Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM
Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdin Abdul Kalam served as the 11th president of India
from the period 2002 to 2007. He is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas
aimed at the development of the country and is often also referred to as the Missile
Man of India. People loved and respected Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM so much during his
tenure as President that was popularly called the people’s President.
Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 at Rameswaram, Dhanushkodi,
in the state of Tamil Nadu, to a middle class Tamil Muslim family. He got his degree
in “aeronautical engineering” from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1958. After
graduation, he joined India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)
to work on a hovercraft project. In 1962, Dr. Abdul Kalam moved to the Indian Space
Research Organization (ISRO), where he done more successful jobs and most important
that his team launched several satellites successfully. He made a significant contribution
as Project Director to develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle
(SLV-III). Something of Kalam’s probable views on certain can be surmised from positions
espoused by him in the past. His book India 2020 strongly advocates an action plan
to develop India into a knowledge superpower and into a developed view that India
ought to take a more assertive stance in international relations; he apparently
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 programmed for developing
bio-implants. He is a supporter of pen 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 has been the subject of vicious
criticism from leftists in the Indian press, praful Bidwai being among his staunchest
critics. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam regards his work on India’s nuclear weapons program
as a way to assert India’s place as a future superpower. Even during his tenure
as president, APJ Kalam took avid interest in the spheres of India’s science and
technology. He has even put forward a project plan for establishing bio-implants.
He is also an ardent advocate of open source software over proprietary solutions
to churn out more profits in the field of information technology in India.
Kalam observes strict personal discipline, practicing vegetarianism, teetotalism
and celibacy. Kalam is scholar of Tirukkual, 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.