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Trending in India: From Abdul Kalam to Yakub Memon

July 31 can be marked as one of the most remarkable days in the history of India. The sad demise of former president A P J Abdul Kalam has left the country in a state of sorrow as people remember his contribution to the field of science and country at large. Meanwhile, the funeral of Yakub Memon is in stark contrast with the former.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his cabinet ministers were present at Rameswaram for the last rites of the ‘People’s President.’ Media publication have defined last rites of Dr Kalam as a ‘teary farewell’. Social media too expressed its weak sentiment on the death for a truly inspirational Indian icon.

Dr Kalam’s death shook the Indian social media and official Twitter pages were created in his memory. Besides news publications flooding Twitter feed with news updates, Twitteratis have also paid their respects to Mr Kalam on Twitter and Facebook.

“Dr. Kalam…my mind is filled with so many memories, so many interactions with him. Always marvelled at his intellect, learnt so much from him,” Mr Modi tweeted via his official account on July 27.

Furthermore, internet search engine giant Google also paid tribute to the former president by featuring image of a black ribbon on its Homepage. Sand sculpture created by Sudarsan Pattnaik of the Missile Man has also been doing rounds on social media which was created as a tribute to Dr Kalam.

In stark contrast, is the death of Yakub Memon. The nation is familiar with Dr Kalam’s idea against capital punishment but it is indeed ironical that execution of Yakub Memon and Dr Kalam’s death were both trending on social media in the same week. Yakub Memon was convicted in the 1993 Mumbai bombing case. It had become a topic of huge public debate in the India.

The debate was fired by Tripura governor Tathagata Roy’s tweet on the issue. He tweeted, “Intelligence shd keep a tab on all (expt relatives & close friends) who assembled bfr Yakub Memon’s corpse. Many are potential terrorists.” But later he replied to the Twitter attack and tweeted, “When I suggested ‘intelligence keeping a tab’, I mentiond NO COMMUNITY. So how come I’m accused of being ‘communal bigot’? Guilty conscience?”

Despite all the noise around the 1993 Mumbai bombing case, Yakub Memon was hanged in Nagpur Jail on July 30 and later his body was sent to his family in Mumbai was last rites.

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