NEW DELHI — Less than a week after former President Abdul Kalam’s body was laid to rest, his close associates are already fighting for control over his social media accounts.
On Wednesday, Kalam's office in New Delhi issued a statement saying Srijan Pal Singh, who was privately associated with Kalam in his academic pursuits and had co-authored books with him, should not give statements in the media and social networks in the name of the former President.
Marked as 'important announcement', the statement read: "We wish to inform all that this office has not authorised him to interact with the media on or about Dr Kalam. Srijan Pal Singh has already been advised to deactivate all Facebook and Twitter accounts in the name of Dr Kalam or in his memory immediately."
A day after Kalam's death, Srijan Pal, in a Facebook post, which had gone viral, had written about the "Last Eight Hours" spent with Kalam. Srijan announced that he will run Kalam's official Twitter account which was renamed as 'In memory of Dr Kalam'.
"Dedicated 2 immortal memories of Dr Kalam. this account wil nw reflect his thoughts, his lessons & missions. Miss you sir! (sic)," read one of the tweets that Srijan posted.
However, it seems, the Twitter account of Kalam is no longer available.
So, why does Kalam's office not want Srijan to handle the former President's social media accounts?
"The office is not against Singh sharing his experience as a student with Kalam. He has every right to do that. At the same time, he has no right to share things through Kalam's official pages in social networking sites. There is an office to take care of it," V Ponraj, who was the scientific adviser to Kalam for two decades told Times Of India.
But, Srijan told reporters that when Kalam was alive, he had "authorized" him to maintain his pages in social networking sites. "I was happy to do that. If the office doesn't want me to do it, I am ready to deactivate them," Srijan told ToI.
However, Srijan says he won't stop sharing his experiences with his mentor. "But they can't ban me from sharing my experience with him to the people. He was my guru and mentor," he said.