Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, best known as India’s Missile Man, was a life of extreme humility and a single minded devotion. He was responsible for the missile technology that India talks about so naturally today. It was his dedication that sowed the seeds of India’s successful space research. India owes a lot to him for its missile program, a program that succeeded in the face of sanctions. It was he who made India believe in itself.
Also, let us not forget, he operated in an era, where the pulls of nuclear proliferation were critical. He managed India’s nuclear program at a time when it would have been easy for anybody of his caliber to have indulgence. We all know what happened in neighbouring countries, and what happened to the world efforts of stopping proliferation. But, APJ’s commitment to his vision and goal were un-finch able. This led to the world believe that India’s nuclear or space program could never be questioned for nuclear proliferation. The world can apply sanctions, but could not accuse India of being on the wrong side of the Nuclear Technology proliferation. But above, all his life was so full of humility that came so naturally to him, in whatever he did. He was one of the most loved Presidents that Indian had.
Towards his end, Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was doing what he enjoyed the best – teaching & talking to students.
This country will always remember the beloved APJ as a personified example of humility. Intellectual Post Bureau brings you a brief synopsys of the journey of the legend that Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was :
- 15-Oct-2015 : APJ was born to a Tamil muslim fishing family in Rameshwaram. His father was Jainulabdeen and mother was Asiamma.
- His Family had a poor upbringing and young APJ had to start working at a young age to supplement the family income. He also distributed newspapers in his young days.
- 1954 : Graduated in Physics from St Josephs College, Tiruchirapelli.
- 1955 : Moved to Madras to study Aerospace Engineering.
- 1960 : Joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the DRDO after graduating from Madras Institute of Technology.
- 1969 : Was transferred to ISRO, where he was Project Director for SLV-III ( Satellite Launch Vehicle )
- 1970’s : APJ Directed two projects ( Project Devil and Project Valiant ), for developing ballistic missiles from the successful SLV technology. Prime Minister also allocated secret funds for these aerospace projects headed by APJ.
- 1980 : APJ and Dr V S Arunachalam worked together to set in motion an ambitious project to develop a string of missiles including the Agni and Prithvi.
- 1981 : Awarded the Padma Bhushan.
- 1990 : Awarded the Padma Vibhushan.
- 1998 : Awarded the Veer Savarkar award.
- 1992 to 1999 : APJ served as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister. The Pohkran-II tests were conducted during this period.
- 1988 : APJ along with cardiologist Dr Soma Raju, developed a low cost coronary stent called as the “Kalam-Raju-Stent” . In 2012 , the same duo also developed a Tablet called “Kalam-Raju-Tablet”
- 1997 : Awarded the Bharat Ratna.
- 1999 : Writes his Autobiography – Wings of Fire.
- Jul-2002 to Jul-2007 : Served as the President of India.
- In 2005, Switzerland declared 26 May as “Science Day” to commemorate Kalam’s visit to the country.
- 2007 onwards :
- Took lectures at IIM-Shillong, IIM-Ahmedabad and IIM-Indore where he was a faculty.
- He was a Chancellor of the Indian Institute of the Space Science and Technology – Thiruvananthapuram.
- He was also a Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Anna University. He taught Information Technology at the International Institute of Information Technology – Hyderabad.
- He also taught technology at Banaras Hindu University.
- APJ’s 79th birthday was recognised as Worlds Student Day by the United Nations.
- 27-Jul-2016 : While delivering a lecture at IIM-Shillong, DR A P J Abdul Kalam suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away.