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Remembering APJ Abdul Kalam: India's Missile Man


Famous Personalities  •  27 Jul, 2023  •  3,140 Views  •  ⭐ 5.0

Written by Anand Swami


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Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam fondly remembered as APJ Abdul Kalam, was the epitome of simplicity, intellect, and moral values. As a scientist, teacher, and the 11th President of India, he left an indelible mark on the hearts of millions, inspiring countless individuals to dream big and work hard. As we commemorate his death anniversary, let's revisit ten facets of his multifaceted life.

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Personal Life and Background

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Born on October 15, 1931, in the island town of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Kalam hailed from a modest background. He grew up witnessing the harmonious coexistence of different religious communities, a factor that shaped his secular and inclusive beliefs.

Educational Journey

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Kalam's academic journey started at Schwartz Higher Secondary School and continued at Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli, where he graduated in physics. Later, he pursued aerospace engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology, laying the foundation for his illustrious career in science and technology.

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Career as a Scientist

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Beginning his career at the Aeronautical Development Establishment, Kalam's contributions to India's satellite and missile programs were groundbreaking. At ISRO, he played a pivotal role in the SLV-III project. Later, under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), he was instrumental in the development of missiles like Agni and Prithvi.

The Presidential Years

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Kalam served as India's President from 2002 to 2007. Known as the "People's President," he endeavoured to bridge the gap between the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the common people. His tenure was marked by accessibility, humility, and a focus on youth empowerment.

Religious and Spiritual Views

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Kalam was a devout Muslim but believed in the universal teachings of all religions. He often quoted from the Bhagavad Gita, Quran, and Bible, emphasizing unity, peace, and righteousness. His spiritual views were broad, embracing humanity at large.

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Awards and Honours

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Throughout his life, Kalam received numerous awards, including the Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990), and Bharat Ratna (1997). His contributions to science and India's defence capabilities were recognized globally, earning him a special place in the pantheon of India's heroes.

Literary Contributions

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An author of many bestsellers, Kalam's writings reflect his vision for India and his philosophical musings. Some of his notable works include "Wings of Fire," "India 2020," and "Ignited Minds." Each book is a testament to his beliefs, dreams, and undying spirit of inquiry.

Documentaries and Biographies

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Kalam's life has inspired numerous documentaries and biographies. The documentary "The Missile Man of India" chronicles his journey from Rameswaram to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Similarly, the biography "A Life" by Arun Tiwari delves deep into his personal and professional life.

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Movies Inspired by Kalam

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The film "I Am Kalam" pays a heartfelt tribute to his influence on young minds, showcasing a boy's journey inspired by Kalam's teachings. Though not a biopic, the film encapsulates the ethos of Kalam's life — that of aspiration, hard work, and indomitable spirit.

The Teacher and the Visionary

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Above all, Kalam was a teacher at heart. Even after his presidency, he continued to teach and interact with students across the country. His vision of India as a developed nation by 2020, his emphasis on "Dream, Dream, Dream," and his tireless efforts to ignite young minds make him an eternal beacon of inspiration.

Conclusion

As we reflect on APJ Abdul Kalam's legacy, we realize he was not just a scientist, president, or teacher; he was a phenomenon. Through his teachings and actions, he lit a beacon for future generations, urging them to chase their dreams with fervor and make a meaningful difference in the world.

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