Humble Beginning to Great Heights – Dr.A.P.J.Kalam (R.I.P.)

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Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (15 October 1931 – 27 July 2015), 11th President of India, People’s President, Missile Scientist, Bharat Ratna recipient, Inspiration to youth, is no more. Suffering a major cardiac arrest while giving a lecture at IIM Shillong on Monday evening (27.7.15), he passed away. He was 84. A 7 day state mourning has been declared. His last rites shall be performed in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India.


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Messages from all over


The sad demise of Dr. Kalam shocked one and all. The end of such a dynamic personality, so suddenly and that too when he was giving his lecture has very much shaken up people in all walks of life for Dr. Kalam was as unassuming as he was great, a figure easily seen, ever accessible, full of spirit and energy. Messages poured in from everywhere from all walks of life.


Here are some from the prominent people of the land


Pranab Mukherjee, President of India - In his passing away, We have lost a great man ,who dedicated his whole life for the welfare of the motherland and its people. He was people's president and will remain so even after his death.


 b2b400eef118701cd92e915f487d93fb_400x400Narendra Modi, PM of India - I got to work with him closely. I have lost an uttam marg darshak. The country has lost a son who worked for the strength of India. He had spent every moment for the youth of India. No person will be able to fill the gap left by him. His work will inspire us to work for the development of the nation.


The former PM Manmohan Singh - Our country has lost a great human being who made phenomenal contribution to promotion of self reliance in defence technologies


Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh


The death of Dr. Kalam is an irreparable loss to this nation. He has left a big void hard to fill. I deeply mourn his death. RIP Kalam Sahab


Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal


Very sad to hear that Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is no more. Nation has lost a real bharat ratna.


BJP President Amit Shah


Deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Former President Bharat Ratna @APJAbdulKalam ....India has lost its Missile Man. #RIP


W Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee


Very, very sad news. I had a special bond with Kalamji. He was one of India's favorite sons and one of my favorite people. A very sad day.


and of course from thousands of others from very many places across the country.


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Lesser known facts about a much loved man


If people from all over the country shed tears for a man unabashedly, with big and small, young and old, political party upon political party mourning the sudden demise and paying the richest tributes that any man can ask for, there must be something about the man that all admire, one who would have perhaps touched the hearts of millions for what he was and how his sudden departure has suddenly left a void.


Indeed such was the personality of the Late ex-President of India, the President of the People, the Missile man and the Teacher, Shri APJ Abdul Kalam.


All the titles and epithets are in connection with what people knew of him while he was in the limelight and in public view. But like all great men Kalam did not have greatness thrust on him, he achieved many a thing that few accomplish in their lifetimes. And in achieving the greatness it was a steady rise from humble beginnings.


  • Kalam was the son of a small and devout Muslim boat owner in Rameswaram, his mother being a housewife. Barely managing to keep the family going, it was a struggle to eke out a living. It was here that the studious Kalam did his bit of delivering newspapers after his school got over. His love for knowledge and passion for Maths and Physics then took him a long way.
  • APJ Abdul Kalam narrowly missed becoming an Air Force fighter pilot. It could have been glory in the skies but the world would have had a very big loss of one destined to do big things.
  • He studied Aeronautical Engineering in Madras University, and reached ISRO after a slight lull at DRDO. Working under Dr.Vikram Sarabhai was his good fortune, who turned his sights in the direction, to make him achieve what he did.
  • The support of former PM Indira Gandhi and the then President of India, Dr. Venkataraman saw him head a project that only page5-img1a man of his capabilities could hope to achieve. He gained confidence through the exposure and support, India gained the missile capabilities of Prithvi and Agni, the success of the Satellite Launching Vehicle (SLV) projects and Kalam’s initiative in the Pokharan II tests got India on the path of Nuclear capability.
  • Even as President of India, for his soft but firm nature, he had to bear the discomfort of taking decisions that seemed controversial but ultimately the man’s reputation and luck saved the day.
  • If ever there was a teacher who did not teach but inspired, it was he. Today his self motivational books, especially Wings of Fire and India 2020 where he envisaged India becoming a superpower in 2020 and drew the possible roadmap, millions of youth are energized by the reality of his sayings and the possibility of his visions.
  • The special love for children in schools saw children flock to him wherever he went having no awe only the anticipation of getting some new lessons in life from him that they would solemnly follow. His passion for pure or basic sciences percolated down to a whole flock of admirers and devoted fans in them to try and emulate his example by putting in effort to master it.
  • Greatness is sometimes paled by taking things for granted. His greatness was in the fact that he never took anything lightly, he always paid the attention it deserved. Be it the queries of small children, the excited questions from intermediate students, the mature posers from adults around him or the advanced suppositions from his fellow scientists. That is the hallmark of a great man, the humility that Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam displayed.
  • There are many more such incidents that people from different walks of life recall in their chance interaction with him, but one common element has always come through – his devotion in explaining in detail irrespective of who was opposite him. That honest open smile, the unassuming ways despite the high offices that he held, the clear voice and the lucid reasoning, were all sufficient to disarm his worst detractors ( if he had any).
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Dr-APJ-Abdul-Kalam-1-New-Ag[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Awards for Dr.Kalam rested lightly on him
Dr.Kalam had a long list of achievements that also received its due recognition and in no time, he was showered with a lot many awards including the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna. For a person like Dr.Kalam, who was a born achiever, his laurels rested very lightly on him and his energies were ever focused on the children and youth of the country, in all that he said and did after his term of president. He considered them as the future potential of a strong India.
People such as him are born once in a while, souls who enrich others lives, fill them with that surge of confidence, who give them their self worth to treasure, and who despite all they have achieved still behave as if they were just like any other. That is the immortalized Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam whose mortal remains may have gone into dust, but his flaming memory will ever be cherished and burning brightly in millions of hearts that acknowledge with gratitude, his great contribution to the soul of India.     [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]