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Kalam's message to politicians - put nation first

delhi Updated: May 23, 2007 18:39 IST
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As his term comes to an end in July, President APJ Abdul Kalam on Wednesday gave the country's politicians a message in verse, asking them to put the nation first.

The President took the audience by surprise as he addressed the gathering at a function to give away the National Communal Harmony Awards in Hindi.

Kalam narrated a poem in Hindi he penned especially for the occasion titled `Shahanshil Bharat, Shahanshil Sansar'.

The poem, which he described as a prayer to God that the citizens live together with compassion, also had a word of advice for the political leaders.

"He Eeshwar, Netaon Ko Ho Ehsaas, Unse Aur Sambandhon Se Pehle Hai Rashtra (Oh Lord, may the leaders realise that before them and relationships comes nation)," Kalam said.

In his opening remarks, the President, speaking in heavily-accented Hindi, said, "Pyaare Doston, Maine Aapke Liye Ek Prarthna Tayyar Kia Hai (Dear friends, I have written a prayer for you)."

Although the audience was taken by surprise to hear Kalam, a Tamilian, speak in Hindi, this was not the first time that the president has addressed a gathering in Hindi.

Recently, he gave a full speech in Hindi while addressing a function at the Red Fort to mark the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence.