Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: His life in quotes!
Born in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu in 1931 came a person who would later on be referred to as the “Missile Man of India”. His uncountable service to the nation in fields of Science and Research and an uncompromising attitude towards the achievement of India’s Nuclear Program is something all India’s are proud. Dr. Kalam is seen as a source of inspiration, not just in India but all over the world.
A.P.J Abdul Kalam was an exceptional man adored by all people irrespective of their cultural differences. The whole nation grieved his death which indicated clearly, he transformed the whole nation particularly the juvenility by his visionary thoughts and personality. Some principles that we must learn from him are:
Submission: He attended all people equally even when he was the president he used to listen to people’s dilemmas on a daily basis and would always have a regular interaction with students whom he considered as the worthy assets of our society.
Divine tolerance: He was honest throughout his life and fought hard for nation’s unity and for maintaining a secular identity for India. Once when he was asked to ignite a lamp he said that “Lamp is a holy thing in Hinduism and candle which you gave me to ignite is a holy thing in Christianity and I am a Muslim, this is India”
Give More/Have Less: He was a great person, he gave his entire earnings to funds and NGO’s all over the country .It is believed that Dr.Kalam even gave away all his salary to the Government.
Humility: He was such a humble and selfless person he cared more for people than for himself. Once when asked why he didn’t get married he replied that “If he had married, he would have become a selfish person caring for his own family where as his family was the entire Indian Subcontinent” for whose empowerment, he worked Day-In & Day-Out.
Care for All: Once, the missile man rejected the suggestion to put broken glass on the wall of a building that needed protection because broken glass could be harmful to birds!
This happened when Dr Kalam was with the Defence Research and Development organization (DRDO) and his team was discussing options to secure the perimeter of a building that needed protection. Dr Kalam reportedly said: “If we do that, birds will not be able to perch on the wall. Think of something else.”
Uprightness: Once Dr Kalam went to Erode to attend a function sponsored by Sowbhagya wet grinders. On that occasion, they gave him a grinder as a gift. He refused to accept it but since he needed it, he insisted on paying for it. He then sent a person to the shop with a cheque for Rs 4,850 dated August 25, 2014. The Managing Director of the company was reluctant to receive money from Kalam and did not encash the cheque for over a month. A month later, they received a call from Kalam’s office asking why the cheque has not been deposited. Further, Kalam directed them to deposit the cheque to avoid returning the grinder. The company agreed to deposit it. But they did not want to let go of the treasure and decided to keep a copy of the cheque. They got it scanned and have framed it. The very next day they deposited the cheque and received a message from Kalam’s office thanking them for doing so.
Having known a bit about his life, it is time now to take you through some of Dr. Kalams most exceptional quotes, which act as food for thought and can be taken as lifelong lessons.
1.) If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.
2.) Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.
3.) Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me.
4.) Where do the evils like corruption arise from? It comes from the never-ending greed. The fight for corruption-free ethical society will have to be fought against this greed and replace it with ‘what can I give’ spirit.
5.) Real education enhances the dignity of a human being and increases his or her self-respect. If only the real sense of education could be realized by each individual and carried forward in every field of human activity, the world will be so much a better place to live in.
6.) Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world An example of such behavior depicted from Dr. Kalam’s life would be:
As the President, Dr. Kalam was entitled to invite any two people as the “Presidential Guests” to the Raj Bhavan of Kerala during his first visit to Trivandrum. He had spent a significant amount of time as a scientist in Trivandrum and guess who he called? a roadside cobbler who was quite close to Dr. Kalam during his time in Kerala; and an owner of a very small hotel where Dr. Kalam used to have his meals. This gesture was more than enough to show his level of simplicity!
7.) My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.
8.) Almost half of the population of the world lives in rural regions and mostly in a state of poverty. Such inequalities in human development have been one of the primary reasons for unrest and, in some parts of the world, even violence.
9.) The world has today 546 nuclear plants generating electricity. Their experience is being continuously researched, and feedback should be provided to all. Nuclear scientists have to interact with the people of the nation, and academic institutions continuously update nuclear power generation technology and safety.
10.) Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with foreign things? Is it a legacy of our colonial years? We want foreign television sets. We want foreign shirts. We want foreign technology. Why this obsession with everything imported?
11.) When I took over as president, I studied the Constitution, and the more I studied it, the more I realised that it does not prevent the president of India from giving the nation a vision. So when I went and presented this vision in Parliament and in legislative assemblies; everyone welcomed it, irrespective of party affiliations.
12.) One of the more difficult tasks for me as president was to decide on the issue of confirming capital punishment awarded by courts… to my surprise… almost all cases which were pending had a social and economic bias.
13.) When grand plans for scientific and defence technologies are made, do the people in power think about the sacrifices the people in the laboratories and fields have to make?
14.) It’s when children are 15, 16 or 17 that they decide whether they want to be a doctor, an engineer, a politician or go to the Mars or moon. That is the time they start having a dream, and that’s the time you can work on them. You can help them shape their dreams.
Dr.Kalam was always a person who went the extra mile to make sure he encouraged children in whatever way possible.
Quora user Naman Narain shared the below incident from his life.
“It was the year 2005 and I was braving the onslaught of class 6’s academic pressure.
I happened to come across a book recommended by my elder brother. It was ‘Wings of Fire’ by the missile man. A short and inspiring book. After completing it, I picked up my sketching pad. That book had Kalam’s face sketched on it. And my immediate inspiration was this sketch. Within half an hour, I had sketched the exact image and was proudly showing it off to my family. My mother got super excited (even more than me!) and asked me to mail it to the President. I didn’t take her seriously. In my defense, I sarcastically said ‘ya right, he is your father and he would be happy to get a sketch from his grandchild’ and walked away. BOOM-BOOM-BAM. 30 min later, I was trotting along my mother to post the sketch to the best address in this country: Rashtrapati Bhawan, Delhi. 20 days later, a letter from The President of India with my name on the envelope was delivered. A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA WITH MY NAME ON THE ENVELOPE WAS DELIVERED! Being on ‘cloud infinity’ is how I would define the feeling. Jumping and shouting I ran to my mother. Tears of joy started trickling down her face. I opened the prized-envelope with utmost care and took out a small note.
It said ‘Dear Naman Narain, Thank you for your nice drawing. With best wishes from, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’. It was personally written and signed by him!”
Source : https://www.quora.com
15.) If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.
16.) Science is global. Einstein’s equation, E=mc2, has to reach everywhere. Science is a beautiful gift to humanity, we should not distort it. Science does not differentiate between multiple races.
17.) Be a Universal Citizen, think for all, Care for All & Deliver for all.
A very inspiring example of this can be taken from Dr. Kalams working days.
When a teammate of President Kalam at DRDO couldn’t take his children to an exhibition due to workload, Kalam surprised him and took the children instead! During a significant project, the workload was high. One of the 70 scientists working on it asked him if he could leave at 5.30 pm that evening as he had promised to take his kids to an exhibition. Dr Kalam granted the permission. However, the scientist got busy with work only to realize that it was 8.30 pm. When he looked for his boss, he wasn’t there. Guilty for having disappointed his kids, he went back home only to find that his kids weren’t there. When he asked his wife where they were, she replied, “You don’t know? Your manager came here at 5.15 pm and took the children to the exhibition.”
Dr Kalam had been observing the scientist and he realized that he was too busy with the work and might forget to reach home at time. So, he decided to take the kids to the exhibition instead.
18.) Dream to fly but yearn to always remain grounded: From his Book, Wings Of Fire.
Another practical example of this, which can be deduced from Dr. Kalams life would be:
When he refused to sit on a chair reserved for him because it was bigger than the other chairs! Dr. Kalam was invited as the chief guest at the convocation ceremony at IIT, Varanasi. Five chairs were put on the stage, the middle one being for Kalam and the others for the university officials. When Dr. Kalam noticed that his chair was bigger in size than the others, he refused to sit on it and politely asked the vice-chancellor to sit instead. When the chancellor did not, another chair of the same size was made available for Dr. Kalam!
19.) The problem is not a problem long as you cannot find a solution to it.
This again is taken from his Book: Wings of Fire. Also, if another example had to be used to analyze this quote by the great president, it would be this:
When he was about to deliver a lecture to 400 students and the power went off, he took the matter in to his own hands.
When Dr. Kalam was about to deliver a lecture at a small school, the electricity went off. Instead of panicking or waiting for it to come back, he walked right in to the middle of the crowd pointing towards the students to surround him. He went on to deliver another inspiring lecture with his bare, powerful voice!
20.) Make your companions work hard, but do remember to acknowledge their hard work, to reward them and most importantly, to do double the amount of work they put in for you.
When he made sure Indian scientists got VIP treatment at the Paris airport. When some ISRO scientists were returning from Kourou, French Guiana, after overseeing the testing of INSAT-4B communications satellite, they did not expect what was to follow at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. After checking their passports, the airport officers continued to escort them. Confused, the scientists asked if there was any problem when the officer said they had orders to do so. A senior officer then asked them to access the VIP Lounge of the Airline as their flight was scheduled after three hours. When the scientists told them that they had economy tickets, the officer informed that president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was boarding a flight from the same terminal a few hours back, and had informed them that scientists from ISRO would be using their services as there is a satellite launch. He also requested them to take care of them. Amused, the scientists stayed in the lounge for those 3 hours and later left in their flight. In spite of his busy schedule, Dr Kalam remembered that there was a launch scheduled and that many scientists would be traveling to and from India to ensure a successful mission.
Source : gronow.files.wordpress.com