Known for his successful career in aerospace and politics, the late APJ Abdul Kalam is remembered as the ‘People’s President’ for his jovial nature and dedication to education. In fact, he spent many meetings with high schools students, hoping to ignite their minds towards India’s development.
To many, Abdul Kalam represented the results of hard work and commitment.
On his death anniversary today, India looks back at words of wisdom from its beloved ‘Missile Man’.
1. As a proud teacher, Kalam encouraged his students to persevere and never take ‘no’ for an answer. He was often quoted that teaching will remain his life’s biggest honour.
2. As a child, Kalam had to sell newspapers door-to-door to help his family through financial hardships. These experiences taught him the importance of a hard day’s work.
3. Kalam authored or co-wrote almost 20 books, some about his research but some inspirational as well. His works included Wings of Fire: An Autobiography (1999), Mission of India: A Vision of Indian Youth (2005), and The Scientific Indian: A Twenty-First Century Guide To The World Around Us (2011).
4. Abdul Kalam was a devout Muslim, but his legacy lies in his appreciation of various spiritual and cultural traditions of multi-cultural India. He saw respect of other faiths as a cornerstone of Islam.
5. After his one-term presidency (he declined a second term), Kalam dedicated his life to the things he loved – teaching and writing. At the age of 84, shortly before his death, he published his last book: Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji.
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