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A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: His Spiritual Experiences and Teachings


APJ Abdul Kalam: The Missile Man of India




APJ Abdul Kalam was one of the most respected and admired figures in Indian history. He was a scientist, engineer, politician, writer, and teacher who played a leading role in the development of India's missile and nuclear weapons programs. He also served as the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007. He was widely known as the "Missile Man of India" for his work on the advancement of launch vehicles and ballistic missile technology. He was also called the "People's President" for his popularity and humility. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor.


Early life and education




APJ Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931, in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. His father was a boat owner and imam of a local mosque; his mother was a housewife. He came from a humble background and had to work as a newspaper vendor to support his education. He developed an interest in science and mathematics at an early age. He graduated from St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli with a degree in physics in 1954. He then enrolled at the Madras Institute of Technology to study aeronautical engineering.




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Career achievements




In 1958, Kalam joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a scientist. He worked on designing India's first indigenous hovercraft, named Nandi. In 1969, he moved to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), where he was the project director of the SLV-III, the first satellite launch vehicle that was both designed and produced in India. He also supervised the development of other rockets and satellites for various missions.


In 1982, he returned to DRDO to lead the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), which aimed to develop five types of missiles for India's defence needs. Among these were Agni, India's first intermediate-range ballistic missile; Prithvi, a short-range surface-to-surface missile; Akash, a surface-to-air missile; Nag, an anti-tank missile; and Trishul, a short-range surface-to-air missile. These missiles made India self-reliant in missile technology and earned Kalam the nickname "Missile Man".


Kalam also played a key role in India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998, which established India as a nuclear power and made him a national hero. He was the chief scientific adviser to the prime minister and the secretary of DRDO at that time. He supervised the Pokhran-II explosions, which consisted of five nuclear detonations.


Kalam was also involved in various scientific research projects related to aerospace engineering, defence systems, biotechnology, healthcare, renewable energy, education, and rural development. He authored several books on these topics, such as Wings of Fire (1999), India 2020 (1998), Ignited Minds (2002), Indomitable Spirit (2006), Target 3 Billion (2011), etc.


Presidency and public service




In 2002, Kalam was nominated by the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as their presidential candidate. He also received support from the opposition Indian National Congress (INC). He won the presidential election by a landslide margin and became the 11th president of India on July 25, 2002.


As president, Kalam focused on promoting education, science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, rural development, youth empowerment, national integration, and world peace. He visited several states and countries and interacted with various sections of society, especially students and children. He inspired millions of people with his speeches, books, and actions. He advocated for a vision of India as a developed nation by 2020, with a strong economy, social justice, cultural diversity, and global leadership.


Death and legacy




Kalam died on July 27, 2015, at the age of 83, while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong. He collapsed on the stage after suffering a cardiac arrest and was declared dead by the doctors. His death was mourned by the nation and the world, and he received state honors at his funeral in Rameswaram.


Kalam left behind a legacy of excellence, integrity, humility, and patriotism. He was honored with several awards and recognitions, both national and international, such as the Padma Shri (1981), the Padma Vibhushan (1990), the Bharat Ratna (1997), the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration (1997), the Ramanujan Award (2000), the King Charles II Medal (2007), the Hoover Medal (2009), the IEEE Honorary Membership (2011), etc. He also received honorary doctorates from over 40 universities around the world.


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Kalam's life and work have inspired countless people to pursue their dreams and contribute to society. He is widely regarded as a role model for youth, a visionary leader for India, and a global citizen for humanity. His words and deeds have touched the hearts and minds of millions of people across the world.


Conclusion




APJ Abdul Kalam was a remarkable person who dedicated his life to the service of his country and his fellow beings. He was a scientist who made India proud with his achievements in missile and nuclear technology. He was a president who won the love and respect of his people with his simplicity and sincerity. He was a teacher who ignited the minds of young generations with his wisdom and passion. He was a writer who shared his vision and values with his readers. He was a humanist who cared for the welfare and dignity of all living beings.


In his own words, "My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people."


FAQs




What does APJ stand for in APJ Abdul Kalam?




APJ stands for Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen, which is his full name.


What are some of the books written by APJ Abdul Kalam?




Some of the books written by APJ Abdul Kalam are Wings of Fire (1999), India 2020 (1998), Ignited Minds (2002), Indomitable Spirit (2006), Target 3 Billion (2011), My Journey (2013), Forge Your Future (2014), Transcendence (2015), etc.


What are some of the awards received by APJ Abdul Kalam?




Some of the awards received by APJ Abdul Kalam are Padma Shri (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990), Bharat Ratna (1997), Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration (1997), Ramanujan Award (2000), King Charles II Medal (2007), Hoover Medal (2009), IEEE Honorary Membership (2011), etc.


What are some of the achievements of APJ Abdul Kalam as a scientist?




Some of the achievements of APJ Abdul Kalam as a scientist are designing India's first hovercraft Nandi, leading India's first satellite launch vehicle SLV-III, heading India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program IGMDP, supervising India's nuclear weapons tests Pokhran-II, initiating various scientific research projects related to aerospace engineering, defence systems, biotechnology, healthcare, renewable energy, education, and rural development.


What are some of the achievements of APJ Abdul Kalam as a president?




Some of the achievements of APJ Abdul Kalam as a president are promoting education, science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, rural development, youth empowerment, national integration, and world peace; visiting several states and countries and interacting with various sections of society; inspiring millions of people with his speeches, books, and actions; advocating for a vision of India as a developed nation by 2020.


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