DR APJ ABDUL KALAM
“Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, popularly known as ‘Missile Man’ born in a middle class family, saw and faced problems and hardships of middle class, never daunted and depressed of failures, rose to the height of being the first citizen of India, the President of India, a visionary, a pragmatist, a poet, a good human being and a complete man. He is the architect of India’s integrated missile development programme, recipient of Bharat Ratna, a rare example in today’s world, where most of the people are engulfed by mediocrity, hypocrisy, corruption, the likes of 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-111) 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 Gita and the Kuran of the great Tamil Saint Tiruvalluvar. 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 programme.” 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 superpower tells his countrymen and colleagues that “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 and hear this inspiring revelation that India made the world’s first rocket, says Dr Kalam in annotation to one of his poems. These rockets are placed 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 feel 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 children, among the youth and among the matured citizens throughout the country.
When the developed countries, the superpowers, stuffed with arrogance because of the unmatching might they possess, jeered at our 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 Programme.
Dr.Kalam, like every great man, never felt depressed or distressed with the failures. He always moved 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 Aeronautical Ltd) as a graduate for a career in the Indian Air Force, he was called for the interview in Dehradun and stood ninth in the batch of 25, but only eight got selected. Disappointed with the failure, he visited the pilgrim centre of Rishikesh where he met Swami Shivananda and introduced himself to Swamiji. He narrated to 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 as 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 he 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, and success would positively crown their 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 that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred”.
Dr. Avil Pakir Jalaluddin Abdul Kalam, India’s President from 2002 to 2007 popularly known as Missile Man of India, is also known for his zest for life and pursuits that might make other scientists astonished. A 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”.
It was the devotion and dedication of Dr. Kalam, that within a span of two decades, he slung the country into the cadres of so called mighty nations like USA, UK, France, Russia and China in the arena of modern warfare all blissfully with total indigenous technologies, directing and guiding a team of 7000 brilliant, dedicated scientists and researchers at 50 laboratories of the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization).
In his literary pursuit, Dr. Kalam has authored and co-authored many books, such as—”Wings of Fire”, “India 2020—A Vision for the New Millennium”, “My Journey” “Ignited Minds—Unleashing the power within India” the Lumaus sparks, The life tree, children ask Kalam, indomitable spirit and inspiring thoughts, envisioning an empowered nation development in fluid mechanics and space technology, mission India and many of them 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. APJ Abdul Kalam and proud of such a brilliant and complete man.
- hardships—a state of misfortune or affliction; 2. engulfed—enclose or enfold completely
with or as if with a covering; 3. mediocrity,—ordinariness as a consequence of being average
and not outstanding; 4. hypocrisy—insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or
beliefs that you do not really have; 5. enjoined—tell somebody to do something;
6. narrated—narrate or give a detailed account of; 7. devotion—commitment to some
purpose; 8. esurient—ardently or excessively desirous; 9. pursuits—a search for an
alternative that meets cognitive criteria; 10. ignited—arouse or excite feelings and passions;
- predestined—established or prearranged unalterably.