APJ Abdul Kalam: The People’s President
Very few people in the world are a source of inspiration across generations. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, the man who was loved unequivocally by the old and the young alike through his deeds. His actions spawned a generation of “Ignited minds”. Kalam passed away doing what he loved the most- sharing his thoughts with the students.
Kalam (84) collapsed while he was delivering a lecture at Indian Institute of Management-Shillong at around 6.30 pm and immediately taken to Bethany Hospital, Khasi Hills. Doctors announced that he was nearly dead and tried their best to revive the former president by putting him on a ventilator but it was always a losing battle.
Born in Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu), Kalam distributed newspapers to contribute to his father’s income. After completing his education at the Ramanathapuram Schwartz Matriculation School, Kalam went on to attend Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, then affiliated with the University of Madras, from where he graduated in physics in 1954. He started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army, but remained unconvinced by his choice of a job at DRDO.
The Missile Man of India
In his book My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions Kalam revealed how he regretted about not being able to make the cut to become a fighter pilot. But the Air Force’s loss was Indian Science’s gain as Kalam went on develop India’s satellite launching vehicle (SLV) system earning him the title as the “Missile man” of India.
APJ Abdul Kalam: The politician whom the nation loved back
In a country where most of the politician’s believe themselves to be a class above the rest, APJ Abdul Kalam was a class apart. He was never a part of the “VIP” culture, where everyone thinks they deserve preferential treatment. On a polling day one could easily overlook a grey haired man standing in a queue waiting patiently for his turn to fulfill his duty as a citizen of India, but this was no ordinary man, he was APJ Abdul Kalam.
He served as the President of India from 2002 till 2007 and was one of the most respected and adored person. His was so popular amongst the people that many requested him to run for a second term.
“If a country is to be corruption free and of beautiful minds, the father, mother & teacher can make a difference.” The man who taught a nation to follow their dreams had a dream of his own- to see his nation among the most developed by the year 2020.