On Monday, APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, passed away moments after he had begun his lecture to about 130 second year students of the Indian Institute of Magement (IIM) at Shillong on “Liveable Planet Earth”. One could not have picked a more appropriate way of leaving the world for the quintessential teacher of the young and old and the acknowledged igniter of young minds. He had opted out of an air trip from Guwahati to Umroi that would have taken about 30 minutes and preferred the two-hour drive up the winding roads. At the end of the trip he got out of his car to thank Constable SA Lapang for staying so alert in the pilot vehicle accompanying his car. This was the typical APJ Abdul Kalam, India’s missileman and most favourite President. What is indeed remarkable about scientist APJ Abdul Kalam is that he had his entire education in a highly sophisticated discipline in India, and was later able to lead and inspire scientists trained abroad in missile technology. He has been hailed and awarded as a missile scientist by several countries. In an age when pseudo-secularism was the mantra for political success in India, he exposed the hypocritical Congress by turning its brand of hoax on its head and demonstrating to the high-priests of the party what true secularism was like. We shall never have another President like him. No wonder the Congress was so afraid of giving him a second term, and brought in a successor very few Indians had even heard about. May the great seer’s soul rest in eterl peace as he continues to inspire many more generations of Indians even in death.
Salute to a Great Seer