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APJ Abdul Kalam: 10 Things you don't know about his life

                                      A. P. J. Abdul Kalam


    10 thing   

     New Delhi: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, known as the 'missile man' of India, and also endearingly called the 'People's President', passed away in Shillong on Monday evening after he collapsed while delivering a lecture at the IIM-Shillong, plunging the entire country in gloom

    • Before becoming the president, Kalam, acknowledged as the driving force behind India's quest for cutting-edge defence technologies, used to stay in a one-room flat.
    • During his childhood days, Dr Kalam, had three close friends Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan and Sivapraksan. All three were from Hindu Brahmin families.
    • The highest priest of Rameswaram temple Pakshi Lakshmana Sastry was a very close friend of Kalam's father.
    • Dr Kalam was very fond of respected doyen of Carnatic music MS Subbulakshmi. The vocalist too had deep respect for Kalam and often served him food she cooked with her own hands. They ate sitting in tradition manner - squatting on the floor and eating off banana leaves.
    • Kalam liked to have south Indian food, especially 'idlis'.
    • Though a nominated president can avail free air tickets for his relatives attending swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Kalam, who led a modest life, chose not to avail such privileges and paid for 2nd AC train tickets for kin.
    • Once during an event, the country's first bachelor president, Kalam refused to sit on a chair that was designated for him at convocation at BHU because the chair was larger in size than the other chairs!
    • Once, Kalam rejected the suggestion of putting a broken glass on the wall of a building that needed protection because it would be harmful for birds.
    • Once while speaking to around 400 students, Kalam ensured the power cut didn't cause any interruption. He walked right in the middle of the crowd and asked the students to surround him. He then spoke to them with his bare voice and delivered, like always, an inspiring keynote.
    • And, who did ex-president Kalam invite as the "Presidential Guests" to Kerala's Raj Bhavan during his first visit to the state after becoming the president--a road side cobbler and owner of a very small hotel.
    • Before his term as India's president, he worked as an aeronautical engineer with DRDO and ISRO. He is popularly known as the Missile Man of India for his work on development of ballistic missile and space rocket technology.[5]. In India he is highly respected as a scientist and as an engineer.
    • Kalam played a pivotal organisational, technical and political role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear test in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.[6] He is a professor at Anna University (Chennai) and adjunct/visiting faculty at many other academic and research institutions across India.

    With the death of R. Venkataraman on January 27, 2009, Kalam became the only surviving former President of India.
    Political views

    APJ Abdul Kalam views on certain issues have been espoused by him in his book India 2020 where he strongly advocates an action plan to develop India into a knowledge superpower and into a developed nation by the year 2020. Kalam is credited with the view that India ought to take a more assertive stance in international relations; he regards his work on India's nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India's place as a future superpower.
    Kalam's belief in the power of science to resolve society's problems and his views of these problems as a result of inefficient distribution of resources is modernistic. He also sees science and technology as ideology-free areas and emphasises the cultivation of scientific temper and entrepreneurial drive. In this, he finds a lot of support among India's new business leaders like the founders of Infosys and Wipro, (leading Indian IT corporations) who began their careers as technology professionals much in the same way Kalam did.
    Personal life

    Kalam has also patronised grassroots innovations. He is closely associated with the Honey Bee Network and The National innovation Foundation. 

    He is a vegetarian and a teetotaller.
    Kalam as an engineer

    Abdul Kalam graduated from Madras Institute of Technology majoring in Aeronautical Engineering.