'Despite' being Muslim, Kalam was great nationalist, says Union Minister Mahesh Sharma

 Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has triggered a row by saying that late president APJ Abdul Kalam was a great nationalist "despite" being a Muslim.

New Delhi: Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has triggered a row by saying that late president APJ Abdul Kalam was a great nationalist "despite" being a Muslim.

Sharma's comment has come against the backdrop of row surrounding resignation of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) Director Mahesh Rangarajan, which the Congress has alleged that was the result of "unbearable pressure" mounted by the government.

The Union minister has also recently called for freeing the country of "cultural pollution" and teaching Mahabharata and Ramayana to students.

"We have renamed Aurangzeb Road after a person, who despite being a Muslim, is a great nationalist...." the Minister told a news channel.

On August 28, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) gave its nod to rename Aurangzeb Road in Lutyen's Delhi as A P J Abdul Kalam Road here. 

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