Saturday, October 4, 2008

MOST LOVABLE PRESIDENT OF INDIA

Abdul Kalam

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A.P.J Abdul Kalam
Abdul Kalam

People's President'


In office
July 25, 2002July 25, 2007
Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
Preceded by K. R. Narayanan
Succeeded by Pratibha Patil

Born October 15, 1931 (1931-10-15) (age 76)[1]
Rameshwaram,Tamil Nadu, India
Political party Not affiliated
Spouse Single; Never married
Religion Islam

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (Tamil: அவுல் பகீர் ஜைனுலாப்தீன் அப்துல் கலாம்) born October 15, 1931, Tamil Nadu, India, usually referred as Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam^, was the eleventh President of India, serving from 2002 to 2007.[2] Due to his unconventional working style, he is also popularly known as the People's President. Before his term as India's president, he distinguished himself as engineering visionary and was awarded India's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 1997 for his work with DRDO and his role as scientific advisor to the Indian government. He is popularly known as the Missile Man of India for his work on development of ballistic missile and space rocket technology[3]. In India he is considered a progressive mentor, innovator and visionary. Kalam played a pivotal organizational, technical and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear test in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974[4].

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[edit] Honours

He has received honorary doctorates from as many as thirty universities .[5] The Government of India has honoured him with the nation's highest civilian honours: the Padma Bhushan in 1981; Padma Vibhushan in 1990; and the Bharat Ratna in 1997.

Kalam is the Fourth President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna before being elected to the highest office, the other three being Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ,V. V. Giri and Zakir Hussain. He is also the first scientist and first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Referred to as the "People's President", Kalam is often considered amongst India's greatest presidents, going on to win a poll conducted by news channel CNN-IBN for India's Best President.

[edit] Political views

Kalam's probable views on certain issues have been espoused by him in his book India 2020 where he strongly advocates an action plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower and into a developed nation by the year 2020. Kalam is credited with the view that India ought to take a more assertive stance in international relations; he regards his work on India's nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India's place as a future superpower.

Kalam continues to take an active interest in other developments in the field of science and technology as well. He has proposed a research programme for developing bio-implants. He is a supporter of Open source software over proprietary solutions and believes that the use of open source software on a large scale will bring more people the benefits of information technology.

Kalam's belief in the power of science to resolve society's problems and his views of these problems as a result of inefficient distribution of resources is modernistic. He also sees science and technology as ideology-free areas and emphasizes the cultivation of scientific temper and entrepreneurial drive. In this, he finds a lot of support among India's new business leaders like the founders of Infosys and Wipro, (leading Indian IT corporations) who began their careers as technology professionals much in the same way Kalam did.

His views on issues of peace and weapons are controversial. He is quoted as follows:

In the 3,000-year history of India, barring 600 years, the country has been ruled by others. If you need development, the country should witness peace and peace is ensured by strength. Missiles were developed to strengthen the country.[1]

[edit] Personal life

APJ Abdul Kalam was born in 1931 in a middle-class family in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, a town well-known for its Hindu shrines. His mother tongue is Tamil. His father, a devout Muslim, owned boats which he rented out to local fishermen and was a good friend of Hindu religious leaders and the school teachers at Rameshwaram. APJ Abdul Kalam mentions in his biography that to support his studies, he started his career as a newspaper vendor. This was also told in the book, A Boy and His Dream: Three Stories from the Childhood of Abdul Kalam by Vinita Krishna. The house Kalam was born in can still be found on the Mosque street at Rameswaram, and his brother's curio shop abuts it. This has become a point-of-call for tourists who seek out the place. Kalam grew up in an intimate relationship with nature, and he says in Wings of Fire that he never could imagine that water could be so powerful a destroying force as that he witnessed when he was six. That was in 1934 when a cyclonic storm swept away the Pamban bridge and a trainload of passengers with it and also Kalam's native village, Dhanushkodi.

Kalam observes strict personal discipline, vegetarianism, teetotalism and celibacy. Kalam is a scholar of Thirukkural; in most of his speeches, he quotes at least one kural. Kalam has written several inspirational books, most notably his autobiography Wings of Fire, aimed at motivating Indian youth. Another of his books, Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life reveals his spiritual side. He has written poems in Tamil as well. It has been reported that there is considerable demand in South Korea for translated versions of books authored by him. [6].

Dr. Kalam received an honorary doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University.

[edit] Kalam as an engineer

Abdul Kalam graduated from Madras Institute of Technology majoring in Aeronautical Engineering. As the Project Director, he made significant contributions to the development of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III). As Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), he also played major part in developing many missiles of India including Agni and Prithvi. He was the Chief Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during this period, led by him.

[edit] Books

[edit] References

  1. ^ A Brief Biography of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
  2. ^ President of India : Rashtrapati Bhavan : Former Presidents
  3. ^ R. K. Pruthi.President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.Anmol Publications, 2002. ISBN-13: 978-8126113446; Ch. 4. Missile Man of Idia. pp. 61–76
  4. ^ Amartya Sen. India and the Bomb. Prisoners of the Nuclear Dream. M. V. Ramana and C. Rammanohar Reddy (editors), pp. 167–188. Sangam Book, 2003. ISBN-13: 978-8125024774
  5. ^ http://presidentofindia.nic.in/scripts/thepresident.jsp
  6. ^ "Kalam, the author catching on in South Korea".

[edit] External links

Preceded by
K R Narayanan
President of India
July 25, 2002-July 25, 2007
Succeeded by
Pratibha Patil