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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

In memory of Kalam-THE LOSS OF A GENIUS

By: Dibyasha Mohanty
“An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”
While history is replete with examples of great men from humble backgrounds, Kalam’s case is different. He has not only managed to rise to greatness despite countless obstacles, but also maintained that greatness through his humility. This down to earth missile man was there to trigger the military ontogeny of India through his ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.

Born to a poor Tamil family in Rameshwaram, he started working early as a newspaper boy to supplement his family income. He missed his cherished goal of becoming a fighter pilot by an inch when he was placed nine in a qualifier for eight positions. Little did he know that fate had other plans for this soon-to-be-great scientist who was to become the project director of India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle. He was instrumental in developing India’s military efficiency through missiles such as Agni ,an intermediate range ballistic missile and Prithvi, the tactical surface-to-surface missile. He also contributed to the development of the country’s nuclear capability through his role as Chief Project Coordinator for the Pokharan-II tests, along with Rajagopala Chidambaram. This determined patriot not only placed China and Pakistan at vulnerable distance of our ballistic missiles but also set forth an example of sacrifice and modesty during his term as the People’s President.
While awards and doctorates fall short of gauging his inestimable lustre it is worth mentioning that that he is the recipient of the Padma Bhushan(1981) ,Padma Vibhushan(1990), Ratna(1997) and several rewards and respects..He has received honorary doctorates from 40 universities.
To be honest, no amount of words would suffice in doing justice to his identity,yet all I am trying to do is to convey my fervent condolence for my favourite youth icon, who has set forth a brilliant example for generations to follow. A sincere student, passionate scientist, respected teacher and proud patriot –every minute of his 83 years of lifespan was spent in a selfless crusade to prove the mettle of an Indian. I am not saying who he was, I am simply trying to say who we have lost.
“Don't declare a holiday on my death, instead work an extra day.”- Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam.

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