Kalam’s writings disappear from presidential website


New Delhi : On Thursday, hundreds of fans of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam were shocked to find all his speeches and comments absent from their favourite website www.presidentofindia.nic.in.

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The change of guard at Rashtrapati Bhavan Wednesday – when Kalam demitted office as India's 11th president and make way for Pratibha Patil – has placed the website "under construction".

"The website is to be modified because Mr. Kalam has become the ex-president and all references to him have to be changed according to that. So it is under renovation for two-three days," said an official at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

For the last five years, the 'presidentofindia' site hosted e-mails to and from Kalam, chats, speeches and lectures, his books, poems, his biography and his vision. It had a children's corner as well as a speech-enabled site for the visually challenged.

Every day 250,000 visitors had visited the site and at times there were more than 500,000 hits on a single day. Sources said this month at least a 10 million people visited the website.

But Kalam, a nuclear scientist and a man not to disappoint his fans, told admirers in Chennai – where he went from New Delhi Wednesday – that he had another website called www.abdulkalam.com.

Kalam's personal website 'abdulkalam.com' was originally launched on his 69th birthday, which he celebrated on Oct 15, 2001, before he became president. The site was launched by Infosys mentor N.R. Narayan Murthy.

It is maintained by V. Ponraj, assistant project director of network services, Aeronautical Development Agency, Bangalore.

This site will be as interactive as the presidential site, Ponraj said.