Monday, 30th October 2017

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Outpouring of selfie grief in Delhi

A selfie storm raged outside the gates of 10 Rajaji Marg and Sitaram Yechury had no idea of the turbulence.

By Pheroze L. Vincent
  • Published 29.07.15

New Delhi, July 28: A selfie storm raged outside the gates of 10 Rajaji Marg and Sitaram Yechury had no idea of the turbulence.

"Sir, comrade, please dada, cheta, anna," pleaded one youth and went click-click as the CPM general secretary emerged from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's home after paying his respects.

Before the harried leader, bits of rose petals from the wreaths still sticking to his face and hair, could understand what had hit him, another youth strode in. "One more comrade, look here sir, please," he insisted.

Yechury obliged them all, but CPM colleague and MP Mohammad Salim couldn't conceal his surprise at the fan fusillade. " Sita-ar selfie, o baba," Salim told fellow MP and comrade Ritabrata Banerjee as the three made their way out of the melee.

Having settled down moments later, Yechury told reporters about Kalam. "I had released his (Kalam's) book in Chinese," the CPM leader said.

But barely had Yechury finished when an army jawan from Kerala turned Yechury towards his cellphone and clicked a selfie. "I thought you were moving me to clear the road," the leader said. "No comrade, just one selfie," replied the jawan.

The jawan can't be faulted. The trend was started by the world's most powerful man. Barack Obama took a selfie at Nelson Mandela's funeral service, posing with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt as Michelle Obama glared.

Police estimated the crowd at Kalam's Rajaji Road residence at 15,000, with many from his home state of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Kerala. Those who could get in by 8pm got the chance to pay their respects.

The VIPs had arrived between 12pm and 4pm, followed by the general public. The leaders included President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, H.D. Deve Gowda and L.K. Advani.

Modi will be present at the funeral, scheduled for 10.30am on Thursday at Rameswaram, before returning to attend Parliament which reconvenes that day after a two-day break to mourn the former President. However, MPs are pushing for a holiday on Thursday too so that they can attend the last rites.