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APJ Abdul Kalam’s nephew quits BJP over memorial row

APJ Syed Haja Ibrahim, who had joined BJP in 2012, resigned as Vice President of the minority wing of Tamil Nadu unit of BJP and the party’s primary membership.

APJ Abdul Kalam’s grand nephew on Monday resigned from the BJP, upset over “failure” of the Modi government to convert the residence occupied by the former President into a knowledge centre.APJ Syed Haja Ibrahim, who had joined BJP in 2012, resigned as Vice President of the minority wing of Tamil Nadu unit of BJP and the party’s primary membership.”It (setting up a knowledge centre) was the wish of not only the former President, but the entire nation. I am resigning my post as this centre has not been set up despite repeated requests. I am also resigning from the primary membership of BJP,” he told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The No 10 Rajaji Marg bungalow in Delhi, occupied by Kalam till his death in July, has been allotted to Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, a move which had drawn flak from various quarters. Delhi’s ruling AAP had also criticised the government decision.

Maharashtra government’s free-for-moms meal eyes healthy tribal kids

The APJ Abdul Kalam Amrut Ahaar Yojna, to be rolled out in the state on Nov 15, will benefit over 1.9 lakh women in the first year

To tackle severe malnutrition among children in the vast tribal belt spread across 16 districts, Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced the launch of the ambitious APJ Abdul Kalam Amrut Ahaar Yojna, that will benefit all pregnant tribal women. The scheme, mooted by the tribal development department, aims to ensure that every carrying tribal woman gets atleast one full meal a day, free of cost, to take care of her nutritious needs. To be rolled out on November 15, the Rs 22-meal will cost the eschequer Rs 75 crore an year. Besides, the women and child welfare department will spend Rs 10 crore in stipend to anganwadi workers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The “hot cooked” meal, which will take into consideration the beneficiary’s food preference, will be provided for six months – beginning from third trimester of pregnancy and continuing for three months after delivery – to ensure that the babies benefit during the lactation period. To be projected as a flagship project of the Fadnavis government on completion of its one year in office, the scheme will benefit over 1.9 lakh women in the first year. “The scheme is unique in the sense that the government role will be as a funding agency. It will be the tribal women and the local ‘meal committees’ who will be implementing the scheme. This is an experiment…the government, while aiming to ensure healthy and hygienic food, don’t want any corruption to happen in such a big welfare scheme,” said Rajgopal Deora, secretary, Tribal Development Department. It seems, the alleged chikki scam has forced it to shun the controversial rate contract and tenders for the first time and think out of the box as far as the implementation of the welfare schemes are concerned. As per the plan, a four-member meal committee would be constituted in every tribal village across 16 districts having tribal population. The committee would be headed by a woman panchayat member. Two other members would be pregnant or lactating mothers and an anganwadi worker. “The meal fund for every village, based on registration of pregnant women, would be transferred to the joint account of the meal committee chairperson and the anganwadi worker. The committee would decide what to purchase and cook based on choice of pregnant women. The committee will not only execute the scheme, but also procure the grains, vegetables, eggs and fruits at local level. The move will empower tribal women as well,” said Deora. The local-level procurement will not only curb malpractice, but also break the nexus between politicians, babus and dubious firms, feel experts. To monitor the scheme’s effective implementation and curb any fudging of numbers at local level, the government is also collaborating with an NGO to bring in an app. “Through the app, the anganwadi worker has to click the pictures of beneficiaries which will directly be accessed at the district headquarter,” said the official. The proposed scheme will replace the ‘take-home ration (THR) scheme’ that provides packets of sheera or upma to expectant or lactating mothers at a cost of Rs 7.92. Though this is the first such experiment of direct funding by the Maharashtra government, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have similar direct intervention schemes for tribal women. What’s in the menuThe hot meal will be served at anganwadi centres and will include bhakri/roti, rice, pulses, green vegetables (cooked in iodized salt), jaggery, groundnut laddus and boiled eggs/banana/nachni halwa and soyamilk. Why new scheme?A government study found that 23.1% children born in tribal areas are underweight. It also found that the average BMI of women living in the tribal region is less than 18.5, pushing the government to come up with the scheme.

Terrorist elimination on rise under NDA rule: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

Cross-border infiltration has come down while the rate of “elimination” of terrorists has gone up since the NDA government came to power last year, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said.

Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar alongwith Vishweshwar Reddy MP and Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Distinguished Scientist is the Director, Research Centre Imarat (RCI) unveils the statue of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam to mark his 84th birthday celebrations at Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad on Thursday.

Cross-border infiltration has come down while the rate of “elimination” of terrorists has gone up since the NDA government came to power last year, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said.”You see the data of last 10 years… After the (NDA) government came to power (last year), the border infiltration has decreased and terrorist elimination rate has gone up,” he told reporters after attending an event that marked the renaming of the missile complex in Hyderabad as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To a query that cross-border infiltration was on the rise despite government’s repeated warnings to the neighbouring country, Parrikar said, “We will neutralise them; whoever tries to infiltrate into the country. If any terrorist attempts to infiltrate through the border it is our duty to neutralise them… that is our duty… we will do that… we have got a lot of success.”Reacting to another query on holding of Aero India show in Bengaluru, he said, “the air show will continue in Bengaluru.”On reports that some leading RTI activists would boycott the opening of annual CIC convention, celebrating 10th anniversary of the transparency law, to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “This is a democracy.”When asked about the proposal to assign combat roles to women in Air Force, followed by the Navy and Army, the Minister said, “I have said there will be role for women in all (Army, Navy and Air Force), except where there is a problem of infrastructure or training… these are some bottleneck points.”In the next two to three months, a policy decision would be taken on this, he added.At the event earlier, Parrikar said, “We have decided that in next five years we shall be totally 100 per cent self- sufficient in missile technology.” The prestigious Missile Complex here, which houses research units of DRDO, was renamed after Kalam on the occasion of his 84th birth anniversary.

All you need to know about the People’s President APJ Abdul Kalam

Dr Kalam has inspired students across the country during his lifetime.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Hundreds of students as well as dignitaries paid homage to former President APJ Abdul Kalam on the occasion of his 84th birth anniversary on Thursday. He served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. Here’s more on the nation’s favourite President: Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931 in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. During his childhood, due to his family’s unstable financial condition, he sold newspapers to generate some income. He was passionate about aeronautics since his early childhood and aspired to become a fighter pilot. But he missed out on getting into the top eight to qualify for the IAF. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He then went on to study physics and aerospace engineering. Later, he worked with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). His involvement in India’s civilian space programme and military missile development efforts gave him the title of ‘Missile Man of India’.His other roles included serving as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from 1992 to 1999.Dr Kalam regarded his work on India’s nuclear weapons programme as a way to assert India’s place as a future superpower. The Pokhran -II nuclear tests took place during his tenure as the Chief Project Coordinator along with Rajagopala Chidambaram. He is also remembered for developing tablet computer in the year 2012, along with cardiologist Soma Raju for the development of healthcare in rural areas.Dr Kalam has been honoured with doctorates from almost 40 universities and was conferred with various awards from the Government of India including the Padma Bhushan in 1981, Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. For his notable contribution in space related stream, the National Space Society decided to nominate him for the Von Braun Award in 2013.Not just the space sector, Dr Kalam gained prestige even in the educational sector. Right from being a guest faculty at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, Indore and Ahmedabad to being a chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, he taught and inspired students at several other institutes across the country. While delivering one such lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong, he collapsed and died from a cardiac arrest on 27 July 2015, at the age of 83.He is widely remembered in the country as the People’s President. Also Read: 10 Inspiring Quotes by APJ Abdul Kalam

10 Inspiring Quotes by APJ Abdul Kalam

His quotes on hard work inspire our youth even today aS he is still looked upon as a role model for our generation.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is still remembered amongst all of us for his notable contributions to India, for his presidency and also for his quotes which are inspiring our youths today. Below are the 10 inspiring quotes by our former beloved President 1. “All Birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the clouds”2. “Man needs difficulties in life because they are necessary to enjoy the success”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3. “If you want to shine like a sun, first learn to burn like a sun ”
(Image Credit – AFP)4. “All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents”5. “Without your involvement you can’t succeed.With your involvement, you can’t fail” 6. “You have to dream before your dreams can come true”7. “To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal”
(Image Credit – Soma Ghosh)8. “We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us”9. “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”10. “Those who cannot work with their heart achieve, but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around”

PM Modi pays tribute to former president APJ Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tribute to late former president APJ Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary.

APJ Abdul Kalam

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tribute to late former president APJ Abdul Kalam on his 84th birth anniversary.”Today we salute APJ Abdul Kalam and celebrate his monumental achievements as a scientist, scholar and the President of India. We fondly remember his passion for teaching and education. Dr. Kalam truly ignited young minds with the power to think and innovate. Dr. Kalam is not with us today but his thoughts, ideals and vision for India live on forever,” PM Modi tweeted.Prime Minister Modi is also scheduled to attend the birth anniversary celebrations of Kalam today, during which he will unveil his statue and inaugurate a photo exhibition on the departed leader. The Prime Minister will be attending the celebrations at DRDO Bhavan here in the national capital.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharat Ratna awardee Kalam passed away on July 27, 2015. He was the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. Before becoming the President, Kalam had spent four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), earning him the title of ‘Missile man’.

Sand sculpture of APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary

Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a sand sculpture of former president APJ Abdul Kalam on Puri beach on the eve of his birth anniversary as a mark of honour.

Sudarsan Pattnaik’s sand sculpture of former President APJ Abdul Kalam to pay him tributes on his 84th birth anniversary at Golden Sea Beach, Puri, Odisha on Wednesday.

Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a sand sculpture of former president APJ Abdul Kalam on Puri beach on the eve of his birth anniversary as a mark of honour.Pattnaik said he has created the five-feet high sculpture using about four tons of sand with the message “Tribute to Dr Abdul Kalam, 84th Birth Anniversary”. Tomorrow is the 84th birth anniversary of Kalam, also known as the country’s ‘Missile Man’.Students of Pattnaik’s sand art institute joined hands with him in creating the sculpture. Many art lovers and local people gathered at Puri beach to see the sculpture, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He was the first president who had invited me to Rastrapati Bhawan in 2005 when sand art was not very popular in our country and encouraged me a lot through his inspiring words,” Pattnaik said.

Delhi HC junks PIL on Aurangzeb Road, Tarek Fatah says why he lobbied for its renaming

By Tarek Fatah

Editor’s note: The Delhi Hight Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a PIL filed by petitioner Shahid Ali seeking to stop the New Delhi Municipal Council from renaming Aurangzeb Road as APJ Abdul Kalam Road. The Bench said that the renaming is not a matter of public interest as the public is not aggrieved by it. In the light of the decision, we are republishing this story written by Fatah on the day the decision was taken for Aurangzeb Road to be renamed.

In March, at a lecture in Delhi, I challenged India’s Muslims to stand up and reject the Islamic State and instead start living in a state of Islam; the pursuit of truth above everything else.

And to start that journey I suggested they should demand that the Indian and Delhi governments change the name of the city’s Aurangzeb Road, named after the murderous Mughal Emperor to the pious and poet prince Dara Shikoh who was beheaded by Aurangzeb.

As an Indian Muslim born in Pakistan, I first visited India in 2013 and was shocked to see the name Aurangzeb adorn one of the most majestic streets of India’s capital.

Here was a man who had killed his elder brother to stage a palace coup, who had his own father imprisoned for life and had several Islamic leaders of India hanged to death, among them the spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslims of Gujarat. As emperor, Aurangzeb banned music, dance and the consumption of alcohol in the Mughal Empire. In Sindh and Punjab where many Muslims attended discourses by Hindu Brahmins, he ordered the demolition of all schools and the temples where such interaction took place, making it punishable for Muslims who dressed like non-Muslims.

Mayank Austen/ FlickrMayank Austen/ Flickr

Representational image. Mayank Austen/ Flickr

But nothing is more of a testimony to the cruelty and bigotry of Aurangzeb than the executions of the Muslim Sufi mystic Sarmad Kashani and the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur. He considered the majority Hindus of his realm as ‘Kufaar’ and placed them as second class to Muslims, waged jihad against Shia Muslim rulers and wiped out all traces of the liberal, pluralistic and tolerant Islam introduced by his great-grandfather Emperor Akbar.

Aurangzeb today would be the equivalent of Caliph El-Baghdadi of the Islamic State (ISIS), if not Osama Bin Laden or Mullah Omar of the Taliban.

Yet, most Indian Muslims are either not aware of Aurangzeb’s crimes or choose to relish the thought that he was the one true king who ruled India in the name of Islam with an iron fist and put Hindus and Sikhs in their rightful place—at the bottom of the heap.

So I told the Muslims in my audience that if they truly wanted to fight ISIS, they should take the lead in demanding the erasing of a murderer’s name and replace it with his brother who is loved by all as the epitome of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.

Then came news of the death of India’s most loved president, the Muslim from the country’s deep south who lived in a state of Islam, not the Islamic State, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

On 29 June, I took to Twitter and urged Indians to ask their governments to change the name from Aurangzeb to APJ Abdul Kalam Road.

The idea caught on like wildfire on social media and soon Lok Sabha member from Delhi, Maheish Girri, wrote to Prime Minister Modi to help change the name.

Yesterday, I was woken by phone calls from friends in India with the news that the Delhi government had decided to change the name of Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road. It was 3 am in Toronto and I for a moment thought I must be dreaming, but I was awake so I woke up my wife to share the news.

She shrugged me off, “Buddah pagal ho gaya hai kyaa?’’

But as best as I could do, I did a mix of the lungi dance and bhangra. I couldn’t believe we had pulled it off. (I am now hoping unashamedly that someone in his kindness will invite me to be in Delhi when the formal change in name takes place.)

The change of name, be it a human being or a place carries huge significance. At times such a change is a sign of subservience and servitude to a new master, while at other times it is one of overthrowing the bondage of a former dictator.

Thus Malcolm X dropped his last name and took on X to reject the family name given to him by some past White slave-owner. In the same vein, Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd as a rebuke to the horrors inflicted on the Russian people by Stalin.

In the country of my birth, Pakistan, many names that reminded us of the British Raj were changed. Thus ‘Victoria Road’ and ‘Elphinstone Street’ in Karachi took on names to reflect the new reality of a supposedly independent country. But not all name changes are an act of correcting wrong.

I was born on a quiet street in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1949 on what was once known as ‘Lala Lajpat Rai Road’, named after the Punjabi author, politician and one of the leaders of the Indian Independence movement.

Lalaji, who died in 1928 after suffering blows to his head in a clash with the police in Lahore, needs no introduction in India. But in the land where he gave his life, hardly anyone knows him, let alone honours him for his service and sacrifice. His crime? He was Hindu. Therefore, his name needed to be erased from the newly created Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the so-called ‘Land of the Pure.’

Even as a child I could not understand why ‘Guru Mandir’ the neighbourhood where I was born had to undergo a name change and become ‘Sabeel Wali Masjid’.

Already some Islamists inside India are condemning the change in name. They will argue that if changing the name of Lala Lajpat Rai Road in Pakistan is wrong then the same principle should be applied to Aurangzeb Road. Wrong.

Lala Lajpat Rai was a symbol of India’s fight for freedom while Aurangzeb is a symbol of India’s subjugation and the imposition of an Arabized culture of radical Islam on a land that savours pluralism and secularism. Jai Hind!

Government to rename missile complex after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

The missile complex comprises the Advanced System Laboratory, Defence Research and Development Laboratory and RCI, which is considered to be the brainchild of Kalam. Parrikar will also be inaugurating two advance R&D facilities at RCI.

The government has decided to rename the prestigious missile complex in Hyderabad ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex’ in honour of the late President. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar will attend the renaming ceremony at the Research Centre Imarat (RCI) on October 15, the 84th birth anniversary of the former President, also known as the ‘Missile Man’. Kalam had joined the missile complex in 1982 and was a part of it for nearly two decades.The missile complex comprises the Advanced System Laboratory, Defence Research and Development Laboratory and RCI, which is considered to be the brainchild of Kalam. Parrikar will also be inaugurating two advance R&D facilities at RCI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Popular as the ‘People’s President’, Kalam died of a massive cardiac arrest on July 27 this year in Meghalaya state capital Shillong.Meanwhile, Prime minister Narendra Modi will attend the birth anniversary celebrations of former President APJ Abdul Kalam on Thursday, during which he will unveil his statue and inaugurate a photo exhibition on the departed leader. The Prime Minister will attend the celebrations at DRDO Bhavan, New Delhi, a PMO statement said.

Kerala: Woman author barred from sharing stage with Swamiji on her own book launch

Sreedevi S Kartha had translated a book authored by APJ Abdul Kalam titled ‘Transcendence My Spiritual Experience with Pramukh Swamiji’.

Image Courtesy: Sreedevi Kartha’s Facebook Page

The release of Malayalam translation of a book authored by former President APJ Abdul Kalam was cancelled on Saturday after protests erupted over a woman writer being allegedly asked to stay away from the function citing the presence of a ‘swamiji’.Writer Sreedevi S Kartha, the translator of the book ‘Transcendence My Spiritual Experience with Pramukh Swamiji’ by Kalam, alleged she was asked not to attend the function as Brahma Vihari Das of BAPS Swami Narayana Sanstha did not like the presence of women on the stage along with him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sreedevi, in a release, said she was told that rules of BAPS, a socio-spiritual Hindu organisation, were against women sharing dais with the Swamiji.”The first three rows also should be reserved for Swami’s followers so that they can ensure that even impure shadow of women must not fall on him,” Sreedevi sarcastically said in a Facebook post.As controversy erupted, various organisations staged protests in front of the Kerala Sahitya Academy where the launch of the book titled ‘Kaalaatheethm’ (Beyond the times) was to be held. Swami Brahma Vihari Das did not turn up for the function, K J Johny, Publishing Manager of the Thrissur-based Current Books, publishers of the book said.Johny also said that they normally do not invite translators for book release functions. The book was to have been released by Kalam’s co-author Arun Tiwari and eminent Malayalam writer M T Vasudevan Nair.Reacting to the issue, noted poet Sugathakumari said those “who are afraid of their mothers should go back to dark age caves.””Hinduism is the only religion which visualises God in the form of women and our ancient saint and social reformers like Swami Vivekananda, Sree Narayana Guru and Ramana Mahrashi had never shown discrimination towards women,” she added.Expressing shock over the incident, Sreedevi said publishers informed her to keep away from the function through a common friend and did not even bother to apologise to her.”It is a shameful act on the part of the publishers,” she added.Sreedevi asked “What is the difference between Taliban which asks women not to show body except eyes and Indian culture, which bars women from attending public functions”.

Now, Culture Ministry to rename Delhi’s Teen Murti Chowk to Haifa Mukti Chowk

Mahesh Sharma had recently created controversy by saying that girls should stay indoors at night

The Ministry of Culture has decided to change the name of Teen Murti Chowk to Teen Murti Haifa Mukti Chowk, says India Today report.The chowk is named after the Indian soldiers victory against the Ottoman Turks in Haifa, now in Israel in 1918 during World War One. According to the ministry officials, the name is often associated with Mahatma Gandhi’s Three Monkeys (Teen Bandars) and not the success of the Indian soldiers in capturing Haifa. “The moment people today think of Teen Murti they think of Gandhiji’s monkeys. This is a wrong impression that needs to be corrected.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the first World War, the Jodhpur IS Lancers, Mysore IS Lancers and the Hyderabad IS Lancers from the Indian 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade formed a part of the 5th Cavalry Division of Desert Mounted Corps soldiers had defeated the Ottoman Turks and it’s artillery at Mount Carmel to claim the port of Haifa and Acre. The victory is considered a great feat as it was achieved by the Indian horsemen armed just with spears and swords.The 23rd of September, every year is celebrated as Haifa Day to remember their achievement.
Earlier Aurangzeb Road was renamed to APJ Abdul Kalam road by the Delhi municipality which resulted in critics saying that the BJP led civic body and AAP government wanted to remove certain parts of history.The Culture minister Mahesh Sharma courted controversy recently for saying girls night out not a part of Indian culture and that APJ Kalam was a nationalist despite being a Muslim.

Suggestion for renaming Aurangzeb Road came from Pakistani journalist: Venkaiah Naidu

On August 28, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) gave its nod to rename Aurangzeb Road in Lutyen’s Delhi as APJ Abdul Kalam Road. Naidu further said it is not the question of Muslim or Hindu.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The suggestion for renaming Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road after APJ Abdul Kalam had not come from VHP or Bajrang Dal, but from a Pakistan-born Muslim journalist, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday and added that he no longer felt “shy” while giving his address. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said earlier he used to feel shy when he had to give address of his residence (in Delhi) as- 30 Aurangzeb Road.”One road in Delhi was named after a great son, an inspirational man from Rameswaram- APJ Abdul Kalam. There was so much of furore, and so much criticism and all, as if it was named after a foreigner,” he said while speaking after releasing a book titled ‘The Chronology of Ancient India-Victim of concoctions and distortions’, penned by Vedveer Arya.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But you will be surprised to know, the truth should also be known that the suggestion to change Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road to Abdul Kalam Marg came not from a Hindu, or an Indian, nor from VHP or Bajrang Dal. But from a non-Bharatiya… He is a Muslim…Tariq Fateh, born in Pakistan and who is now settled in Canada and works as a journalist,” Naidu said.”When he (Tariq Fateh) visited India for the first time in 2013, he was shocked to see the name of Aurangzeb adorn one of the most majestic streets of capital of Bharat (India). It is he who had appealed the Indian Muslims to take the initiative in demanding to change the name of the Aurangzeb Road to be named as Dara Shikoh, the brother of Aurangzeb,” the Minister said.”…I also used to feel little shy when I had to give my address…I had to say I am living in 30 Aurangzeb Road. But now I am happy because now I am living in 30 Abdul Kalam Road,” Naidu said.On August 28, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) gave its nod to rename Aurangzeb Road in Lutyen’s Delhi as APJ Abdul Kalam Road. Naidu further said it is not the question of Muslim or Hindu.”There are many Muslim rulers who have also done good to the country. History is very clear about it. All Muslims who have chosen not to go to Pakistan but decided to be in India..they are all Indians and they are equal citizens and they have got equal rights,” he said.”When we talk of Hindutava…Hindu is a cultural identity of nation. I told the Parliament also. Hindu is not a narrow religious bigotic concept, it is a broader cultural identity of this nation,” he added.”People have got every right to preach and practise whatever religion they want and that has been the great tradition of this Hindustan”, he added.”You have seen what happened in Pakistan and Bangladesh and other countries also. This land, this water, this air, this civilisation, this culture has got something unique “sarve jana sukhino bhavanthu”. This is the greatness of this land and we have to remember the past always and move towards future,” Naidu said.Taking a dig at media, the Union Minister said recently there was more focus by some TV channels on Yakub Memon than Abdul Kalam (for his last rites).”Unfortunately in this country it has become a fashion for some people to degrade India and degrade Hindu. Some of them are influenced by Western thinking and some of them are influenced by the Leftist thinking and now most of them are inspired by vote-bank politics,” he asserted.”I am astonished…sometimes I feel very sick, what is happening to this country. Some of these people are well entrenched in various sections of the media and also in communication sector and give such wonderful ideas,” Naidu added.

After being renamed, Aurangzeb Road crops up in Delhi’s Okhla

The demand to change the road’s name had come as popular demand from people living in Jamia Nagar and nearby colonies.

Aurangzeb Road in Lutyens’ Delhi

The discussion on social media platforms over the renaming of Aurangzeb road after APJ Abdul Kalam seems to have influenced former Okhla MLA Asif Mohammed. According to a report by The Hindu, following the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government’s decision to rename Aurangzeb Road in Lutyens’ Delhi after former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Asif too has taken the trouble of naming an unnamed road in his former constituency as ‘Aurangzeb Road’. As many as 10 green sign boards with ‘Aurangzeb Road’ written in Hindi, Urdu and English have reportedly been put up on the 1.5-km road between Okhla and Kalindi Kunj. Asif told The Hindu that the move was a protest against Hindutva ideology and felt that The RSS and the BJP were interfering with the Islamic past of India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The demand to change the road’s name had come as popular demand from people living in Jamia Nagar and nearby colonies. This unofficial Aurangzeb road in Okhla has no other official name and is usually referred to as Okhla or Kalindi Kunj road. The report said that certain areas of the area were displeased with this movie and with one resident feeling that the “government is trying to tell us that ‘we will decide the good and the bad Muslims’”.AAP’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah said that he is disappointed with his government for letting themselves be swayed by the BJP. However, Amanatullah felt that renaming the road in protest was inappropriate. “Naming a random road in a Muslim-dominated area isn’t the solution,” said Amanatullah in the report. According to Amanatullah, the road did not fall under the Delhi government’s jurisdiction but belonged to the Uttar Pradesh Flood and Irrigation Department.

Renaming Aurangzeb Road after Kalam isn’t right: New Delhi was inspired by history not bigotry

When the British were planning Lutyen’s Delhi, the last known descendants of Mughal dynasty were either resting in their graves or pulling rickshaws in the streets of Calcutta.

After the failed mutiny of 1857 and the subsequent death of Bahadur Shah Zafar, some of them were executed by the British. Those who survived, disappeared from Delhi to live in obscurity and penury, mostly out of fear of being caught and killed.

Zafar’s last known relative, his great grandson Prince Mirza Bedar Bukht, died in 1980. His wife and six children live off a paltry pension in the slums of Howrah. Their predecessors Jamshid Bakht and Jawan Bakht didn’t do spectacularly well either; their greatest achievement being the successful transition from Lal Quila to the streets of Calcutta.

Between 1911 and 1931, when the British planned and inaugurated New Delhi, they were obviously not under pressure from members of the Mughal dynasty to honour their ancestors. Neither was there any pressure to strike some opportunistic alliance with a powerful family and its supporters.

PTI image.PTI image.

PTI image.

Yet, the British named the roads and parks of the new city after rulers from the Mughal dynasty. What was the reason? It is clear from the names the British chose for roads, lanes, squares and gardens, they wanted the new city to reflect the history of Delhi. The names were an ode to the various rulers who contributed to Delhi’s history, geography, art and culture. So, without getting into the politics, region and religion of the rulers, the British chose Lodis, Tughlaqs, Mughals, and Hindus; Mongols, Pashtuns, Pathans and Rajputs — almost everybody from our history — to give identity to Delhi’s landmarks.

That the British chose without differentiating between region and religion becomes evident when you circle India Gate. Roads named after Prithviraj Chouhan, Ashoka, Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan and Sher Shah merge into an amazing kaleidoscope of centuries of history.

The British were clearly broadminded in their approach. Though they had no love lost for the Mughals — don’t forget they virtually ended the dynasty; killed Zafar’s son, exiled him to Burma and fought bitter wars with Aurangzeb that almost drove them out of India — they did not let politics come in the way of the plan for the new capital.

Those who are ecstatic that Aurangzeb has now been replaced by APJ Abdul Kalam on one of New Delhi’s main roads have, obviously, missed the point: New Delhi’s geography was inspired by history, not politics and bigotry.

If the arguments that have been put forward to defend the renaming of Aurangzeb Road — “bad Muslim, bigot, destroyer of temples”— become the basis for revisiting our roads, cities and monuments, nothing would remain sacrosanct.

Lodi Garden — Did Ibrahim Lodi not deny the great Hindu ruler Rana Sanga the throne of Delhi even after being defeated at the Battle of Khatoli (1517)? Tughlaq Road — Did Ulugh Juna Khan (Muhammed bin Tughlaq) not destroy Hindu kingdoms and, like Aurangzeb, not kill his father Ghiyasuddin to usurp the throne? Did he not raise taxes through Tughlaqi firmans to levels so high that people revolted? Did he not, as his court historian Ziauddin Barni wrote, execute Hindus, Muslims, Shias, Sufis, poets, heretics, rivals with disdainful cruelty?

And the Taj Mahal, the monument that defines India? Is it not a symbol of criminal wastage of money collected through exorbitant taxes? Does it not remind us of the apocryphal tales of Shah Jahan’s cruel acts of blinding its architects, chopping off the hands of the artisans of its masons and designers?

Oh yes, Aurangzeb had demolished several temples. But, would historians of a later age compare Rajasthan’s chief minister Vasundhara Raje with the Mughal ruler because of her ongoing tussle with the RSS, which recently shut down Jaipur to protest demolition of temples by her government for the metro rail project?

Frankly, it is impossible to pass a judgment on Aurangzeb. He was not a fleeting phenomenon defined by a single event. He lived and shaped Indian history for nearly 70 years — first as Shah Jahan’s son and his viceroy in the Deccan and then as India’s ruler.

He could have been a bigot who penalised Hindus, destroyed temples, put restrictions on Diwali celebrations, buried idols of deities under stairs so that he could walk over them, re-imposed jaziya, encouraged conversion through inducement and enforced Sharia on the majority. He may have been extremely cruel and ruthlessly ambitious for killing his siblings, imprisoning his father and sister and executing Guru Teghbahadur and Shivaji’s son Shambhaji.

There may also be some merit in the counter arguments: that he financed temples, was secular in his early years but turned to Islam later for political reasons; that he imprisoned his father to stop him from imposing more taxes to finance a replica of Taj Mahal made of black marble as his (Shah Jahan’s mausoleum). That he killed to suppress rivals, not because of his religious beliefs; and destroyed temples either for hidden treasures or to discourage their use for planning rebellion.

Well-known scholar Harbans Mukhia argues, history has undergone phenomenal metamorphosis and post-Independence there have been attempts to look at it in terms of several invariables, of which religious identity was only one. In this departure, the notion of class–and conflicts arsing in society on account of it–played a significant role.

History is complex, and so are those who shape it. One man’s fanatic can always be other person’s Alamgir. Aurangzeb Road could just have been a chapter in history, a reminder of its complexities; instead of being turned into a symbol of the right-wing’s desire to pass partisan judgments on those who shaped it through the prism of religion.

In 2002, during a visit to Berlin, I was surprised by the sight of the badly-damaged ‘Hollow Tooth’— the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church at Kurfurstendamm. The church was destroyed in British air raids in 1943. But, the Germans refused to repair it in spite of rebuilding entire Berlin. They retained the damaged spire of the church as a reminder of Germany’s past and the horrors of the war unleashed by Hitler.

If nothing else, Aurangzeb Road could have been India’s Hollow Tooth. It would have reminded many who drive through Delhi’s roads of the perils of a government inspired by ruthless ambition, violence, bigotry and a communal agenda.

Kalam replaces Aurangzeb in Delhi

Vice chairman of NDMC Karan Singh Tanwar also confirmed that the decision was taken in a meeting on Friday. “Aurangzeb was a tyrant. That’s why an unanimous decision was taken to rename the road as APJ Abdul Kalam road who rose to become the President of India,” Tanwar told dna.

The historic road is located in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi

The sixth Mughal emperor of India and a prominent character of Indian history, Aurangzeb, has been expelled from the capital. Literally. Riding on popular demands, especially right-wing groups’ sentiments, which had gained enormous proportions in the last many months, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation on Friday renamed the historic Aurangzeb Road –located in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi–to APJ Abdul Kalam Road.One of the most expensive and prime locations of New Delhi, the lush green Aurangzeb road is home to several VIPs and is known for its heritage buildings such as Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s bungalow which serves as the Dutch embassy now. The NDMC’s decision to rename the road was also seconded by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who tweeted about on Friday. “Congrats. NDMC jst now decided to rename Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site. Kejriwal is also the presiding officer of NDMC, which has a BJP majority. The union government is now slated to give a final approval to the decision.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vice chairman of NDMC Karan Singh Tanwar also confirmed that the decision was taken in a meeting on Friday. “Aurangzeb was a tyrant. That’s why an unanimous decision was taken to rename the road as APJ Abdul Kalam road who rose to become the President of India,” Tanwar told dna.In July, BJP Lok Sabha MP of east Delhi Mahesh Girri had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Aurangzeb Road in central Delhl be renamed after former President APJ Abdul Kalam who passed away recently.”This will be a great way of preserving Dr Kalam’s memories and legacy forever,” he had said.The decision, however, didn’t go down well with the city’s historians, who criticised, it calling it a ‘cheap trick’.Activist Sohail Hashmi said the decision speaks on the authorities’ short-sightedness. “On one hand, you talk of preserving heritage, but on the other, you change names of roads, by which you are erasing a part of the country’s history. If someone has to be commemorated, you should do it in some other way instead of changing something that is pre-existing,” he said.Hashmi further explained that painting the ‘tyrant and cruel’ picture of Aurangzeb was painted by the erstwhile British historians after 1857 to create communal tension between the Hindus and the Muslims. “But people are not bothered about history. This is idiotic politics,” an angry Hashmi said.Abul Muzaffar Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb has ruled a huge part of unified India between 1658 and 1707 before a slow disintegration started setting into the enormous Mughal empire.

Tamil Nadu: Team inspects site for APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial

“Since the site is situated at a low level we have to bring it to the road level and then build the memorial”, a CPWD Executive Enginee told reporters.

APJ Abdul Kalam

File Photo
In line with the decision to set up a memorial for former President APJ Abdul Kalam, a team of officials from the Centre and state government have visited the place where he was laid to rest in this island town. The memorial to highlight what Kalam had exemplified in his lifetime, would comprise a library, museum and a meditation centre, said Ganesan, CPWD Executive Engineer and a member of the team that visited the site on Tuesday. Preliminary survey of the 1.84 acres of land at Peikarumbu, where the body was laid to rest on July 30, is being conducted now. “Since the site is situated at a low level we have to bring it to the road level and then build the memorial”, he told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ganesan said a large number of people are visiting the site now and they have been asked not to plant trees now. “After the completion of the memorial, tree planting would be done in a beautiful manner,” he said. The official said the area would be fenced before taking up construction work of the memorial.The demand for setting up a memorial for Kalam at the site had been made by many people including the family members of the former President. Tamil Nadu government had already announced instituting an award in the name of Kalam besides observing his birthday as ‘Youth Renaissance Day’. The ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award’ would be given to persons who strive towards promoting scientific growth, humanities and students’ welfare, during Independence Day every year, the state government had announced.The award will carry an 8 gram gold medal, Rs 5 lakh in cash and a citation that would be presented to a person hailing from Tamil Nadu. The government had also announced that October 15, which is Kalam’s birthday, would be observed as ‘Youth Renaissance Day’. Kalam died on July 27 in Shillong and was laid to rest at his native Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with full state honours on July 30.

APJ Abdul Kalam didn’t have any property in his name, says ex-scientific advisor

Former president APJ Abdul Kalam, who passed away after a massive cardiac arrest during a function at IIM Shillong on 27 July, had no property in his name.

APJ Abdul Kalam. Reuters

APJ Abdul Kalam. Reuters

According to his former scientific advisor V Ponraj, Kalam did have a property in Bengaluru but he disposed of it for a cause, according to The Hindu.

PTI had also earlier reported that Kalam may not have left behind any will and had asked his elder brother to take care of a small piece of property he owned.

“I am not aware of any will left behind by my uncle (Dr Kalam). One by one, several of our properties were sold. What remains is the ancestral house and a small site near the house which Dr Kalam’s father Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen had left for him,” the late former president’s nephew Jainulabdeen had told PTI.

Kalam had asked his elder brother Muthu Meeran Labbai Marakier to take care of his properties.

“We have been taking care of that,” Kalam’s elder brother’s son had added.

Kalam’s ancestors once had commercial interests and vast property. They had also operated ferry services to transport pilgrims coming to Pamban by boats centuries ago, when there was no bridge between the mainland and this island, he had said.

This was what got them the family title ‘Mara Kalam’ (wooden boat) Iyakkivers – which over the years came to be called Marakier.

Their commercial interests involved transporting groceries from the mainland for sale to people in Rameswaram, as well as Sri Lanka. But their fortunes took a nosedive when the bridge was laid across the sea connecting the mainland to the island.

“Though they initially had enormous property in the island, they all had to be sold to maintain the family as well the Mohaindeen Andavar mosque, housed in the street where Kalam’s ancestral property is located,” Jainulabdeen said.

(With inputs from PTI)

Teach science in madrasas to produce more Abdul Kalams: Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria

Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria on Saturday advocated teaching of science along with theology in madrasas and said such a move will help students in these religious schools to become great scientists like the former President APJ Abdul Kalam.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria on Saturday advocated teaching of science along with theology in madrasas and said such a move will help students in these religious schools to become great scientists like the former President APJ Abdul Kalam.”What will be the difficulty if science is taught in madarsas? Should the students toe a particular line for good? Why science shouldn’t be taught to produce someone like Kalam,” Katheria, who is MoS, HRD told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We want that science should be taught in madarsas… students should become ideal citizens … be they Hindus or Muslims and syllabus will be tailored keeping this in mind,” he said.The minister said,”If we stick to old thought now, it won’t do any good. It is right to talk about one’s own religion but dragging it into every issue isn’t right.” He further said that the hanging of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon was given a religious colour.He also expressed dismay about the uproar over Maharashtra government’s move to derecognise madarsas teaching only theology.Denying Congress’s charge that Modi government was saffronising education, he said, “We have neither given a direction for teaching Bhagwat Gita nor made teaching of Tulsidas’s Ramayan mandatory. We have not stopped any madarsas from teaching.”He said that mentality of Congress was such that if we make some change in education system, it will drub it saffronisation. Congress was making wild allegations against us as they were troubled with our schemes launched since last one year, the MoS added.Katheria said that they will go for changes in education system for its improvement.Asked to comment of the remark of Congress leader Gurudas Kamat that HRD minister Smriti Irani had swept a restaurant once, he said that it wasn’t a bad job to earn a livelihood. Katheria said that Irani was efficiently performing her role.

Tamil Nadu government to observe APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthday as ‘Youth Renaissance Day’

Tamil Nadu government will also constitute the ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award’ for persons who strive towards promoting scientific growth, humanities and students’ welfare

APJ Abdul Kalam at Jaipur Literature Festival 2015

Amid widespread demands to conserve the legacy of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Tamil Nadu government on Friday said an award would be constituted in his name and his birthday would be observed as “Youth Renaissance Day”.Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said she had issued directions to constitute the ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Award’ for persons who strive towards promoting scientific growth, humanities and students’ welfare and that the award would be given away during Independence Day every year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This was in line with her government’s policy of creating a ‘Strong India and Resourceful Tamil Nadu,’ she said in a statement here.The award will carry an 8 gram gold medal, Rs 5 lakh in cash and a citation and would be presented to a person hailing from the state, she said, adding it would be given away from this year.Further, October 15, Kalam’s birthday, would henceforth be observed as ‘Youth Renaissance Day’ by the Tamil Nadu government, she said.”Abdul Kalam always wanted to remain a teacher. He was a driving force behind the growth of youth by his enlightening remarks that struck a chord with students,” she said while recalling his contributions towards India’s growth.Kalam was a multi-faceted personality, often described as ‘Missile Man’ and ‘Nuclear Hero,’ Jayalalithaa said while tracing his humble origins.His hard work and dedication not only made him a veteran scientist, but also the President, she said, adding, he had a vision that the country should become a superpower by 2020.Kalam died on July 27 in Shillong and was laid to rest at his native Rameswaram in the state with full state honours yesterday, with thousands of people attending his funeral.

India state funeral for Abdul Kalam

Former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam is given a full state funeral in his native town in south India.

Live updates: Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa to miss funeral due to ill-health

Jul 29, 2015


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The body of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who died in Shillong last evening, was carried to New Delhi early this morning by a special aircraft from here, as senior leaders and a host of officials joined in paying tribute to the country’s ‘missile man’.

Last respects were paid to the late former President at the tarmac of the Lokapriya Gopinath Borodoloi International Airport after his body was brought to Guwahati from Shillong by an Air Force helicopter at around 6:15 am.

Meghalaya Governor V Shanmughanathan travelled alongside as the body was ferried to Guwahati and later paid floral tributes to the Bharat Ratna.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi led the state in paying respect to Kalam, calling Kalam’s death an “irreparable loss” to the nation.

APJ Abdul Kalam in a file photo.APJ Abdul Kalam in a file photo.

APJ Abdul Kalam in a file photo.

“It is an irreparable loss to the nation. He loved children, he loved the nation. I have met him many times. I took him to rural areas of Assam. He was a very simple and honest man. Along with India, entire state is mourning his death,” Gogoi said.

Kalam was one of the most popular faces of the country and he was “young in spirit till his last moment”, he said.

Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta also paid his respect to Kalam, the ‘people’s President’.

Host of senior Assam government officials, including Chief Secretary V K Pipersenia, DGP Khagen Sarma, Additional Chief Secretary MGVK Bhanu, Home Commissiner LS Changsan and Guwahati Police Commissioner Mukesh Agrawal too joined in paying rich tribute to the late former President.

Many senior officials from the Army and Air Force were present on the occasion and also paid their respect to the ‘missile man’ of the country.

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Anjan Dutta and other senior party leaders were also present and paid their respects.

After keeping it for about an hour and fifteen minutes at Guwahati, the body of Kalam was then flown to the national capital in the special aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

Kalam, who would have turned 84 in October died after suffering a massive cardiac arrest during a lecture at the IIM Shillong yesterday.

He was confirmed dead more than two hours after he was wheeled into the ICU of Bethany Hospital in a critical condition following the collapse at around 6.30 pm.

The body of the late former president was shifted from Bethania Hospital, where he breathed his last, to the Military Hospital in Shillong, Defence Public Relations Officer Amit Mahajan said.

The Union Cabinet is to hold a special meeting in New Delhi today to condole his death. The date, place and time of his funeral would also be decided today.

The government has announced a seven-day state mourning in honour of Kalam, who became affectionately known as the ‘people’s President.


People’s president: India mourns Abdul Kalam

The death of former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam triggers an outpouring of grief.

APJ Abdul Kalam: The man whose legend endured a myriad controversies

“I am completely indigenous,” APJ Abdul Kalam told The New York Times in 1998.

Nobody could have put it better. Kalam was the embodiment of every Indian ideal. His rags-to-success story made him an achiever against insurmountable odds; contribution to Indian defence and military gave him the aura of a nationalist; conduct in the Rashtrapati Bhawan turned him into a People’s President– a People’s Prince type epithet that instantly gave the West a measure of his popularity; and his inspiring speeches and books made him a hero of the youth and children.

As a son, student, scientist, President, teacher, preacher, poet, writer, aficionado of classical Indian music, inspiration for a film (I am Kalam) and the new Chacha of children of India, Kalam lived an all Indian dream.

PTI image.PTI image.

PTI image.

“In recent history, only a few had endeared themselves to the young and old, poor and the rich, and to people belonging to different faiths,” former finance minister P Chidambaram rightly summed up Kalam’s enormous popularity.

Kalam had many virtues that we hold close to our heart. Never give up, don’t let failure destroy your dream, concentrate on your karma without thinking of the result, don’t let success get to your head and put country above race and religion. Kalam practiced all of them.

As a student born in a humble family, he sold newspapers to support the family and finance his education. When Kalam was rejected for the job of a fighter pilot, a dream he had nourished since childhood, he took up an entry-level post at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

And there was no looking back. A man, who was considered not good enough to fly a plane, became the architect of India’s missile programme. From somebody who was rejected as a fighter, Kalam went on to become the face of India’s nuclear programme. Kalam showed the world that he had wings of steel and determination of iron.

Kalam’s karma brought him not just the deserved fruits of labour, but much more than that. “Kalam did not seek office; the office sought him,” Natwar Singh memorably said after he was elected President. He remains a compelling example of how a karma yogi becomes destiny’s favourite child.

Kalam was not the original choice for President in 2002. It was widely believed that PC Alexander, principal secretary to former PM Indira Gandhi, would get the job. Alexander, who was the governor of Maharashtra during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, was acceptable to most of the NDA constituents. And his past made him believe that even the Congress would back him. To his dismay, Sonia Gandhi refused to back Alexander’s candidature.

For a very brief period, it seemed vice-president Krishna Kant would get the job. But he was also denied the opportunity after being tipped off to be ready for the election.

During this period, the BJP was trying to shed its rabid pro-Hindutva image — a pursuit that ultimately ended with LK Advani’s ill-fated paean to MA Jinnah. And Mulayam Singh, it is believed, offered a deal that the BJP couldn’t resist. (Ironically, when Kalam became the front-runner for the President’s post in 2012, it was Mulayam Singh who backed out at the last minute, paving the way for Pranab Mukherjee‘s election.)

When the Samajwadi Party agreed to support Kalam as the next President, a consensus soon developed even within the Congress to back his presidency. His election could have been unanimous, but for the Left’s decision to prop up Captain Lakshmi Sehgal as token of resistance. Kalam’s tenure had the potential of getting marred with controversies. But it is an ode to his personal integrity and administrative tact that he managed to steer India through a political storm.

His biggest challenge, of course, was the issue of Sonia Gandhi‘s eligibility to become PM. After the Congress emerged as the single-largest party in 2004, Sonia’s expected ascent to the top job created a political furore. Unexpectedly, Sonia opted out of the race and named Manmohan Singh as the party’s choice for PM.

There were rumours that Sonia had backed out because President Kalam raised the issue of her Italian citizenship. But Kalam maintained a dignified silence through the brouhaha. Years later, in his memoirs, Kalam revealed that if Sonia had staked claim to the post, he would have had no option but to appoint her.

Controversies, though, dogged Kalam for his role as a nuclear scientist. Some of his critics, like Homi Sethna, questioned Kalam’s credentials saying he had received his masters degree in aerospace engineering, which is completely different from nuclear engineering. Kalam’s entire cult as the face of India’s nuclear programme also came under cloud when K Santhanam, the site director of Pokaran II, called the test a ‘fizzle’ and criticised Kalam for giving a false report.

And when Kalam became the President, Princeton scholar M V Ramana attributed it to Kalam’s ability to “dress up even mediocre work with the tricolour to pass them off as great achievements.” But, nothing could stop Kalam from becoming a legend.

When the history of post-Independence India is written, Kalam would rank right up there, in the company of legends like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore. He will inspire India and Indians for years to come.

In his poignant goodbye to Kalam, his aide Srijan Pal Singh says, he once asked Kalam what would he like to be remembered as: “President, scientist, writer, Missile Man, Indian 2020, Target 3 billion..what?”

Kalam replied: “Teacher.”

Yes, Kalam would be remembered for teaching us the value of both karma and raj dharma.

APJ Kalam’s Twitter account to remain alive in new form

Although former President APJ Abdul Kalam is no more, but his Twitter account will continue to be active in a new form.A team of his close associates has decided to run his official Twitter account which has now been renamed as ‘In memory of Dr Kalam’.”Dedicated 2 immortal memories of Dr Kalam. this account wil nw reflect his thoughts, his lessons & missions. Miss you sir! (sic),” Kalam’s close aide Srijan Pal Singh said in a tweet.Singh would now act as the administrator of his Twitter account and will keep sharing inspirational quotes from an innumerable number of speeches made by Kalam and his books like Wings of Fire, India 2020 and Ignited Minds.Another book Advantage India, co-authored by Kalam and Singh, is due to release later the year.Since February 2011, Kalam had been regularly posting his views on contemporary issues facing the country besides sending out inspirational messages on Twitter.He had more than 1.4 million followers on the microblogging site which is now flooded with his one-liners.Hashtag ‘KalamSir’ has been trending on Twitter in India since last night. Related read: How Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s lived his last day

When failure occurs, a leader should humbly accept it: Here are APJ Abdul Kalam’s most memorable speeches

Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, known as the father of the country’s military missile program, died on Monday after collapsing while delivering a lecture at IIM in Shillong. He was 83.


File Photo. Reuters

Kalam, the president from 2002 until 2007, was a scientist and science administrator for four decades and before that, mainly at the state-run Defense Research and Development Organization and the Indian Space Research Organization. He played a key organizational and technical role in India’s nuclear program.

Here are some of his most inspirational speeches.

Righteousness and World Peace: Abdul Kalam’s Brilliant EU Speech in 2007

In 2007, former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam had addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, during the 50th anniversary of the formation of the European Union. The speech that is considered one of the most memorable ones by Kalam, captured the attention of the world leaders after he made an impassioned plea to all humanity with words that would resonate forever.

“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.”

Abdul Kalam on leadership and motivation

Abdul Kalam very famously once said that, “when failure occurs, a leader should humbly own it and acknowledge it. When success comes, the leader should again have the humility to give credit to all the people who worked for it.”

Abdul Kalam inspirational speech At SRM University 

He talks about his India Vision 2020 vision that was initially a document prepared by the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) of India’s Department of Science and Technology under the chairmanship of Dr APJ Kalam and a team of 500 experts.

‘Goodbyes should be short, really short’: Missile Man’s advisor documents Kalam’s last moments

Indians reacted with shock and sadness on learning that former President APJ Abdul Kalam had passed away while giving a speech at IIM-Shillong. Bharat Ratna, President, scientist and author, Kalam had taken on many roles during his lifetime and everyone had something that they remembered fondly about him.

But even as Twitter and Facebook was flooded with quotes and other memories, an innocuous post by Srijan Pal Singh was perhaps the most insightful into the last days of the former president. Singh, an adviser to Kalam, was on the stage with him in Shillong when he collapsed and was taken to hospital. In a touching post, he documented his memories and interactions with Kalam over the past few weeks. Here are the highlights:

Kalam meets the guard who was part of his convoy. Image courtesy: Facebook/ Srijan Pal SinghKalam meets the guard who was part of his convoy. Image courtesy: Facebook/ Srijan Pal Singh

Kalam meets the guard who was part of his convoy. Image courtesy: Facebook/ Srijan Pal Singh

What Kalam spoke about on the way to Shillong

Singh wrote of what Kalam spoke of during his trip to Shillong and not surprisingly it was all about national issues. Singh’s post says that Kalam was very worried about the loss of life in the terror strike in Gurdaspur and said “it seems the man made forces are as big a threat to the livability of earth as pollution”. The former president was also of the view that mankind may have to leave earth in 30 years and advised Singh that the future generation needed to take better care of it.

He was also worried about Parliament’s functioning for the last few days.

“I have seen two different governments in my tenure. I have seen more after that. This disruption just keeps happening. It is not right. I really need to find out a way to ensure that the parliament works on developmental politics,” Kalam had said earlier, according to Singh.

In what some would say was a typical Kalam-like plan, the former scientist said he would like to give a surprise assignment for the students of IIM-Shillong at the end of his speech. Kalam said he would ask them for innovative ways to make Parliament more productive.

“Then, after a while he returned on it. ‘But how can ask them to give solutions if I don’t have any myself’.” the former president noted, according to Singh.

‘Sir aapke liye toh 6 ghante bhi khade rahenge’

Even on his last trip, Kalam showed why he was a beloved president.

“We were in a convoy of 6-7 cars. Dr. Kalam and I were in the second car. Ahead us was an open gypsy with three soldiers in it. Two of them were sitting on either side and one lean guy was standing atop, holding his gun. One hour into the road journey, Dr. Kalam said, ‘Why is he standing? He will get tired. This is like punishment. Can you ask a wireless message to (be) given that he may sit?'” Singh wrote.

Singh said he tried to convince Kalam that the guard had probably been instructed to stand for better security but the former president wouldn’t relent. They tried to signal him to sit down and even through radio message but they were unsuccessful.

“Finally, realizing there is little we can do – he told me, ‘I want to meet him and thank him’. Later, when we landed in IIM Shillong, I went inquiring through security people and got hold of the standing guy. I took him inside and Dr. Kalam greeted him. He shook his hand, said thank you buddy. ‘Are you tired? Would you like something to eat? I am sorry you had to stand so long because of me’. The young lean guard, draped in black cloth, was surprised at the treatment. He lost words, just said, ‘Sir, aapke liye to 6 ghante bhi khade rahenge‘(for you I would stand even for six hours),” Singh noted.

The last moments

Singh said that Kalam was characteristically enthusiastic about the lecture and never wanted to keep students waiting.

“I quickly set up his mike, briefed on final lecture and took position on the computers. As I pinned his mike, he smiled and said, ‘Funny guy! Are you doing well?’

“‘Funny guy’, when said by Kalam could mean a variety of things, depending on the tone and your own assessment. It could mean, you have done well, you have messed up something, you should listen to him or just that you have been plain naïve or he was just being jovial. Over six years I had learnt to interpret Funny Guy like the back of my palm. This time it was the last case,” he wrote.

“‘Funny guy! Are you doing well?’ he said. I smiled back, ‘Yes’. Those were the last words he said. Two minutes into the speech, sitting behind him, I heard a long pause after completing one sentence. I looked at him, he fell down,” Singh wrote.

Singh said that they picked up the former President and tried to revive him.

“His hands clenched, curled onto my finger. There was stillness on his face and those wise eyes were motionlessly radiating wisdom. He never said a word. He did not show pain, only purpose was visible. In five minutes we were in the nearest hospital. In another few minutes the they indicated the missile man had flown away, forever. I touched his feet, one last time,” Singh wrote.

What Kalam wanted to be remembered for

Singh spoke about a discussion he had with Kalam some time ago about what they would want to be remembered for.

“‘First you tell me, what will you like to be remembered for? President, Scientist, Writer, Missile man, India 2020, Target 3 billion…. What?’ I thought I had made the question easier by giving options, but he sprang on me a surprise. ‘Teacher'”, he said.

Singh said that Kalam while discussing his friends, the former president had said that children should take care of their elders but it wasn’t taking place always.

‘He paused and said, ‘Two things. Elders must also do. Never leave wealth at your deathbed – that leaves a fighting family. Second, one is blessed is one can die working, standing tall without any long drawn ailing. Goodbyes should be short, really short’,” he noted.

Here’s the full Facebook post:

What I will be remembered for.. my memory of the last day with the great Kalam sir…It has been eight hours since we…

Posted by Srijan Pal Singh on Monday, July 27, 2015

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam congratulated a cop moments before he collapsed

Kalam arrived at 5:40 PM at the IIM guest house in Shillong and began delivering a lecture on ‘Creating a live-able planet’ when he collapsed.

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam had congratulated a constable for remaining alert throughout the day, minutes before he collapsed at the Indian Institute of Management and died here last night.”The former President congratulated an SOT (special operation team) personnel for being alert throughout the road trip from Guwahati to Shillong last evening,” East Khasi Hills district SP M Kharkrang told PTI.He said the personnel at first got scared after Kalam summoned him. But then the VVIP acknowledged the constable for doing his duty properly.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mourning the loss, Kharkrang said, “What makes him truly great is his acknowledgement of the simple things in life done rightly.”Kalam arrived at 5:40 PM at the IIM guest house in Shillong and began delivering a lecture on ‘Creating a live-able planet’ when he collapsed and rushed to the Bethany hospital here. He was declared dead at 7:45 PM by the medical board of the hospital.Meghalaya government has declared a state holiday today as a mark of respect to Kalam who breathed his last in the city.Also read: Abdul Kalam’s close associate recounts former President’s last day

Telangana declares holiday on Tuesday as a mark of respect for former president Kalam

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has declared a holiday on Tuesday as a mark of respect to former president APJ Abdul Kalam, who died on Monday.

Image courtesy PIBImage courtesy PIB

Image courtesy PIB

Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao directed Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma to issue the order declaring Tuesday a holiday.

All government offices, educational institutions in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana will remained closed.

The managements of private schools and colleges also declared a holiday as a mark of respect to the former president.


How Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s lived his last day

During their journey to Shillong, Singh says Dr. Kalam expressed his concern over the terror attacks in Punjab. He also discussed the dysfunctional running of the Parliament and tried to come up with solutions to make the institution run more productively.

Image credit: Srijan Pal Singh’s Facebook page.

“There was stillness on his face and those wise eyes were motionlessly radiating wisdom. He never said a word. He did not show pain, only purpose was visible.”Close associate and student of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Srijan Pal Singh has shared his account of the former President’s last moments on social media. Dr. Kalam passed away on Monday evening while delivering a lecture at IIM, Shillong.Singh who was closely associated with Dr. Kalam and visited Shillong with him recounted how the late scientist spent his last day and thoughts that went through his mind.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh had worked with Dr. Kalam between the years 2009-12, working with him on projects such as ‘What Can I Give’, ‘Energy Independence for the nation’ and PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas). Singh also co-authored a best-selling book with Dr.Kalam Target 3 Billion.During their journey to Shillong, Singh says Dr. Kalam expressed his concern over the terror attacks in Punjab. He also discussed the dysfunctional running of the Parliament and tried to come up with solutions to make the institution run more productively.”For the past two days, Dr. Kalam was worried that time and again Parliament, the supreme institution of democracy, was dysfunctional. He said, ‘I have seen two different governments in my tenure. I have seen more after that. This disruption just keeps happening. It is not right. I really need to find out a way to ensure that the parliament works on developmental politics.’ He then asked me to prepare a surprise assignment question for the students at IIM Shillong, which he would give them only at the end of the lecture. He wanted them to suggest three innovative ways to make the Parliament more productive and vibrant. Then, after a while he returned on it. ‘But how can ask them to give solutions if I don’t have any myself’. For the next one hour, we thwarted (discussed) options after option, who come up with his recommendation over the issue. We wanted to include this discussion in our upcoming book, Advantage India.”From his larger concerns about the country to instances of his thoughtfulness, Singh’s intensely personal account gives us a look into the man behind the public persona of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.Read Singh’s full post here:What I will be remembered for.. my memory of the last day with the great Kalam sir… It has been eight hours since we…
Posted by Srijan Pal Singh on Monday, July 27, 2015

Seven-day state mourning as mark of respect for late APJ Abdul Kalam but no holiday

As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, seven days of state mourning will be observed throughout India from July 27, 2015 to August 2, 2015, both days inclusive,” an official statement said

Government has announced a seven-day state mourning in honour of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, however there will be no holiday.”As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, seven days of state mourning will be observed throughout India from July 27, 2015 to August 2, 2015, both days inclusive,” an official statement said. However, all central government offices will remain open and no holiday has been declared.During the period of state mourning, the national flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout the country where it is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment. The date, time and venue of the state funeral will be intimated later, it said. Kalam, who would have turned 84 in October died after suffering a massive cardiac arrest during a lecture at the IIM Shillong on Monday. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Abdul Kalam: The people’s President

APJ Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th President, who died on Monday evening was an extraordinary Indian, writes Shashi Tharoor in this exclusive tribute.

‘He was a people’s president’: Who said what on APJ Abdul Kalam’s demise

Former president, renowned scientist and Bharat Ratna, APJ Abdul Kalam passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to students at IIM-Shillong on Monday evening. He was 84.

Kalam collapsed during his lecture and was rushed to Bethany Hospital in Shillong where he was declared dead. The man, was referred to as the ‘Missile Man of India’ and ‘People’s President’ owing to his scientific achievements and popular stature.

APJ Abdul Kalam. Reuters

APJ Abdul Kalam. Reuters

The entire nation, saddened by his death, went into mourning and eminent people, from politicians to actors, expressed their grief.

Here’s what India had to say when Kalam passed away:

President Pranab Mukherjee: “He had a special love for children and fought to constantly inspire the youth of our country Dr Kalam will be long remembered for his passion, science and innovation and his contributions have enabled scientists, educationists and writers. His achievements as leader of DRDO vastly enhanced the security of our nation. In his passing away, we have lost a great son of India who dedicated his entire life to the welfare of his motherland. Dr Kalam was a people’s president during his lifetime and will remain so.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “I got to work with him closely. I have lost an uttam marg darshak. The country has lost a son who worked for the strength of India. He had spent every moment for the youth of India. No person will be able to fill the gap left by him. His work will inspire us to work for the development of the nation.”

Singer Lata Mangeshkar: “Dr Kalam, when you became the President, you gave the word ‘hope’ a new meaning for Indians…”.

Singer and composer AR Rahman: Today, we have lost a great leader who inspired our young minds to feel that we live in the greatest nation on earth and that each one of them can achieve great things… May the creator lead you to heaven

RJD chief Lalu Prasad: “He was not just an astute statesman, Kalam was also a scholar and a renowned scientist. Despite being the President, he always used to relate and react with the common people and under his supervision, India’s defence system got a huge boost.”

BJP patriarch LK Advani: “Shocking! And he has come so suddenly. A few days back, I attended his book release function. If I were to sum up what I feel his personality indicated, I would say that he was a unique combination of science and spirituality.”

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar: “This is a personal loss for me. Dr Kalam was a great scientist and eminent social worker. On my request, he had come to Bihar on a number of occasions and guided the development of the state. He had also immensely contributed towards setting up of the Nalanda International University.”

Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung: “He left inspirational thoughts with us. India has lost a son. When will we get a son of this caliber?”

Former president Pratibha Patil: “He was the best human being I came across. I feel very sorry. He had good humour, had very good presence of mind and always wanted to give something to society”

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah: “I think it’s the saddest news I’ve heard in a long time. He was the people’s president. I remember when I went with Vajpayee ji to Pokhran, that was my first meeting with him.”

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra: “Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Sh (sic) Abdul Kalam ..words cannot express the loss.”

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel : “Deeply shocked & saddened by the demise of former President of India and one of the finest human-beings Shri APJ Abdul Kalam. An eminent scientist, a visionary & an inspiration – Shri APJ Abdul Kalam will be missed by one and all. May his soul rest in peace!”

Home Minister Rajnath Singh: “Deeply saddened at the sudden demise of the former president of India Dr. APAJ Abdul Kalam. He was an inspiration to an entire generation. Dr. Kalam was a man of impeccable character, indomitable spirit, profound knowledge and firm conviction. The death of Dr. Kalam is an irreparable loss to this nation. He has left a big void hard to fill. I deeply mourn his death. RIP Kalam Sahab.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal“V (sic) sad to hear that Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is no more. Nation has lost a real bharat ratna.”

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah: ‏”I hope the news trickling in from Shillong is false, if it is true then a bad day has just gotten worse.”

Author Chetan Bhagat: “We lost an Indian hero today. RIP APJ Abdul Kalam. You will always be an inspiration.”

Actress Raveena Tandon: “Terrible news!!APJ Abdul Kalam you will be remembered as one of the best presidents India has seen!”

Actress Tisca Chopra: “One of our finest Presidents.. RIP APJ Abdul Kalam ..”

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a multi-faceted personality

Bharat Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam brought blue revolution by heading integrated guided missile development program but very few know that he used to play Rudraveena at an ease.

There were many faces behind the missile man of India, a prolific poet, sensitive human being, a patriot Indian who always thought that unless my motherland becomes a nuclear Nation, it would not enjoy the respect in the league of Nations of the World and a humble man with a child-like curiosity who would play with kids at Rashtrapati Bhavan during morning walk forgetting that he is head of a state. Bharat Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam brought blue revolution by heading integrated guided missile development program but very few know that he used to play Rudraveena at an ease. In one of his poems (in Tamil which has been translated in English) Kalam refers to Agni missile, the ICBM intercontinental ballistic missile which has a range of 2500 miles, as his son and writes, ‘`my parents were sad when I decided against marrying, they were worried as to their family name would not be continued but today when Agni has hit the target at 2500 Kms in sea, I am remembered of my parents. If they would have been alive, they would have been so happy to see that their grand-son (Agni) is so powerful.`<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Kalam’s brother and his family including his sons and grand-children visited Rashtrapati Bhavan in the last month of Kalam’s tenure as President of India. Interestingly, Kalam ordered food for all the family members from outside and neither he used President’s kitchen nor he paid the bills from Rashtrapati Bhavan accounts. He himself made the payment from his salary and showed an example of probity in public life. Kalam during his morning walk found an injured peacock in the Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens and it was Kalam who picked up the peacock in his own hands and took it to doctors for treatment. Right from the days of a scientist, Kalam always stayed in single officer’s quarter which is comparatively small despite the fact that he later became scientific advisor to defence Minister. Dr S K Salvan, the former director of ARDE (Armament Research and Development Establishment) had narrated an anecdote about Kalam. A scientist who got transferred to Orisa at Missile site and could not concentrate on work for 3-4 days had seen different Kalam. Kalam went to the scientist’s room and asked him as to why was he not able to concentrate on work. When he told that his son was bed-ridden in Mumbai and phone call could not get through for last 3-4 days, it was Kalam who himself told operator to connet it to Mumbai. Kalam talked to scientist’s son and wife as well as made the scientist to speak to his family members. The scientis was in tears when Kalam told him, “look, even one person at the missile site can’t concentrate on work, the entire program which is ambitious for the country could fail. What are we doing here if our family members are not well? Henceforth, feel free to tell me if anything is wrong, be it personal or otherwise.”

Ex-Indian President Abdul Kalam dies

Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, known as “missile man”, dies at the age of 83 after collapsing while delivering a lecture.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s body to be taken to Delhi today

The body of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who died in Shillong this evening, will be taken to Delhi on Tuesday morning.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

The body of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who died in Shillong this evening, will be taken to Delhi on Tuesday morning.The body of the late former president was shifted from Bethania Hospital, where he breathed his last, to the military hospital in Shillong, defence PRO Amit Mahajan said.It will be taken by an Air Force helicopter to Guwahati at 5:30 am and from there to Delhi at 6:30 am by a special aircraft, he said.

A Bharat Ratna that would shine forever: Kalam rose from humble beginnings to become ‘people’s President’

New Delhi: Popularly called the “Missile Man” of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam rose from humble beginnings and earned the reputation of being the “people’s President” who endeared himself to all all sections, especially the young.

A devout Muslim and son of a boat owner, Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, who assumed office as the 11th President on 18 July 2002, was seen as a figurehead who could help heal some of the scars of the communal riots which broke out in Gujarat just a few months before.

Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. Getty Images

Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. Getty Images

The country’s first bachelor President, Kalam, whose flowing grey hair is seen as being at odds with what Indians thought a president ought to look like, was one amongst the most respected people of the country who contributed immensely both as a scientist and as a president.

Acknowledged as the driving force behind India’s quest for cutting-edge defence technologies, Kalam’s contributions to India’s satellite programmes, guided and ballistic missiles project, nuclear weapons programme and the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project made him a household name.

Born and raised in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu on 15 October 1931, Kalam, who is known for having a unique style, joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) after studying physics and aerospace engineering after graduating from Madras Institute of Technology.

Mainly focusing on research in defence and space arena, he later involved himself in the India’s missile programme. His contribution to the ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology earned him the named as the “Missile Man of India”.

Kalam, who received several prestigious awards including Bharat Ratna, played a crucial role when India tested its nuclear weapons at Pokhran in 1998 when the Vajpayee government was in power.

A vegetarian bachelor, Kalam was quoted as saying that like most of the technology he spearheaded, he himself was “Made in India”, having never been trained abroad.

Kalam succeeded K R Narayanan and served a full five-year term from 2002 until 2007 after he won the Presidential elections which was a highly one-sided contest with Lakshmi Sahgal, a revolutionary of the Indian Independence movement, as his rival. He secured the backing of all political parties.

With his appointment, Kalam became the first scientist and first ever bachelor to occupy the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

During his tenure as President, Kalam came up for criticism for his inaction in deciding the fate of 20 out of 21 mercy petitions.

Kalam acted on only one mercy plea in his 5-year tenure, rejecting the plea of rapist Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was hanged thereafter.

He answered critics over the delay in deciding on the mercy plea of Afzal Guru, who was on the death row after he was convicted of the terror attack on Parliament, saying he had not received any papers from the government. Guru was subsequently hanged.

Kalam also faced criticism over his assent from abroad to the controversial decision to impose President’s rule in Bihar in 2005. He, however, sought to dismiss the criticism, saying he has no regrets.

Kalam on one occasion showed that he too was not a rubber stamp-like Constitutional head by refusing to approve the Office-of-Profit Bill. It was an unexpected response that sent tremors across the political establishment, especially the ruling Congress and its leftist allies.

The next day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was left to explain the matter to the President and somehow get his consent for the Prevention of Disqualification (Amendment) Bill 2006.

Known for his unique interactive skills, Kalam made it a point to involve students in his speeches and lectures irrespective of their age-group.

After the lectures, he would often ask students to write to him and he did not fail to respond to many messages that he got.

For his contribution to the missile programme, he was awarded with Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in 1997. He was also awarded Padma Bhushan in 1981 and Padma Vibhushan in 1990.

Post-presidency, Kalam worked as a visiting professor at Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Ahmedabad and Indore and several research and academic institutions across the country and world.

He authored several books with the ‘Wings of Fire’, ‘India 2020’ and ‘Ignited Minds’ being the most read best-sellers.

Kalam’s father owned boats which he rented out to local fishermen, but he himself began his career as a newspaper vendor.


Failure a part of life: Modi dishes out success mantras to students during Mann ki baat

Spelling out his tips on handling success and failure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi while congratulating students who passed their CBSE examination, also give them some career advice today.

1 “Dream big and proceed ahead. Success and failure are a part of life.

Suggesting that students must choose their career according to their capabilities, Modi said, “It’s important that you realize your potential, capabilities and choose your path based on that”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFPPrime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP

2. Congratulating students who passed the CBSE board exams, Modi sought to encourage those who failed. Talking about how not to get discouraged by failure, Modi urged the students to change themselves through action and hard-work.

Modi even cited APJ Abdul Kalam as a reference in his bid to inspire board exam students. “Former President APJ Abdul Kalam failed to become a pilot but became the President,” said Modi.

3. PM asked students to not get discouraged by picking off-beat career paths.

4.Modi then went on to ask students to keep a diary while travelling, for it is ‘another side of education’. He said students must write about all their experiences while travelling in a diary and share it with the government for it helps the latter to understand their country better.

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