The legacy of Dr. Abdul Kalam, the people’s President and a teacher forever

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On 25th July 2002, when Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was sworn in as the 11th President of the Republic of India, he became the first scientist and the first bachelor to occupy the office of Rashtrapati Bhawan. In the next five years, the missile man of India demonstrated his abilities as a true People’s president or even ‘Children’s President’. Known for his pivotal role in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, Dr. Kalam has been an inspirational figure for everyone, whether a child, youth or adult.

Post presidency, Dr. Kalam was actively involved in academics as faculty in some of the premier institutes of the country. In one such role, he visited the Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad, for a couple of days as visiting faculty for the course 'Globalising & Resurgent India through Innovation Transformation' (GRIT). At 80, it was stirring to see him arrive at 7:45 PM and take the lecture on Vision 2020 and sustainability till 12:30 AM with just a cup of milk. He said,

A leader must have a 'Vision' - for an organization, 'Passion' - to work for achieving the goals, 'Curiosity' to travel an unexplored path, and 'Courage' to take decisions, in order to succeed, along with demonstrating the transparent actions & nobility in management.

When he was only 10 years old, he had been discussing about birds flying on a sea-shore, which led him to aim to be a pilot one day. To achieve his dream, he studied Physics first, then Aeronautics, but he couldn't become a pilot as he was ranked 9th and the required vacancy was only 8. Nevertheless, he didn’t regret it because he went on to become the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. Later on, he was able to fulfill his dream of flying when he piloted a SU-30 MKI Flanker (Mach-3) and controlled it for half an hour.

Such was the spirit of Dr. Kalam. Today, just a couple of hours ago when he tweeted about his scheduled lecture at IIM-Shillong, he was on his way to do what he loves best, spend time among the future of the country and lead them to glory. With his sudden demise, he leaves behind his legacy of infinite wisdom, thoughtfulness and intelligence. Here are some inspirational quotes by Dr. Kalam which will no doubt forever ring true.

Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.


Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life.


All of us do not have equal talent. But, all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.


Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in running after swift but synthetic happiness.



Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant. Knowledge with action converts adversity into prosperity.


Education gives you wings to fly. Achievement comes out of fire in our subconscious mind that ‘I will win’.


When surrounded by day-to-day issues, there is a tendency to forget the good things we are bestowed with.


The important aspect of creativity is: seeing the same thing as everybody else, but thinking of something different.


The world today is integrally connected through four rapid connectivities. They are environment, people, economy, and ideas.


Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.


Failure will never overtake me if my definition to succeed is strong enough.


It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone.


Thinking is progress. Non-thinking is stagnation of the individual, organisation and the country. Thinking leads to action


When you speak, speak the truth; perform when you promise; discharge your trust... Withhold your hands from striking, and from taking that which is unlawful and bad.


What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful and to remove the wrongs of injured..."


I will not be presumptuous enough to say that my life can be a role model for anybody; but some poor child living in an obscure place in an underprivileged social setting may find a little solace in the way my destiny has been shaped. It could perhaps help such children liberate themselves from the bondage of their illusory backwardness and hopelessness?


My worthiness is all my doubt His Merit- all my fear- Contrasting which my quality does however appear.