The test of a successful person is not his ability to eliminate all problems before they arise but to meet and work out difficulties when they arise. This is exactly true of our 12th president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Born in an ordinary family of fisherman of Rameshwaram town in Tamilnadu on October 15, 1931 received his early education in his home town. He graduates from St. Joseph college of Tiruchirapalli formerly known as Trichnapall. He later specialized in aero-engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. But for a brief period of 4 months visit to NASA in the United States his studies, Research work and inventions were entirely in his own country. In 1958 he joined the Defense Research and Development Organization and after five years joined the Indian space Research Organization (ISRO).
It was here that the genius of Dr. Kalam gloomed. His main interest lay in rockets although this was not his specific field of work. As a project director for SLV-III he contributed to the design, development and management of nations. First satellite launch vehicle for injecting the ROHINI satellite in near earth orbit in 1980. It took nearly ten years for the launching of SLV-III but unfortunately it failed for the first time and as a to true sportsman Dr. A.P.J. Kalam was not at all disappointed and owned the responsibility for the failure of the project. It was through his dedication and motivation and self confidence that he achieved success the next time.
In 1982 Dr. Kalam left the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center and joined the Defense Research and development Establishment (DRDE), Hyderabad as its director. Here he conceived and originated the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme which resulted in development of indigenous designs of highly critical technology. In 1986 the Missile Technology Control Regime was taken over and as a result the short range anti-tang Nag, surface to air Trishul and Akash, 250 km range prithivi and intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Agni were all successfully tested and launched, over the last two decades.
India’s missile man, Dr. Abdul Kalam is basically a man of peace, a true nationalist with a burning desire to see his country at the lust of success, fame and glory. In his own words.
“Lament, my friend, at the passing away of a generation of politicians with a voice, vision and reach, that went for beyond our borders. Lament at our state sponsored abnormal and paranoid fixation with a particular country that has blinded us to the best of the world including the Third World which we used to heed not so long ago. And weep softy at what we have reduce ourselves to in the comity of nations. For a large country with a billion people, a country, moreover, that is a nuclear power, India does not count for as much as it should. In terms of our influence in world affairs probably no other country is so far below its perpetual as we are.”
After Pokhran II the west speaks about India and Pakistan in the same breath. It is not in our national interest to demonstrate to the world that we can think of a world beyond Pakistan, that we are qualitatively better, more mature and secular country with a greater commitment to the values of democracy and freedom?
According to him, “Strength respects strength and not weekness. Strength means military might and economic prosperity”. I call to my people to rise to greatness. It is a call to all individuals to rise to their highest capabilities”.
How fortunate our nation is to have a president with such noble ideas infused with patriotism and sincerity to the nation, completely and wholly dedicated to the uplift or the nation. For his achievement in the field of science he has been awarded the highest honour of Bharat Ratna apart from Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibushan awarded to him earlier. Various universities have honoured him with honrary degree of Doctorate. Now he has been elected the 12th president of India with overwhelming majority. For Dr. Kalam important thing is not where you were or where you are but where you want to be, economically, politically and militarily. His own contribution towards the achievements, of this goal is known world over.
Dr. Kalam a bachelor is not committed to worldly affairs. He is fully and wholly dedicated to the nation. A first class student, an outstanding scholar, a scientist and technician, Dr. Kalam is a patriot of the superlative class but he hides his qualities of head and heart by his simplicity and humility. He is a fearless person caring little for popularity. He was deeply pained and concerned over the devastating catastrophe of Gujarat where there were incidents of sadness and despair as well as hope and joy and countless examples of uncommon courage and the lost no time to personally visit the state in an effort to see that attempts to rehabilitate the victims were sincere and sufficient. This is his humanity. Within days of his assumption of the highest office of the nation, Electoral Reforms Ordinance was put up before him for his approval. But the just and impartial person in him thought that the provisions under the ordinance were insufficient’ and as much he bad the moral strength and courage to return the ordinance for reconsideration by the central cabinet. Although he is bound by the low of the land i.e. our constitution but there at least showed a mirror to the politicians of our country. After successfully completing his Tenure he gracefully relinquished his offices on 24th July 2007. The nation shall always remember him not only as president but also as a scientist in which capacity his services shall still be available to the nation.