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Abdul Kalam Ten things you may not know
The AUTOBIOGRAPHY of Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam
• Ten things you may not know
12th President of India
July 25, 2002 – July 25, 2007
Vice President(s) Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
Preceded by K. R. Narayanan
Succeeded by Pratibha Patil
October 15, 1931 (age 76)
Dhanushkodi, Rameswaram, Madras
Political party Not affiliated
Spouse Never married
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (Tamil: அவல பகீர ைைனலாபதீன
அபதல கலாம)(Hindi: अवुल पििर जैनुलाअबदीन अबदलु िलाम) born October 15,
1931, Tamil Nadu, India, usually referred to as Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam ^) was the
twelfth President of India, serving from 2002 to 2007. A notable scientist and engineer,
he is often referred to as the Missile Man of India for his work and is considered a
progressive mentor, innovator and visionary in India. He is also popularly known as the
People's President. His term as president ended on July 25, 2007.
· 1 Honors
· 2 Political views
· 3 Personal life
· 4 Books
· 5 See also
· 6 References
· 7 External links
Kalam has received honorary doctorates from as many as thirty universities . The
Government of India has honored him with the nation's highest civilian honors: the
Padma Bhushan in 1981; the Padma Vibhushan in 1990; and the Bharat Ratna in 1997.
Kalam is the third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna before
being elected to the highest office, the other two being Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and
Zakir Hussain. He is also the first scientist and first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati
Referred to as the "People's President", Kalam is often considered amongst India's
greatest presidents, going on to win a poll conducted by news channel CNN-IBN for
India's Best President.
In October 2007, Kalam will receive a Honorary Doctorate of Science from the
University of Wolverhampton.
Kalam's probable 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
Kalam continues to take an active interest in other developments in the field of science
and technology as well. He has proposed a research programme for developing bioimplants.
He is a supporter of Open source software over proprietary solutions and
believes that the use of open source software on a large scale will bring more people the
benefits of information technology.
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 emphasizes 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
APJ Abdul Kalam was born in 1931 in a middle-class family in Rameshwaram, a town
well-known for its Hindu shrines. His father, a devout Muslim, owned boats which he
rented out to local fishermen and was a good friend of Hindu religious leaders and the
school teachers at Rameshwaram. APJ Abdul Kalam mentions in his biography that to
support his studies, he started his career as a newspaper vendor. This was also told in the
book, A Boy and His Dream: Three Stories from the Childhood of Abdul Kalam by Vinita
Krishna. The house Kalam was born in can still be found on the Mosque street at
Rameswaram, and his brother's curio shop abuts it. This has become a point-of-call for
tourists who seek out the place. Kalam grew up in an intimate relationship with nature,
and he says in Wings of Fire that he never could imagine that water could be so powerful
a destroying force as that he witnessed when he was six. That was in 1964 when a
cyclonic storm swept away the Pamban bridge and a trainload of passengers with it and
also Kalam's native village, Dhanushkodi.
Kalam observes strict personal discipline, vegetarianism, teetotalism and celibacy
Kalam is a scholar of Thirukkural; in most of his speeches, he quotes at least one kural.
Kalam has written several inspirational books, most notably his autobiography Wings of
Fire, aimed at motivating Indian youth. Another of his books, Guiding Souls: Dialogues
on the Purpose of Life reveals his spiritual side. He has written poems in Tamil as well. It
has been reported that there is considerable demand in South Korea for translated
versions of books authored by him.