Kalam: People’s president,Students' friend and ‘Ratna’ of India
Lucknow: Sometimes it is better to bunk a class and spend time with friends, because when I look back marks never made me smile, but memories do……………….. –Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
Call him a President, a scientist, a philosopher or a teacher, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a true ‘Ratna’ of nation.
An ocean of knowledge, who wanted to give it all to the youth of India, a writer who wrote his own story from being a newspaper vendor to be known as the ‘Missile man of India’, a leader who took the responsibilities of failures but applauded his team for all their successful ventures, a teacher who never taught his students how to get good grades but told them how to collect great memories, a philosopher who never gave quotes on how to get success but had always shown the way to achieve dreams, a successful scientist who never wrote any papers to encourage scientific inventions but gave this country the kind of strength that India could stand up to the world confidently, a successful man who did not want to make admirers but friends.
While he is being known as People’s President, Dr. Kalam always wanted to be remembered as ‘Students' Friend’.
As nation mourns his death a year later, we bring you some inspirational incidents from the life of the ‘Missile Man of India’, which truly defines how great teacher he was.
A man of integrity, dignity and sovereignty, Dr. Kalam When asked what he would like to be remembered as, he replied that he would like to be remembered as a teacher.
- Once during an interaction with students in Kerala, a young boy stood up to ask President Kalam a question. The boy started off by saying, “Sir, I poor English, studying Malayalam medium.” To this, Kalam replied by asking him to put his question in Malayalam. This was of course received by a huge round of applause by everyone present.
Dr. Abdul Kalam in one of his most famous speeches at IIT Hyderabad encouraged the young minds by saying:
“I am echoing J. F. Kennedy’s words to his fellow Americans to relate to Indians…..
“ASK WHAT WE CAN DO FOR INDIA AND DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE TO MAKE INDIA WHAT AMERICA AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE TODAY”
Let’s do what India needs from us.”
- The People’s presidents while interacting with engineering students always had said that instead of opting the subject that has a wider scope in your field, opt for the subject you love and create opportunities for others.
- A proud Indian, Dr. Kalam had always been optimistic and had always asked the young minds to connect themselves to the almighty. “I do not know why people say that science takes us away from the God, as I indulge myself more into this subject, it takes me closer to him”, the late President had once said in his speech with the students of Indian Institute of Management.
- Not only IITians and students of IIM had got the honours to interact with their favourite president, the little wards at schools were also blessed to get to know their favourite teacher. In a reply to a kid’s wish to become like him Dr. Kalam said, “If you want to become like me, Dream.” “Dream, Dream and Dream because it is your dreams that will define your actions and your actions will shape your destiny,” he used to quote wherever he would go.
- Dr. Kalam when asked once by a class 12 student ‘what is success to him’, he said that for him ‘Success is when your signature turns into autograph’ and the boy from Rameshwaram proved it.
- After his retirement as the President of India, Dr Kalam returned to the field he said he was made for, ‘Teaching’. After leaving office, Kalam became a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, the Indian Institute of Management Ahemadabad 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 International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, and technology at Banaras Hindu University and Anna University.
- When death approached him on July 27, 2015, he was addressing a group of students at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. He died doing what he loved doing the best – interacting with young minds.
Dr. Kalam's last tweet before he went to IIM-Shillong:
Going to Shillong.. to take course on Livable Planet earth at iim.
With @srijanpalsingh and Sharma.
— Kalam Project (@APJAbdulKalam) 27 July 2015
Though, the nation has lost their guide, mentor and a visionary leader, Dr. Kalam will always be in the hearts of every countryman and his thoughts will always inspire the young force and generations to come.