Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma speaks: Despite being a Muslim, APJ Abdul Kalam was a nationalist

Mahesh Sharma in a meeting of culture ministers of BJP-ruled states had said: “We will cleanse every area of public discourse that has been westernised and where Indian culture and civilisation needs to be restored."

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: September 18, 2015 12:53 pm
kalam-mahesh-sharma759 Mahesh Sharma told a meeting of culture ministers of BJP-ruled states: “We will cleanse every area of public discourse that has been westernised and where Indian culture and civilisation needs to be restored.”

Days after he promised to purge Indian culture of “polluting” and “western” influences, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has described former President A P J Abdul Kalam as a “great man” who was a “nationalist” and a “humanist” “despite being a Muslim”.

In an interview to India Today TV, Sharma, while justifying the decision to change the name of Aurangzeb Road to A P J Abdul Kalam Road, said: “Mein samajhta hoon ki Aurangzeb koi adarsh nahin the. Prernasrot hi prerak ho sakta hai. Aurangzeb Road ka bhi naam badal kar ek aise mahapurush ke naam par kiya hai jo Musalmaan hote hue bhi itna bada rashtravadi aur manavtavadi insaan tha, APJ Abdul Kalam, unke naam par kiya gaya hai (I don’t think Aurangzeb was an ideal person. Only a source of inspiration can be inspirational. Aurangzeb Road has been named after such a great man who, despite being a Muslim, was a nationalist and a humanist, A P J Abdul Kalam. The road has been named after him).”

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On Thursday, when The Indian Express asked him about his remark, he said: “I only said Kalam was a rashtravadi Muslim.”

Earlier, Sharma told a meeting of culture ministers of BJP-ruled states: “We will cleanse every area of public discourse that has been westernised and where Indian culture and civilisation needs to be restored, be it history we read, our cultural heritage or our institutions that have been polluted over years.”

He has also spoken on introducing tales from Gita, Ramayana and Mahabharat in school curriculum, and about western “encroachment” on Indian culture.

“India has witnessed western encroachment of our culture to the extent that if we talk about our culture then the so-called intellectuals call it saffronisation. It pains me. Our country’s strength has been our rich heritage and culture, and it pains me when the West encroaches upon it. I am not saying that we should reject the good that the West offers, but our culture should prosper along with it,” Sharma told The Indian Express in an interview recently.

 

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  1. H
    ha ha
    Sep 18, 2015 at 6:51 pm
    Aryan pride, cleansing, purging, 'swachch'-ing, inculcating feelings of superiority by perpetuating jingoistic nationalism...aah, no, I am just being paranoid. BS out!
    Reply
    1. H
      ha ha
      Sep 18, 2015 at 6:53 pm
      Aryan pride, cleansing, purging, 'swachch'-ing, inculcating feelings of superiority by perpetuating jingoistic nationalism...aah, no, I am just being paranoid. BS out!
      Reply
      1. C
        C Siddarth
        Sep 18, 2015 at 11:46 am
        Why does this paper hav such a problem with Indian Culture. This is exactly the problem that the minister is talking about. He may be crude in his way of putting it but it's true today that we as a people, are ashamed of our great heritage. We need more belief in our ideny.
        Reply
        1. T
          TIHAEwale
          Sep 18, 2015 at 9:14 am
          Mahesh chale saande ka tel bechne
          Reply
          1. W
            WhatAcountry
            Sep 18, 2015 at 7:50 am
            Can anyone name one RSS martyr who laid down his life in selfless service for the nation.
            Reply
            1. W
              WhatAcountry
              Sep 18, 2015 at 7:47 am
              Lot of Muslims organizations fought for indias freedom but RSS cowards was nowhere to be seen.
              Reply
              1. A
                Achal M
                Nov 28, 2015 at 10:26 am
                What do you mean despite being a Muslim - how dare you say that. Meet me in person what is patriotism I will show you. You only falsly misinterpreting Muslims as non nationalist. It's kind of hidden agenda circulating nationwide just to spread hatrednes. Be aware you all how Bjp came into existence with the name of hindutva only.. Thats why people are becoming intolerant add other sect people also stay in this country its a Democrat country respect every one. Come and call for anything millions of Muslims stand for the country.. Stop deviding the country.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Afzal Ahmad
                  Sep 19, 2015 at 1:02 am
                  Instead of being part of their stupidity, When s speak, it is better to remain silent
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Vikrant
                    Sep 18, 2015 at 7:40 am
                    Malcom it is a fact that christians enjoy peoples suffering as they see opportunities of harvesting souls there.
                    Reply
                    1. K
                      Kamalakanta
                      Sep 18, 2015 at 4:59 pm
                      Why so many argument, These Leaders have come to earth to change the history( ) Wait & see
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Anuradha Kalhan
                        Sep 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm
                        What this cultural minister says (with the blessings of his party no doubt) takes us closer and closer and closer to ISIS in spirit.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Swamy
                          Sep 18, 2015 at 4:48 pm
                          Reverse civilization means Barbarism. India, be prepared to face it!!! When the power is in the hands of the uncivilized what could you expect? Past mistakes need to be corrected not repeated. The narrow minded would not like to correct rather repeat and repeat it in worse forms. Country's progress depends on broad mindedness and inclusiveness. Any sort of anger and hatred in the heart and mind of the leaders and so called nationalists would prove disastrous in the years to come. Progress means freedom in all aspects. True Development depends on True and Genuine freedom for all by all.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Ashutosh Mishra
                            Sep 18, 2015 at 5:22 pm
                            Despite being a Hindu Brahmin this minister is an unadulterated !!! Who is he to provide that certificate, and what does he mean by, "despite being a Muslim". Moorkh !!!
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              Barka Farooki
                              Sep 18, 2015 at 5:13 am
                              This mother f*ker is implying that Muslims are anti-national. Such a shame RSS chaddi! We are the one who raised the flag of rebellion and Azadi from British. Your RSS folks were hands-in-glove with the British.
                              Reply
                              1. M
                                Murthy
                                Sep 18, 2015 at 3:14 pm
                                Sri APJ Abdul Kalam had imbibed and understood Indian culture considering religion a purely a personal matter. We Indians never considered Nargis, Bismillah Khan, Dilip kumar, etc. as muslims for the same reason. Whereas, Vice President Ansari recently spoke about providing reservation facility to Muslims.
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  Annu Chopra
                                  Sep 21, 2015 at 2:27 pm
                                  he is absolutely right. we have to be proud of our hindu sanskriti irrespective of whether anyone supports bjp,rss or not. Muslims were given an entire country. They can name every road in stan as Aurangzeb road if they like. Nationalistic muslims only should be welcome in india. all others have a right to crosthe funs the borde and enjoy
                                  Reply
                                  1. D
                                    Devendra Kaushik
                                    Sep 18, 2015 at 10:41 am
                                    Its bitter but truth. I hav many Musl1m friends in mumbai & Hyderabad, i feel ashamed when they talk Pak cricket team as their cricket team even in front of me...
                                    Reply
                                    1. D
                                      dipiti
                                      Sep 18, 2015 at 3:49 pm
                                      This culture minister needs to know some culture and not bring religion while talking about the Great Dr. APJ kalam. He was an Indian, much above the petty talks about religion.
                                      Reply
                                      1. I
                                        irfan
                                        Sep 18, 2015 at 8:40 am
                                        Strange kalam was nationalist despite Muslim. Why don't modi f..k of such bad ministers from his government who speak openly against Muslims by one way or other. It's just because modi is one among the lot of butcher's who killed Muslims ruthlessly in gujrat had it not been the case ministers would never have thought of speaking a language that will lead to disintegration India...another stan in making by BJP..
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Somnath Guharoy
                                          Sep 18, 2015 at 9:29 am
                                          I think the English translation is purposely biased and murders the statement and its intent. Reminds me of the illustrative story of the King, the Queen and the . The translation could equally be: "He was a Muslim but he was also a nationalist and such a great Humanist." The Hindi used was normal everyday Hindi.
                                          Reply
                                          1. P
                                            Pitambar Sharma
                                            Sep 18, 2015 at 7:19 am
                                            Muslims generally look for inspiration from Mecca. Muslim ideny generally is not a national but a pan-national Islamic ideny. Kalam was a great person for many reasons , including his identification with the nation rather than religion. If we are commenting on an RSS leader, we will make the same comment if the person thinks of the nation first and then his religion. Sickular Congress chamchas, Islamists, radical Christians, and English news media, of course, will try to create an issue when there is none.
                                            Reply
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