CHENNAI: In the race to Raisina Hill, Pranab Mukherjee may be getting the support of many politicians, but A P J Abdul Kalam remains the popular choice of netizens.
Social networking and microblogging sites are replete with messages in support of the missile-man who completed a term as President before Pratibha Patel took over. “A P J Abdul Kalam is the only person who fulfills the minimum qualification for the post of President,” tweeted Sumit Nagpal.
“Highly educated”, “humble” and “people’s President”, are some of the popular expressions that go with Kalam’s name on the net. And rooting for him are people of all ages. A group has started a Facebook fan page in the name ‘We want Shri A P J Abdul Kalam as President again.’ Another group called ‘Abdul Kalam for President’ says this is the first time the people of India are having a voice in a Presidential election.
‘The President is not one to ask anything for himself,’ screams an online poster showing Kalam giving a salute. Below that: Click share if you support Kalam. “He’s an apolitical leader and, as the rocket man of India, put the country in a great league”, says Nargarjun Shetty who uses social networking sites to muster support for Kalam.
Then there are those who comment with their tongue firmly in cheek. “Seems APJ Abdul Kalam can’t be the President of India because he has no family to take on foreign tours and he does not grab land,” tweeted Jiten Gajaria. Social media expert Anivar Aravind said the social media is accessed only by 6% of India’s population, but their voices are heard by the powers that be. “Opinions of these people since they are seen as representatives of the educated middle and upper classes.
Aravind added that the posts and threads created for Kalam had interesting characteristics. “When some of the posters made for Kalam are widely being spread by his supporters, people who are not for Kalam are also using them to post their disagreement,” he said.