Former President APJ Abdul Kalam, the 'missile man' who came to be known as 'People's President' died on Monday after he collapsed during a lecture at the IIM in Shillong on Monday evening.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, popularly known as “Missile Man” born in a middle class family, seen and faced problems and hardships of middle class, never daunted and depressed of failures, rose to the height of first citizen of India, the president of India, a visionary, a pragmatist, a poet, a good human being, a complete man. He is the architect of India’s integrated missile development program, recipient of Bharat Ratna award, a rare example in today’s world where most of the people are engulfed by mediocrity, hypocrisy, corruption, the likes Dr. Kalam want to conserve”. Born on 15th October 1931 At Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. Dr. Kalam made significant contribution as Project Director to Develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected the Rohini Satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club.
Dr. Kalam is religious to a fault and is a rapacious reader of both Bhagwad Geeta and the Kuran of the great Tamil Saint Tirvuallurvar. He always shares his achievements and success with his teachers and colleagues. When the award of Bharat Ratna was bestowed on Dr. Kalam, for his splendid achievements, he said, “I couldn’t have done it by myself. Behind me there were thousands of scientists. I only shaped the program.” In a span of 14 years, he lined up Prithvi, Agni, Trishul, Akash, and Nag and finished the long pending Arjun Project, pushed forward with an indigenous aircraft engine Kaveri. He vowed to make India self-reliant in military war fare by 2005 AD. An apostle of unparalleled genius, he never took excuses of lack of funds or lack of cooperation etc. in the glorified path of achieving his goal. This dreamer of making India a super power, tells his countrymen and colleagues: “Dream, dream, dream and dream. Turn the dream into thoughts and thoughts will transform into action.”
Earnestly proud of his heritage, Dr. Kalam asks the people of India, to discover the untapped strength. Let the Indians now totally delink from the legacy of the past, hear this inspiring revelation: India made the world’s first rocket, says Dr. Kalam in annotation to one of this poems. These rockets are laced in the British War Museum. Small tube with gun powder, tiny nozzle and warhead (a carved sword) which were used in defeating the British army at the battle of Srirangapatnam, by Tipu Sultan.
He always exhorted the people, “We must think and act like a nation of a billion people and not like a nation of a million people”.
After becoming President. Dr. Kalam has been doing a very pious task of exhorting and encouraging the youth, to rise to the occasion and never felt shy of failures, have faith in Almighty and work hard to achieve whatever you like to achieve in your life. Dr. Kalam has become a source of unending inspiration to the youth of today. He is very popular among the children, among the youth and among the matured citizen throughout the country.
When the developed countries, the super powers, stuffed with arrogance because of the unlatching might they possess, jeered at country, struggling to arrange basic needs of the people and depending for arms on them, to defend its sovereignty, Dr. Kalam, rallied the intelligentsia and scientists together to realize the ambition of integrated Guided Missile Program.
Dr. Kalam, like very great man, never feel depressed or distressed with the failures, he always move forward with full dedication and devotion to the task he enjoined upon. He quotes an example of his life, that when he came out of HAL (Hindustan Aeronauticals Ltd) as a graduate for a career in the Indian Air Force. He was called for the interview in Dehardun and stood ninth in the batch of 25, but only eight got selection. Disappointed with the failure, he visited the pilgrim centre of Rishikesh where he met Swami Shivananda and introduced himself to Swamiji. He narrated him his story of disappointment. Swamiji told him, “Accept your destiny and go ahead with your life. You are not destined to become an Air Force Pilot. What you are destined to become is not revealed now but it is predetermined. Forget this failure s it is essential to lead you along your destined path. Search instead for the true purpose of your life. Become one with yourself, my son!” None, not even Dr. Kalam himself could imagine that the was predestined to become the Missile Man of India, recipient of the highest civilian award “Bharat Ratna” and thereafter the President of the largest democracy of the world. Dr. Kalam is a living ideal personality, an undying inspiration to the young generation, always exhorting them not to be daunted by the failures and work hard with fullest dedication; devotion and sincerity, Success with positively crowns your head.
In 1962, while addressing the Rice University in Houston, then President of USA, John F. Kennedy proclaimed about Dr. Kalam; “If history teaches us anything, it is than man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred”.
Dr. Avil Pakir Jalaluddin Abdul Kalam, the present President of India, popularly known as Missile Man of India, is also known for his zest for life and pursuits that might make other scientists astonished. An reader, a lover of classical music and a poet of Tamil, a great scientist, a religiously theist personality and what not, he can be termed as an ideal person, enviable by all. A leading columnist wrote about Dr. Kalam that “India needs a Kalam in every Institution.” He was directing nd guiding a team of 7000 brilliant, dedicated scientists and researcher at 50 laboratories of the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation).
In his literary pursuit four of Dr. Kalam’s books – “Wings of Fire”, “India 2020-Avision for the New Millennium”, “My journey” and “Ignited Minds-Unleashing the power within Inda” have become household names in India and among the Indian nationals abroad. These books have been translated in many Indian Languages.
India is indebted to Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and proud of such a brilliant and complete man.
May you rest in peace sir!