A.P.J Abdul Kalam
11th President of India
|In office |
July 25, 2002 – July 25, 2007
|Vice President||Bhairon Singh Shekhawat|
|Preceded by||K. R. Narayanan|
|Succeeded by||Pratibha Patil|
|Born||October 15, 1931 (1931-10-15)  |
Rameshwaram,Tamil Nadu, India
|Political party||Not affiliated|
|Spouse||Single; Never married|
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. 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. 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.
He has received honorary doctorates from as many as thirty universities . 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.
 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.
 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. .
Dr. Kalam received an honorary doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University.
 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.
- India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Y.S. Rajan (Penguin Books India, 2003) ISBN 0-14-027833-8
- India-my-dream by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Excel Books, 2004) ISBN 81-7446-350-X
- Envisioning an Empowered Nation: Technology for Societal Transformation by A.P.J.Abdul Kalam (TATA McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Ltd, 2004) ISBN 0-07-053154-4
- Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Arun K Tiwari, (Ocean Books, 2005) ISBN 81-88322-73-3
- Children Ask Kalam by A.P.J Abdul Kalam (Pearson Education) ISBN 81-7758-245-3
- Biographies and Autobiographies
- Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam by A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Arun Tiwari (Orient Longman, 1999) ISBN 81-7371-146-1
- Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Penguin Books, 2003) ISBN 0-14-302982-7
- Scientist to President by Abdul A.P.J. Kalam (Gyan Publishing House, 2003) ISBN 81-212-0807-6
- Eternal Quest: Life and Times of Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam by S. Chandra (Pentagon Publishers, 2002) ISBN 81-86830-55-3
- President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam by R. K. Pruthi (Anmol Publications, 2002) ISBN 81-261-1344-8
- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam: The Visionary of India' by K. Bhushan, G. Katyal (A.P.H. Pub. Corp, 2002) ISBN 81-7648-380-X
- kalAM mEShTru, ಕಲಾಂ ಮೇಷ್ಟ್ರು. : The Life sketch of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam : A Story of, President , Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, as told to the Children of India, with interesting anecdotes, and Photos, in Kannada Language, By Prof. Shri. H. R. Ramakrishna Rao, Published by the Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara, Bengaluru, Karnataka. ISBN : 81-7713-199-0, 1,000 Copies.
- ^ A Brief Biography of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
- ^ President of India : Rashtrapati Bhavan : Former Presidents
- ^ 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
- ^ 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
- ^ http://presidentofindia.nic.in/scripts/thepresident.jsp
- ^ "Kalam, the author catching on in South Korea".
 External links
- Abdul Kalam's website
- Website Dedicated to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
- Archived Website of Dr APJ AbdulKalam - Former President of India
- Rediff Page
- Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam's Biography
- Abdul Kalam TAMIL Speech
- BBC News article on his election
- Frontline article on the Presidential Race and Kalam's election
- Review of "Wings of Fire" - Kalam's autobiography
- President Abdul Kalam's sortie in a SU-30MKI, journey in a submarine and the visit to Siachin battle field @ IBNlive.com
- Abdul Kalam - One Hundred Tamils of 20th Century
- I have three visions for India - Kalam's famous speech that is still passed by chain emails
- Kalam's famous "Nobility in Leadership" Speech in Online Video
- Link to the Audiobook - Wings of fire
|Preceded by |
K R Narayanan
|President of India |
July 25, 2002-July 25, 2007
|Succeeded by |