A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
|11th President of India|
25 July 2002 –25 July 2007
|Prime Minister|| Atal Bihari Vajpayee |
|Vice President|| Krishan Kant |
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
|Preceded by||K. R. Narayanan|
|Succeeded by||Pratibha Patil|
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam
15 October 1931
Rameswaram, Madras Presidency, British India
(now in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India)
|Died||27 July 2015 83) (aged|
Shillong, Meghalaya, India
|Cause of death||Cardiac Arrest|
|Alma mater|| St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli |
Madras Institute of Technology
Hoover Medal (2009)
NSS Von Braun Award (2013)
|Notable work(s)||Wings of Fire , India 2020 , Ignited Minds , Indomitable Spirit , Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji|
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam ( /
Indians are the nationals or citizens of India, the second most populous nation in the world, containing 17.50% of the world's population. "Indian" refers to nationality, rather than a particular ethnicity or language; the Indian nationality consists of dozens of regional ethno-linguistic groups, reflecting the rich and complex history of the country. Due to emigration, the Indian diaspora is present throughout the world, notably in other parts of Asia and North America.
The President of India is the ceremonial head of state of India and the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
Rameswaram, is a town and a second grade municipality in the Ramanathapuram district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is on Pamban Island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is about 40 kilometres from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. It is in the Gulf of Mannar, at the tip of the Indian peninsula. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is connected to mainland India by the Pamban Bridge. Rameswaram is the terminus of the railway line from Chennai and Madurai. Together with Varanasi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimage.
Kalam was elected as the 11th President of India in 2002 with the support of both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the then-opposition Indian National Congress. Widely referred to as the "People's President",he returned to his civilian life of education, writing and public service after a single term. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is one of the two major political parties in India, along with the Indian National Congress. As of 2018, it is the country's largest political party in terms of representation in the national parliament and state assemblies, and it is the world's largest party in terms of primary membership. BJP is a right-wing party, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu-nationalist positions. It has close ideological and organisational links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
The Indian National Congress(
The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted in 1954, the award is conferred "in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. The award was originally limited to achievements in the arts, literature, science, and public services, but the government expanded the criteria to include "any field of human endeavour" in December 2011. The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President, with a maximum of three nominees being awarded per year. Recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion; there is no monetary grant associated with the award. Bharat Ratna recipients rank seventh in the Indian order of precedence.
While delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Kalam collapsed and died from an apparent cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, aged 83.Thousands including national-level dignitaries attended the funeral ceremony held in his hometown of Rameshwaram, where he was buried with full state honours.
Indian Institute of Management Shillong, formerly Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management Shillong (RGIIM), is a public, fully autonomous management institute in the city of Shillong, Meghalaya. It was the seventh Indian Institute of Management to be established in India.
A 21-gun salute is the most commonly recognized of the customary gun salutes that are performed by the firing of cannons or artillery as a military honor.
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family in the pilgrimage centre of Rameswaram on Pamban Island, then in the Madras Presidency and now in the State of Tamil Nadu. His father Jainulabdeen was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque;his mother Ashiamma was a housewife. His father owned a ferry that took Hindu pilgrims back and forth between Rameswaram and the now uninhabited Dhanushkodi. Kalam was the youngest of four brothers and one sister in his family. His ancestors had been wealthy traders and landowners, with numerous properties and large tracts of land. Their business had involved trading groceries between the mainland and the island and to and from Sri Lanka, as well as ferrying pilgrims between the mainland and Pamban. As a result, the family acquired the title of "Mara Kalam Iyakkivar" (wooden boat steerers), which over the years became shortened to "Marakier." With the opening of the Pamban Bridge to the mainland in 1914, however, the businesses failed and the family fortune and properties were lost over time, apart from the ancestral home. By his early childhood, Kalam's family had become poor; at an early age, he sold newspapers to supplement his family's income.
Tamil Muslims are Tamils who practise Islam. The community is almost 4 million strong in India, primarily in the state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil-speaking Muslims in Sri Lanka are classified as Moors due to independent lineage.
Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is an island located between peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The island is a part of India and forms the Rameswaram taluk of the Ramanathapuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is the largest island in Tamil Nadu by area. The principal town in the island is the pilgrimage centre of Rameswaram.
The Madras Presidency, or the Presidency of Fort St. George, and also known as Madras Province, was an administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India. At its greatest extent, the presidency included most of southern India, including the whole of the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and parts of Odisha, Kerala, Karnataka and the union territory of Lakshadweep. The city of Madras was the winter capital of the Presidency and Ootacamund or Ooty, the summer capital. The island of Ceylon was a part of Madras Presidency from 1793 to 1798 when it was created a Crown colony. Madras Presidency was neighboured by the Kingdom of Mysore on the northwest, Kingdom of Kochi on the southwest, and the Kingdom of Hyderabad on the north. Some parts of the presidency were also flanked by Bombay Presidency.
In his school years, Kalam had average grades but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn. He spent hours on his studies, especially mathematics.After completing his education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram, Kalam went on to attend Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli, then affiliated with the University of Madras, from where he graduated in physics in 1954. He moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering in Madras Institute of Technology. While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with his lack of progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. Kalam met the deadline, impressing the Dean, who later said to him, "I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline". He narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the IAF.
University of Madras is a public state university in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Established in 1857, it is one of the oldest universities in India. The university was incorporated by an act of the Legislative Council of India.
Physics is the natural science that studies matter and its motion and behavior through space and time and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.
Chennai is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic and educational centre of south India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city together with the adjoining regions constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked the 43rd most visited city in the world for the year 2015. The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India. Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists. As such, it is termed "India's health capital". As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Chennai confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.
After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (by Press Information Bureau, Government of India) as a scientist after becoming a member of the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS). He started his career by designing a small hovercraft, but remained unconvinced by his choice of a job at DRDO.Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980; Kalam had first started work on an expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965. In 1969, Kalam received the government's approval and expanded the programme to include more engineers.
The Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) is an engineering institute located in Chromepet, Chennai (Madras), India. It is one of the four autonomous constituent colleges of Anna University It was established in 1949 by Chinnaswami Rajam as the first self-financing engineering institute in the country, and later it merged with Anna University. The institute was at that time an experiment in technical education, for it introduced to India new areas of specialization: aeronautical engineering, automobile engineering, electronics engineering and instrumentation technology. MIT was the first self-financing college opened in India.
Aeronautical Development Establishment is a laboratory of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Located in Bangalore, its primary function is research and development in the field of military aviation.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Government of India, charged with the military's research and development, headquartered in New Delhi, India. It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production with the Defence Science Organisation. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
In 1963 to 1964, he visited NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia; Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; and Wallops Flight Facility.Between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be successful.
Kalam was invited by Raja Ramanna to witness the country's first nuclear test Smiling Buddha as the representative of TBRL, even though he had not participated in its development. In the 1970s, Kalam also directed two projects, Project Devil and Project Valiant , which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme. ₹388 crores for the mission, named Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and appointed Kalam as the chief executive. Kalam played a major part in developing many missiles under the mission including Agni, an intermediate range ballistic missile and Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-surface missile, although the projects have been criticised for mismanagement and cost and time overruns.Despite the disapproval of the Union Cabinet, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi allotted secret funds for these aerospace projects through her discretionary powers under Kalam's directorship. Kalam played an integral role convincing the Union Cabinet to conceal the true nature of these classified aerospace projects. His research and educational leadership brought him great laurels and prestige in the 1980s, which prompted the government to initiate an advanced missile programme under his directorship. Kalam and Dr V S Arunachalam, metallurgist and scientific adviser to the Defence Minister, worked on the suggestion by the then Defence Minister, R. Venkataraman on a proposal for simultaneous development of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one after another. R Venkatraman was instrumental in getting the cabinet approval for allocating
Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999. The Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during this period in which he played an intensive political and technological role. Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator, along with Rajagopala Chidambaram, during the testing phase.Media coverage of Kalam during this period made him the country's best known nuclear scientist. However, the director of the site test, K Santhanam, said that the thermonuclear bomb had been a "fizzle" and criticisied Kalam for issuing an incorrect report. Both Kalam and Chidambaram dismissed the claims.
In 1998, along with cardiologist Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent, named the "Kalam-Raju Stent".In 2012, the duo designed a rugged tablet computer for health care in rural areas, which was named the "Kalam-Raju Tablet".
Kalam served as the 11th President of India, succeeding K. R. Narayanan. He won the 2002 presidential election with an electoral vote of 922,884, surpassing the 107,366 votes won by Lakshmi Sahgal. His term lasted from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007.
On 10 June 2002, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which was in power at the time, expressed that they would nominate Kalam for the post of President,and both the Samajwadi Party and the Nationalist Congress Party backed his candidacy. After the Samajwadi Party announced its support for Kalam, Narayanan chose not to seek a second term in office, leaving the field clear. Kalam said of the announcement of his candidature:
I am really overwhelmed. Everywhere both in Internet and in other media, I have been asked for a message. I was thinking what message I can give to the people of the country at this juncture.
On 18 June, Kalam filed his nomination papers in the Indian Parliament, accompanied by Vajpayee and his senior Cabinet colleagues.
The polling for the presidential election began on 15 July 2002 in Parliament and the state assemblies, with the media claiming that the election was a one-sided affair and Kalam's victory was a foregone conclusion; the count was held on 18 July.Kalam became the 11th president of the Republic of India in an easy victory, and moved into the Rashtrapati Bhavan after he was sworn in on 25 July. Kalam was the third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, before becoming the President. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1954) and Dr Zakir Hussain (1963) were the earlier recipients of Bharat Ratna who later became the President of India. He was also the first scientist and the first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati Bhawan.
During his term as president, he was affectionately known as the People's President,saying that signing the Office of Profit Bill was the toughest decision he had taken during his tenure. Kalam was criticised for his inaction in deciding the fate of 20 out of the 21 mercy petitions submitted to him during his tenure. Article 72 of the Constitution of India empowers the President of India to grant pardons, and suspend or commute the death sentence of convicts on death row. Kalam acted on only one mercy plea in his five-year tenure as president, rejecting the plea of rapist Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was later hanged. Perhaps the most notable plea was from Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri terrorist who was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India in 2004. While the sentence was scheduled to be carried out on 20 October 2006, the pending action on his mercy plea resulted in him remaining on death row. He also took the controversial decision to impose President's Rule in Bihar in 2005.
In September 2003, in an interactive session in PGI Chandigarh, Kalam supported the need of Uniform Civil Code in India, keeping in view the population of the country.
At the end of his term, on 20 June 2007, Kalam expressed his willingness to consider a second term in office provided there was certainty about his victory in the 2007 presidential election.However, two days later, he decided not to contest the Presidential election again stating that he wanted to avoid involving Rashtrapati Bhavan from any political processes. He did not have the support of the left parties, Shiv Sena and UPA constituents, to receive a renewed mandate.
Nearing the expiry of the term of the 12th President Pratibha Patil on 24 July 2012, media reports in April claimed that Kalam was likely to be nominated for his second term.After the reports, social networking sites witnessed a number of people supporting his candidature. The BJP potentially backed his nomination, saying that the party would lend their support if the Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Indian National Congress proposed him for the 2012 presidential election. A month ahead of the election, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee also expressed their support for Kalam. Days afterwards, Mulayam Singh Yadav backed out, leaving Mamata Banerjee as the solitary supporter. On 18 June 2012, Kalam declined to contest the 2012 presidential poll. He said of his decision not to do so:
Many, many citizens have also expressed the same wish. It only reflects their love and affection for me and the aspiration of the people. I am really overwhelmed by this support. This being their wish, I respect it. I want to thank them for the trust they have in me.
After leaving office, Kalam became a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the Indian Institute of Management Indore; an honorary fellow of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore;chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram; professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University; and an adjunct at many other academic and research institutions across India. He taught information technology at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, and technology at Banaras Hindu University and Anna University.
In May 2012, Kalam launched a programme for the youth of India called the What Can I Give Movement, with a central theme of defeating corruption.
In 2011, Kalam was criticised by civil groups over his stand on the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant; he supported the establishment of the nuclear power plant and was accused of not speaking with the local people.The protesters were hostile to his visit as they saw him as a pro-nuclear scientist and were unimpressed by the assurances he provided regarding the safety features of the plant.
On 27 July 2015, Kalam travelled to Shillong to deliver a lecture on "Creating a Livable Planet Earth" at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong. While climbing a flight of stairs, he experienced some discomfort, but was able to enter the auditorium after a brief rest. p.m. IST, only five minutes into his lecture, he collapsed. He was rushed to the nearby Bethany Hospital in a critical condition; upon arrival, he lacked a pulse or any other signs of life. Despite being placed in the intensive care unit, Kalam was confirmed dead of a sudden cardiac arrest at 7:45 p.m IST. His last words, to his aide Srijan Pal Singh, were reportedly: "Funny guy! Are you doing well?"At around 6:35
Following his death, Kalam's body was airlifted in an Indian Air Force helicopter from Shillong to Guwahati, from where it was flown to New Delhi on the morning of 28 July in an air force C-130J Hercules. The flight landed at Palam Air Base that afternoon and was received by the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, and the three service chiefs of the Indian Armed Forces, who laid wreaths on Kalam's body.His body was then placed on a gun carriage draped with the Indian flag and taken to his Delhi residence at 10 Rajaji Marg; there, the public and numerous dignitaries paid homage, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
On the morning of 29 July, Kalam's body, wrapped in the Indian flag, was taken to Palam Air Base and flown to Madurai in an air force C-130J aircraft, arriving at Madurai Airport that afternoon. His body was received at the airport by the three service chiefs and national and state dignitaries, including cabinet ministers Manohar Parrikar, Venkaiah Naidu, Pon Radhakrishnan and the governors of Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya, K Rosaiah and V. Shanmuganathan. After a brief ceremony, Kalam's body was flown by air force helicopter to the town of Mandapam, from where it was taken in an army truck to his hometown of Rameswaram. Upon arriving at Rameswaram, his body was displayed in an open area in front of the local bus station to allow the public to pay their final respects until 8 p.m. that evening.
On 30 July 2015, the former president was laid to rest at Rameswaram's Pei Karumbu Ground with full state honours. Over 350,000 people attended the last rites, including the Prime Minister, the governor of Tamil Nadu and the chief ministers of Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
India reacted to Kalam's death with an outpouring of grief; numerous tributes were paid to the former president across the nation and on social media.The Government of India declared a seven-day state mourning period as a mark of respect. President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and other leaders condoled the former President's demise. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "[Kalam's] death is a great loss to the scientific community. He took India to great heights. He showed the way." Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who had served as prime minister under Kalam, said, "our country has lost a great human being who made phenomenal contributions to the promotion of self reliance in defence technologies. I worked very closely with Dr. Kalam as prime minister and I greatly benefited from his advice as president of our country. His life and work will be remembered for generations to come." ISRO chairman A. S. Kiran Kumar called his former colleague "a great personality and a gentleman", while former chairman G. Madhavan Nair described Kalam as "a global leader" for whom "the downtrodden and poor people were his priority. He always had a passion to convey what is in his mind to the young generation", adding that his death left a vacuum which none could fill.
South Asian leaders expressed condolences and lauded the late statesman. The Bhutanese government ordered the country's flags to fly at half-staff to mourn Kalam's death, and lit 1000 butter lamps in homage. Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay expressed deep sadness, saying Kalam "was a leader greatly admired by all people, especially the youth of India who have referred to him as the people's President".Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina described Kalam as "a rare combination of a great statesman, acclaimed scientist, and a source of inspiration to the young generation of South Asia" and termed his death an "irreparable loss to India and beyond". Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief Khaleda Zia said "as a nuclear scientist, he engaged himself in the welfare of the people". Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan, called Kalam "an inspirational figure to millions of people," noting that "we have a lot to learn from his life". Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala recalled Kalam's scientific contributions to India: "Nepal has lost a good friend and I have lost an honoured and ideal personality." The President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, and Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif also expressed their grief and condolences on his death. The President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, also expressed his condolences. "Dr. Kalam was a man of firm conviction and indomitable spirit, and I saw him as an outstanding statesman of the world. His death is an irreparable loss not only to India but to the entire world." Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen and Vice-President Ahmed Adheeb condoled Kalam's death, with Yameen naming him as a close friend of the Maldives who would continue to be an inspiration to Indians and generations of South Asians. Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had made an official visit to India during Kalam's presidency, termed his demise as a great loss to all of humankind. The Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, expressed condolences on behalf of the Myanmar government. The Dalai Lama expressed his sadness and offered condolences and prayers, calling Kalam's death "an irreparable loss".
Kathleen Wynne, the Premier of Ontario, which Kalam had visited on numerous occasions, expressed "deepest condolences ... as a respected scientist, he played a critical role in the development of the Indian space programme. As a committed educator, he inspired millions of young people to achieve their very best. And as a devoted leader, he gained support both at home and abroad, becoming known as 'the people's President'. I join our Indo–Canadian families, friends, and neighbours in mourning the passing of this respected leader."United States President Barack Obama extended "deepest condolences to the people of India on the passing of former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam", and highlighted his achievements as a scientist and as a statesman, notably his role in strengthening US–India relations and increasing space co-operation between the two nations. "Suitably named 'the People's President', Dr. Kalam's humility and dedication to public service served as an inspiration to millions of Indians and admirers around the world." Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed sincere condolences and conveyed his sympathy and support "to the near and dear ones of the deceased leader, to the government, and entire people of India". He remarked on Kalam's outstanding "personal contribution to the social, economic, scientific, and technical progress of India and in ensuring its national security," adding that Kalam would be remembered as a "consistent exponent of closer friendly relations between our nations, who has done a lot for cementing mutually beneficial Russian–Indian cooperation." Other international leaders—including former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum—also paid tribute to Kalam. In a special gesture, Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon visited the Permanent Mission of India to the UN and signed a condolence book. "The outpouring of grief around the world is a testament of the respect and inspiration he has garnered during and after his presidency. The UN joins the people of India in sending our deepest condolences for this great statesman. May he rest in peace and eternity", Ban wrote in his message.
The Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorialwas built in memory of Kalam by the DRDO in Pei Karumbu, in the island town of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. It was inaugurated Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2017. On display are the replicas of rockets and missiles with which Kalam had worked with. Acrylic paintings about his life are also displayed along with hundreds of portraits depicting the life of the mass leader. There is a statue of Kalam in the entrance showing him playing the Veena. There are two other smaller statues of the leader in sitting and standing posture.
Kalam was the youngest of five siblings, the eldest of whom was a sister, Asim Zohra (d. 1997), followed by three elder brothers: Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraikayar (born 4 November 1916),Mustafa Kalam (d. 1999) and Kasim Mohammed (d. 1995). He was extremely close to his elder siblings and their extended families throughout his life, and would regularly send small sums of money to his older relations, himself remaining a lifelong bachelor.
Kalam was noted for his integrity and his simple lifestyle.He never owned a television, and was in the habit of rising at 6:30 or 7 a.m and sleeping by 2 a.m. His few personal possessions included his books, his veena, some articles of clothing, a CD player and a laptop; at his death, he left no will, and his possessions went to his eldest brother, who survived him.
In the 2011 Hindi film I Am Kalam , Kalam is portrayed as a positive influence on a poor but bright Rajasthani boy named Chhotu, who renames himself Kalam in honour of his idol.
Religion and spirituality were very important to Kalam throughout his life.In fact, he made his own spiritual journey the subject of his final book, Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji .
A proud and practising Muslim, daily namāz and fasting during Ramadan were integral to Kalam's life.His father, the imam of a mosque in his hometown of Rameswaram, had strictly instilled these Islamic customs in his children. His father had also impressed upon the young Kalam the value of interfaith respect and dialogue. As Kalam recalled: "Every evening, my father A.P. Jainulabdeen, an imam, Pakshi Lakshmana Sastry, the head priest of the Ramanathaswamy Hindu temple, and a church priest used to sit with hot tea and discuss the issues concerning the island." Such early exposure convinced Kalam that the answers to India's multitudinous issues lay in "dialogue and cooperation" among the country's religious, social, and political leaders. Moreover, since Kalam believed that "respect for other faiths" was one of the key cornerstones of Islam, he was fond of saying: "For great men, religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool."
One component of Kalam's widespread popularity among diverse groups in India, and an enduring aspect of his legacy, is the syncretism he embodied in appreciating various elements of the many spiritual and cultural traditions of India.In addition to his faith in the Koran and Islamic practice, Kalam was well-versed in Hindu traditions; he learnt Sanskrit, read the Bhagavad Gita and he was a vegetarian. Kalam also enjoyed writing Tamil poetry, playing the veena (a South Indian string instrument), and listening to Carnatic devotional music every day. In 2002, in one of his early speeches to Parliament after becoming President, he reiterated his desire for a more united India, stating that "[d]uring the last one year I met a number of spiritual leaders of all religions ... [and] I would like to endeavour to work for bringing about unity of minds among the divergent traditions of our country". Describing Kalam as a unifier of diverse traditions, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor stated, "Kalam was a complete Indian, an embodiment of the eclecticism of India's heritage of diversity". BJP leader L. K. Advani concurred that Kalam was "the best exemplar of the Idea of India, one who embodied the best of all the cultural and spiritual traditions that signify India's unity in immense diversity. This was most strikingly evident in the second-to-last book he published, presciently titled Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swami ".
Kalam's desire to meet spiritual leaders to help create a more prosperous, spiritual, and unified India was what initially led him to meet Pramukh Swami, the Hindu guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sampradaya, who Kalam would come to consider his ultimate spiritual teacher and guru.The first of eight meetings between Kalam and Pramukh Swami over a fourteen-year period took place on 30 June 2001 in New Delhi, during which Kalam described being immediately drawn to Pramukh Swami's simplicity and spiritual purity. Kalam stated that he was inspired by Pramukh Swami throughout their numerous interactions. One such incident occurred the day following the terrorist attack on BAPS' Akshardham, Gandhinagar complex in September 2002; Pramukh Swami prayed for, and sprinkled holy water upon, the sites of all of the deceased, including the terrorists, demonstrating the view that all human life is sacred. Kalam recalled being moved by Pramukh Swami's equanimity and compassion, citing this incident as one of his motivations for writing Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji . Summarising the effect that Pramukh Swami had on him, Kalam stated that "[Pramukh Swami] has indeed transformed me. He is the ultimate stage of the spiritual ascent in my life ... Pramukh Swamiji has put me in a God-synchronous orbit. No manoeuvres are required any more, as I am placed in my final position in eternity." Following Kalam's death a month after his final book was released, co-author Arun Tiwari pointed to this passage as potentially prophetic and premonitory of Kalam's death.
In his book India 2020, Kalam strongly advocated an action plan to develop India into a "knowledge superpower" and a developed nation by the year 2020. He regarded his work on India's nuclear weapons programme as a way to assert India's place as a future superpower.
I have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action: (1) agriculture and food processing; (2) education and healthcare; (3) information and communication technology; (4) infrastructure, reliable and quality electric power, surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country; and (5) self-reliance in critical technologies. These five areas are closely inter-related and if advanced in a coordinated way, will lead to food, economic and national security.
Kalam describes a "transformative moment" in his life when he asked Pramukh Swami, the guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sampradaya, how India might realise this five-pronged vision of development. Pramukh Swami's answer—to add a sixth area developing faith in God and spirituality to overcome the current climate of crime and corruption—became the spiritual vision for the next 15 years Kalam's life, which he describes in his final book, Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji, published just a month before his death.
It was reported that there was considerable demand in South Korea for translated versions of books authored by him.
Kalam took an active interest in other developments in the field of science and technology, including a research programme for developing biomedical implants. He also supported open source technology over proprietary software, predicting that the use of free software on a large scale would bring the benefits of information technology to more people.
Kalam set a target of interacting with 100,000 students during the two years after his resignation from the post of scientific adviser in 1999.He explained, "I feel comfortable in the company of young people, particularly high school students. Henceforth, I intend to share with them experiences, helping them to ignite their imagination and preparing them to work for a developed India for which the road map is already available." His dream is to let every student to light up the sky with victory using their latent fire in the heart.
Kalam received 7 honorary doctorates from 40 universities.The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government. In 1997, Kalam received India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, for his contribution to the scientific research and modernisation of defence technology in India. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Von Braun Award from the National Space Society "to recognize excellence in the management and leadership of a space-related project".
In 2012, Kalam was ranked number 2 in Outlook India's poll of the Greatest Indian .
Following his death, Kalam received numerous tributes. The Tamil Nadu state government announced that his birthday, 15 October, would be observed across the state as "Youth Renaissance Day;" the state government further instituted the "Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award," constituting an 8-gram gold medal, a certificate and ₹500,000 (US$7,000). The award will be awarded annually on Independence Day, beginning in 2015, to residents of the state with achievements in promoting scientific growth, the humanities or the welfare of students.
On the anniversary of Kalam's birth in 2015 the CBSE set topics on his name in the CBSE expression series.
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, ceremonially released postage stamps commemorating Kalam at DRDO Bhawan in New Delhi on 15 October 2015, the 84th anniversary of Kalam's birth.
Researchers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), had discovered a new bacterium on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Several educational and scientific institutions and other locations were renamed or named in honour of Kalam following his death.
Wheeler Island, a national missile test site in Odisha, was renamed Abdul Kalam Island in September 2015.
A prominent road in New Delhi was renamed from Aurangzeb Road to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Roadin August 2015.
In February 2018, scientists from the Botanical Survey of India named a newly found plant species as Drypetes kalamii, in his honour.
|Year of award or honour||Name of award or honour||Awarding organisation|
|2014||Doctor of Science||Edinburgh University, UK|
|2013||Von Braun Award||National Space Society|
|2012||Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa)||Simon Fraser University|
|2011||IEEE Honorary Membership||IEEE|
|2010||Doctor of Engineering||University of Waterloo|
|2009||Honorary Doctorate||Oakland University|
|2009||Hoover Medal||ASME Foundation, USA|
|2009||International von Kármán Wings Award||California Institute of Technology, USA|
|2008||Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa)||Nanyang Technological University, Singapore|
|2008||Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa)||Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh|
|2007||Honorary Doctorate of Science and Technology||Carnegie Mellon University|
|2007||King Charles II Medal||Royal Society, UK|
|2007||Honorary Doctorate of Science||University of Wolverhampton, UK|
|2000||Ramanujan Award||Alwars Research Centre, Chennai|
|1998||Veer Savarkar Award||Government of India|
|1997||Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration||Indian National Congress|
|1997||Bharat Ratna||Government of India|
|1995||Honorary Fellow||National Academy of Medical Sciences,|
|1994||Distinguished Fellow||Institute of Directors (India)|
|1990||Padma Vibhushan||Government of India|
|1981||Padma Bhushan||Government of India|
In the 2011 Hindi film I Am Kalam , Kalam is portrayed as a positive influence on a poor but bright Rajasthani boy named Chhotu, who renames himself Kalam in honour of his idol.
Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is a Hindu temple, and a spiritual-cultural campus in Delhi, India. Also referred to as Akshardham Temple or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality, and architecture. Inspired by Yogiji Maharaj and created by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, it was constructed by BAPS.
Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island, is an island off the coast of Odisha, India, approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-east of the state capital Bhubaneshwar. The Integrated Test Range missile testing facility is located on the island. The island was originally named after English commandant Lieutenant Wheeler. On 4 September 2015, the island was renamed to honour the late Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road is a road in New Delhi's Lutyen's bungalow zone in Delhi, India. It lies at the north-east end, stretching from the 'Taj Mansingh Hotel' at the roundabout of Mansingh Road, Shahjahan Road, Humayun Road, Prithviraj Road and a road to Khan Market in the north-east. At the south-west end it stretches up to the crossing at Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Marg and Safdarjung Road junction. Abdul Kalam road is home to several Indian billionaires such as ArcelorMittal's L N Mittal, K P Singh of DLF and Max Healthcare's Analjit Singh.
A Little Dream is a 60-minute documentary film in English capturing the journey of former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam's life from Rameswaram to Rashtrapati Bhavan. It was produced by Minveli Media Works and scripted-directed by P. Dhanapal, and unfolds in the form of a story-in-story.
Indian presidential election, 2002 was held on 15 July 2002 to elect President of India. On 18 July 2002, the results were declared. Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam became the 11th President by beating his nearest rival Capt. (Dr.) Lakshmi Sahgal.
A Sivathanu Pillai is an Indian scientist who currently serves as Honorary Distinguished Professor at Indian Space Research Organisation and an honorary professor at IIT Delhi in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a Visiting Professor at Indian Institute of Science.
C.R. Krishnaswamy Rao was a distinguished administrator and civil servant. He also served as the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Charan Singh and then becoming the Cabinet Secretary (1981-1985) when Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India. He was awarded the second highest civilian honor of India, Padma Vibhushan in 2006, besides the Great Maratha Award in 2009. His grandfather was R. Ramachandra Rao, Collector of Nellore, who helped Srinivasa Ramanujan during latter's formative years.
CV Raman Nagar is a neighbourhood located in the eastern part of the city of Bangalore. It is at a distance of 13 km from Majestic. It is bounded by Indiranagar, Kaggadasapura and Baiyappanahalli.
BrahMos-II or BrahMos-2 or BrahMos Mark II is a hypersonic cruise missile currently under joint development by Russia's NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India's Defence Research and Development Organisation, which have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited. It is the second of the BrahMos series of cruise missiles. The BrahMos-II is expected to have a range of 450 kilometres and a speed of Mach 7. During the cruise stage of flight the missile will be propelled by a scramjet airbreathing jet engine. Other details, including production cost and physical dimensions of the missile, are yet to be published. It is expected to be ready for testing by 2020.
Dr. Hafiz Saleh Muhammad Alladin was an Indian Ahmadi Muslim astronomer. Alladin received in 1963 a PhD at the University of Chicago .He was among the famous 100 Astronomers of the world and served as the educational advisor to former President APJ Abdul Kalam of India. He wrote many books, penned hundreds of articles and published more than 50 research papers. He then went as a professor at the Osmania University in Hyderabad, where he was Director of the Center of Advanced Study in Astronomy.
S.M. Khan, is a senior Indian Information Service officer of Government of India currently serving as Director General, Registrar of Newspapers for India. Prior to his current assignment he served as the Director General of Doordarshan News for over 3 years.
APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, also known as Kerala Technological University(KTU) is a state university established by the Government of Kerala headquartered in Trivandrum city. The objective of the University is to coordinate, supervise, regulate, guide and provide leadership in all aspects of technological and engineering education and research in Kerala State.
Bhupathiraju Somaraju is an Indian cardiologist and the chairman of Care Hospitals, Hyderabad. Author of many medical articles in peer reviewed journals and an elected fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, he was honoured by the Government of India, in 2001, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.
Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji is the second last book written by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the eleventh President of India and a pioneering scientist. Co-authored by Professor Arun Tiwari and published by HarperCollins India, the book describes Kalam's spiritual experiences with and reflections on Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the guru and spiritual leader of the BAPS Hindu organization. Kalam recounted the spiritual transformation he experienced during his fourteen-year association with Pramukh Swami, described the inspiration he obtained from Pramukh Swami's leadership of BAPS, and expressed his vision for a society in which science and spirituality are fused. Kalam stated that he saw in Pramukh Swami “a true embodiment of transcendence,” and titled the book to reflect his belief that Pramukh Swami is gunatit, a term signifying transcendence of ephemeral qualities and the modes of nature.
The Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Award, named after the 11th President of India and aerospace scientist A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, is awarded by the Government of Tamil Nadu in recognition of contributions on scientific development, humanities and students' welfare.
The First Lady or First Gentleman of India is the unofficial title and position traditionally held by the wife or husband of the President of India during that person's term of office. There are no official roles or duties assigned to the spouse but he or she generally attends the official ceremonies and functions held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan along with the President.
Dr G. Satheesh Reddy is an Indian Aerospace Scientist and the current Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D, Government of India. In June 2015 he was also appointed as a scientific adviser to the defence minister of India. Satheesh presently heads Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex.
Arun Kumar Tiwari is an Indian missile scientist, author, and professor. He has written several books and co-authored 5 books with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, including Wings of Fire, the autobiography of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former president of India. Published in 1999, Wings of Fire has become a modern classic with over 30 reprints selling over a million copies and was translated into 18 languages.
Eknath Vasant Chitnis is an Indian space scientist and a former member secretary at the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR), which evolved into the present-day Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He is also a former director of Space Applications Centre of ISRO and a former colleague of APJ Abdul Kalam, the erstwhile president of India. The Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, in 1985.
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