APJ Abdul Kalam wrote in introduction of his autobiography “WINGS OF FIRE”: “EACH INDIVIDUAL CREATURE ON THIS BEAUTIFUL PLANET IS CREATED BY GOD TO FULFILL A PARTICULAR ROLE. WHATEVER I HAVE ACHIEVED IN LIFE IS THROUGH HIS HELP, AND AN EXPRESSION OF HIS WILL. HE SHOWERED HIS GRACE ON ME THROUGH SOME OUTSTANDING TEACHERS AND COLLEAGUES, AND WHEN I PAY MY TRIBUTES TO THESE FINE PERSONS, I AM MERELY PRAISING HIS GLORY. ALL THESE ROCKETS AND MISSILES ARE HIS WORK THROUGH A SMALL PERSON CALLED KALAM, IN ORDER TO TELL THE SEVERAL-MILLION MASS OF INDIA, TO NEVER FEEL SMALL OR HELPLESS.” This was great scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, The great President Kalam, and the great human being Kalam.
This man was a People's person, a favorite with students, a genuine thinker and visionary. His death has saddened academicians, politicos and the youth alike because his legacy is something irreplaceable in the history of our nation. The MISSILE MAN is no more and an era of supreme human conduct and patriotism has come to an end.
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen "A. P. J."( 15 October 1931 – 27 July 2015) was the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. A career scientist turned reluctant politician, Kalam was born and raised in RAMESWARAM, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering.
Born to a humble boat owner, the kid Kalam had a deep interest in Physics and mathematics since childhood. His zeal and dedication made him realize his dreams of doing advanced studies in spite of financial and social dilemmas. After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India's civilian space program and military missile development efforts. He thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He also played a pivotal organizational, technical and political role in India's Pokharan 2 nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.
APJ Abdul Kalam was a great scientist who ushered an era of missile defence in India. He was the responsible for development of Satellite Launch Vehicle and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, which are still the main rockets used by Indian Space Research Organisation.
In 2002, APJ Kalam an academic, scientist and technocrat par excellence little known outside the space community, was the unexpected choice for President who brought in a breath of fresh air with him. His simple and Spartan lifestyle was in sharp contrast to his zealous support and energetic involvement with education and development. His passion for inculcating love for learning was manifest in his desire for frequent interaction with children with whom he struck a special chord.
After a long time India had a Head of State who did the nation and humanity proud. That none of the political parties were willing to have him serve a second term as President, is ample testimony to his unwavering vision and forthright manner in managing the affairs of office strictly on merit, unimpeded by political expediency. Our past presidents must be feeling honored with someone like APJ Abdul Kalam taking their legacy forth, marching ahead with unwavering determination for the development of a nation, rather than playing petty politics.
After serving a term of five years, he returned to his civilian life of education, writing and public service. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
His connect with the youth was something that makes him so popular and so everlasting. His motivating interactions with the students all over made such deep impression that his loss is being mourned my them genuinely and with all due respect. That he was genuinely a god's child is justified by his death, right amongst the youth, doing what he loved doing the most, motivating them and imparting a few lessons of lifelong wisdom. Here are a few amazing quotes by this amazing man that will be remembered forever-
"My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people."
"While children are struggling to be unique, the world around them is trying all means to make them look like everybody else."
"You have to dream before your dreams can come true."
"For me, there is no such thing as a negative experience."
"Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident."
"Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success."
"One best book is equal to hundred good friends but one good friend is equal to a library."
APJ Kalam distinguished scientist, brilliant and passionate teacher, noble soul, embodiment of Aam Aadmi, a proud and grateful nation bids you farewell. RIP.