"

PTIUpdated: Saturday, October 15, 2022, 03:27 PM IST
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Kalam: The Untold Story," written by his private secretary R K Prasad. |

New Delhi: Former president A P J Abdul Kalam had once cancelled his visit to the RSS headquarters in Nagpur for an event after friends warned him that he would be labelled as an "RSS sympathiser", claims a new book "Kalam: The Untold Story".

The book, written by Kalam's private secretary R K Prasad, claimed that the flip flop by Kalam on the visit "annoyed the RSS leadership" as they had made the arrangements and planned for publicity around his visit.

Kalam eventually did visit the RSS headquarters and addressed the participants at an in-house training a month after the date that he had agreed on initially. However, none of the top brass of the organisation turned up.

October 15, 2022, marks the 91st birth anniversary of Kalam. An aerospace scientist who served as the president of India from 2002 to 2007, he was widely considered the 'People's President'.

"In May 2014, our office received an invitation from the RSS general secretary Ram Madhav. They wanted the former president to address young RSS volunteers at a training camp in the presence of the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat," writes Prasad, who has served Kalam from 1995 when he was scientific adviser to the then defence minister until his death in 2015.

"The camp would conclude on June 12, and they wished to have Kalam visit before that on a date convenient to him. Ram Madhav later visited Kalam, and it was decided that the former president would attend the programme at the RSS headquarters on the concluding day of the training camp," he added.

However, as a result of inputs and advice received from some of his friends, Kalam changed his mind.

They warned it would get him labelled as 'RSS sympathizer'

According to Prasad, he was warned by them that a visit to the RSS headquarters would get him labelled as "RSS sympathizer" and "lead to a possible misuse of his name by the organisation".

Not willing to go after the stern advice from his friends, as per the book, Kalam asked Prasad to provide an excuse to the organisation and to say that he would be glad to pay a visit there five days prior to the said event.

"I really had a rough time talking with the contact person at the RSS. The leadership got really annoyed at this sudden backing out because they had made arrangements and planned for publicity around his visit," he added.

Notably, former president Pranab Mukherjee attended a valedictory session of the "Tritiya Varsh Varg" or the Third Year Course organised by the RSS at its headquarters in June 2018 despite criticism by the Congress and his family members.

Published by Bloomsbury, "Kalam: The Untold Story" throws new light on Kalam's relationship with political leaders, including those at the highest level, and the truth behind some of the controversies.

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