Greats are not born every day; they are born once in a century and are remembered for millennials to come. One such great, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, was born in Rameswaram of Madras Presidency on 15th October 1931 to a poor Tamil Muslim family. He lived with his family in the temple city of Tamilnadu, Rameswaram, where his father, Jainulabdeen, had a boat and was an imam of a local mosque. At the same time, his mother, Ashiamma, was a housewife. Kalam had four brothers and one sister in his family, from which he was the youngest. Kalam's ancestors were wealthy traders and landowners and had vast land and property tracts. But with time, their business of ferrying pilgrims and trading groceries suffered huge losses due to the Pamban Bridge's opening. As a result, Kalam's family had become inadequate and struggled hard to make a living. At a tender age, Kalam had to sell newspapers to supplement his family income.
Although Kalam had average grades in school, he was very hard working and had an immense desire to learn. He spent a lot of time studying and had developed a particular interest in mathematics. Kalam left Schwartz higher secondary school after completing his early education and went to Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli. From Saint Joseph's College, he graduated in physics in 1954. He moved on to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology.
Kalam joined as a scientist in the aeronautical development establishment of DRDO in 1960, after graduation. His career started with him designing a small hovercraft. However, he was not convinced by his choice of a job at the DRDO. Kalam was transferred to ISRO in 1969, where e was the project director of India's first satellite vehicle launch. The satellite vehicle deployed the Rohini satellite successfully near-earth orbit in July 1980. Kalam received the Government's LV and Slv projects between the 1970s-90s. He directed two projects like project Devil and Project Valiant, which aimed at developing ballistic missiles from the successful SLV program's technology Kalam somehow convinced Indira Gandhi and sought secret funds for these aerospace projects. His research and immense knowledge brought him and the nation great laurels in the 1980s.
Kalam then went on to become the scientific advisor of the defence minister in 1992 and served at the same post for five years before getting promoted to the post of principal scientific advisor to the government. His immense role in the country's 1998 nuclear weapons tests solidified India as a nuclear power. Kamal had now become a national hero, to be remembered for ages to come. However, the tests he conducted caused a huge uproar in the international community. Kamal put forward a nationwide plan called Technology Vision 2020, which according to him, was a fantastic way for transforming the stature of India in 20 years, taking it from a developing to a developed nation. The plan envisioned the progress of the nation by adopting advanced technology, expanding healthcare facilities, and emphasizing the education of the masses.
As we know, everyone who takes birth on the Earth has to die one day. But some people remain immortal in the heart of millions of people because of their contribution to the county. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was one such personality who died at 83. It was shocking news for the entire country as a pure soul left us forever. Abdul Kalam while delivering a speech for the youth in an event at IIM Shillong. During the middle of the speech, he suffered from a cardiac arrest and collapsed. Although he got admitted to the best hospital in Shillong, the doctors could not save him.
Then his body was airlifted to Gugati, and from there, it was taken to New Delhi in an Airforce plane. Their PresidentPresident, vice president, and some other leaders prayed for his soul. His body was then covered in the Indian National flag and brought to his hometown. About 35000 people attended his funeral event and prayed for such a great soul.
Dr. Abdul Kalam was a person who was not only a great political leader but also a good teacher and a writer. He had many delicate qualities and visionaries. He always had an excellent dream for the country's development and realized that the youth can bring revolution. During his university career, he inspired many of the students through his inspirational speech and tremendous visionaries. Apart from this, Dr. Kalam was a great writer. He had written several books, which are mainly meant for the nation's empowerment. His creation of India 2020 was like a gift for us, and he had all the strategies to make India as Superpower. In this book, he had primarily focused on some factors like food and development in the Agriculture sector, improved health care facilities, advanced information and communication system, good infrastructure, sufficiency in electricity production, Self-reliance in some advanced technologies.
Abdul Kalam was the person of golden heart who has received ample awards and achieved many things during his life journey. In 1981 Abdul kalam received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award. In 1990 he received the Padma Bhushan award. The renowned personality, because of his tremendous effort towards the nation, received the Bharat Ratna in 1997. In the same year, he was awarded the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. The government of India awarded Kalam with the Veer Savarkar award in 1998. Because of his contribution to arts, science, and technology, he received the SASTRA Ramanujan prize in 2000. Finally, in the year 2013, the eminent personality was bestowed with the Von Braun Award by the National Space Society.
Although the life of Abdul Kalam was filled with struggles and hardships, he rose above the adversaries to become one of the greatest scientists of modern India. His role in nation-building will be remembered till posterity.
1. Why is Abdul kalam known as the Missile man of India?
Being the largest democratic country globally, India did not have the right image in front of the world. As our country did not have any ballistic missiles or nuclear missiles, it was like a weaker country.
Abdul Kalam had a different thought in his mind, and he was the only person who tried to bring revolution to the country through modern and advanced defence power. As a scientist, he encouraged other scientists of ISRO and DRDO and developed some powerful ballistic missiles with indigenous technology. E also talked with the prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, and arranged some secret funds, which was very much useful for running such crucial projects. However, Kalam was first tied to empower India and created a strong image in front of the world. So Kalam is famous as the Missile man of India.
2. How Abdul Kalam became the President of India?
As a professor, Kalam used to spend some happy moments with students and other professors at Anna University. He loved teaching students something interesting with tremendous enthusiasm. Although the classroom's strength was sixty every day, around 350 youths gathered in his classroom to listen to a great professor's inspiring lecture. There was nothing unusual with that; he only used to understand a dynamic youth's mind and expressed his emotions through lectures. He used to emphasize his vision of modernizing the country and social transformation. He was assigned to teach ten lessons to the postgraduate students, and in the ninth lecture, he gave the example of several case studies. This was the most crucial period of his political career. The university's VC informed that he was receiving many calls, and many of the people wanted to talk.
Then he received a call from the Prime minister of India, and he was shocked to listen to the news that many of the party leaders and the nation want him as the President of India. He did not control his emotion during that time as many pictures came to his mind like he was teaching inside the classroom and addressing inside the Parliament. This news became viral Abdul Kalam as a presidential candidate. Finally, Abdul Kalam won the presidential election and became the PresidentPresident of India's largest democratic country.
3. Why Abdul Kalam is renowned as the Youth Icon?
Dr. Abdul Kalam was the person who brought a revolution in the country in the field of Science, technology, aerospace, and Missile technology. He was the person who witnessed the nuclear test of India twice. He played a crucial role in the advancement of DRDO and ISRO. He was also on the advisory committee of the Defence minister. Coming from a low-income family, he had shown his mission and visionaries for the country's modernization. He also became the PresidentPresident of the country once and presented his thoughts and developed many indigenous ballistic missiles. Besides this, he was like an inspiration among youth and changed many students' motto as a professor. People are mad to listen to his inspirational words. All these god gifted qualities made him a youth icon.