Dr. APJ Abdul kalam no more with us. May his soul rest in peace. He was a true leader and a great contributor to the world of science, and to the technology in India. He was president of India and hence naturally part of the politics of India – yet away from it all. In true sense, he was one of the few men in the country liked by all.
Abdul Kalam was inspiration to many of us, or most of us i would say. but I wish this inspiration would have also transcended to our political clout; He is a role model for each of our leaders both in science and technologies and in politics. We can learn from Dr. Kalam that how can someone become truly iconic to be called “people’s president” that literally everyone across cast and creed, across age group, across states or cultures – everyone loved him. Here is what makes Dr. Abdul Kalam truly unique leader of all.
1. True work matters above all.
Dr. Kalam has done some of the best possible engineering that country has ever seen. While he always maintained a humble profile, his achievements are certainly astounding- from space program, missile development and then nuclear program. Each of this is a key strategic technology for the country as it contributes to defense. To his fame is the Agni India’s first ICBM (Intercontinental ballistic missile) and happens to be most accurate in the class. Here is an interesting missile story of India. The missile program now makes India fully independent from missile imports of all genre. By the same breadth he is also the man behind Nuclear program bringing India in the lines of handful of developed nations.
True work holds more merit than any talks – and hence it is always the most inspiring. I think people have had faith in him because of the trust one can develop through the concrete work.
2. No cynicism
It is undeniable that in a “country of poors” as many foreigners, NRI’s and even Indians put it, it is difficult to find resources to do original work let alone something outstanding. And add on top the demoralizing government bureaucracy and red-tape-ism that it is not possible to do something great. And if all that is not enough, we are talking about the age where India were under the sanctions from the developed nations. But will of Dr. Kalam was ahead of all this, creating something astounding.
Be it the best accuracy of Agni III among the world’s ICBM’s, or the Brahmos is the world’s fastest cruise missile. So not only that we can do, we can really out perform the world in this very very resource crunched country! Cynicism of “why-it-won’t-work” is an easier trap. But only when you get above this and have a dream and the belief in the dream can you really get to achieve something substantial. Many people speak about dreams – so many self help books are out there – yet his words has a far significant weight because it has come out from his own experience.
3. Truly secular
I have never heard him complaining “…. because I am a Muslim” and perhaps by equal token never really looked at any issues as Hindu vs. Muslim issue. This is not to say that Muslims concerns don’t exists – however, there are great many things in life that are truly neutral to any faith. Science and technology surely is one them. Education is another – and so should be politics. The sensitivity of issues of particular community is actually insulted when we give undue colors of faith to issues out of mere political alignments. I heartily wish Dr. Abdul Kalam become an example among our political clout of how to truly keep nation before the pseudo-agenda of religion and partisan politics.
4. The Active president
He was people’s president and he was the only one with that title. Many of the people might not really recall all actions of Abdul Kalam as president. But if there are 2 president’s name that I do remember, he is one of them. The balance presidents unfortunately had been known to be a mere rubber stamps for all practical purposes. He was one who had been actively participated in the democracy being true to his post. One of his biggest active involvement was in the India-US nuclear deal. In the hindsight we now know how important that deal was and still is for India – yet our political clout was fighting on all the wrong grounds. Unfortunately, the fruits of that deal is yet to come to the masses, nevertheless it shows the resolve that Dr. Abdul Kalam exhibited while in the chair. I truly wish he should have been there for one more term – I think so many laps of UPA government would have been under the check.
5. People are above politics
We all have aspiration about making India a developed country – a super power. We all have opinions about the problems that India faces and how to solve them. Unfortunately, all roads finally leads to “… if only government (or policy) does this … we would be all great“. Not to undermine other’s efforts but even India-Against-Corruption movement lead by Anna finally gave a birth to only and only a political party which by now looks no different from most others.
As earlier as 1998 he wrote Vision 2020 in which he said that economical and development is the only mantra we need to follow; something frankly i thought at that time was just for the talks. But It’s only in 2014 did people actually voted for a party who put development as an agenda. Kalam in his interview with Arnab he said the only way to solve corruption problem in India is if there is youth movement. He said this in 2007 just about 5 years before Anna movement.
He was very clear that “… government must do this…” opinion is only a paralysis on the part of the people of the country. He believed that only and only people can do great stuff and that will change the country. And to be honest that message is just valid even right now, and always.
6. Ground connect
As soon as we heard the news of demise of , I saw many photographs people posted where they shared the frames with Dr. Kalam. He has been a teacher and also been round the year across the country met so many young minds. As he believed in development and technology advancement for India- he must have been truly touching moments that would inspire those youth to do great stuff and imbibe the belief of dong great stuff. During and after being president he hasn’t stopped relentlessly connecting people on ground. He didn’t need media attention to do good work (unlike most of our politicians) – and his age, health never came in between. While missiles and nuclear program is clearly his contribution but just as much is empowering and inspiring youth – which I believe very few people have done in the history of India.
Certainly, Dr. Abdul Kalam was a great man, and certainly several people were inspired by him. He taught many of us to dream. We must dream big to keep him alive!
- Quotes from Dr. Kalam
- Biography of Dr. Kalam
- His smile was deadlier than his missiles
- Some important facts about Agni Missile