Intro : Symbiosis of science and spirituality is the way of Indian life and Kalam actually lived it and inspired upcoming generation to uphold that spirit. He was so sure that this is the essence of India as well as its future.
Long spell of subjugation under foreign dispensations had a devastating impact on the growth of science in India. As a sigh of relief, 1920s witnessed a resurgence in a great and profound measure under aegis of the doyens like Ashutosh Mukherjee, SN Bose, Saha, JC Bose and so on. After that short phase of hope the country was again slipping into a state of dormancy. It was under dynamic leadership of Dr Abdul Kalam science and its applications rose to national prominence and global acceptance in the meeting decades of 20th and 21st century. His stint in ISRO and DRDO produced successful missions one after the other which propelled India into an elite club of global powers.
RSS Paid tribute to Kalam
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat Ji and Sarkaryawah Suresh (Bhayya) Joshi Ji condoled the demise of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
The moment is still vivid in my mind, immediately after his resignation as Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt of India, he had a long and soulful conversation with Prof. K I Vasu (The Founder President & Patron of Vibha). He was speaking his mind on the future course of his activities after his illustrious career. To the astonishment of Vasuji, he said that he is going to meet school children across the length and breadth of the country and he is intent to kick-start his campaign from North-Eastern States. Now hearing his last words from Shillong an inner voice tells me that he has gone their to finish an entire circle which was revolving relentlessly for the past 16 years.
A modern scientist cum technocrat to the core, Dr Kalam was equally proud of Indian culture and contributions to the extent that he was a living embodiment of those values. At one hand he inspired kids with the stories of Dr S Chandrasekhar and CV Raman, at the other, he never hesitated to narrate stories of their western counterparts. His outlook was truly universal. He had extra-ordinary oratorical skills to make the dead alive when he speaks, whether he was speaking on the perseverance of Thomas Alva Edison or the dedication of Madam Curie, I could see it in every child in the audience an immense urge to emulate those aspiring icons.
While we were sharing a VIP lounge in an airport I asked him out of the blue, “who will take your thoughts and dreams after you”. He gently stared at me before presenting his smile impregnant with enough meaning. I told him, a single call of action from you, lakhs would be out there to execute your command, especially the youth. He told me blankly that it is not the way he wanted it. It was his firm belief that those who have heard him earnestly, their minds will carry the seeds and evolve with the times, when it is ripe enough they will lead the society towards its glorious destiny. He was so confident of the minds he ignited. It is an amazing feat may be even singular in history where an individual has addressed crores of students without the aid of any organization or network. Symbiosis of science and spirituality is the way of Indian life and Kalam actually lived it and inspired upcoming generation to uphold that spirit. He was so sure that this is the essence of India as well as its future.
In Baramati, while he came to inaugurate children's science congress, I also joined with him. Two weeks back we were together in Kerala for another function. We were meeting recurrently across the country, which prompted him to pat me on my back and he said “hey wherever good things are happening, you are also there”. I was truly overwhelmed by the moment and I truly believe it was a blessing from god. While students showed little interest to choose politics as their career, he stressed upon the dire need of the nation to have quality politicians in enough numbers. The diverse dynamics of Indian nationhood was always etched in his mind.
When my headquarters was shifted Nagpur, I wished to take Kalamji to Poojaneeya Dr Hedgewar’s SmritiMandir at Nagpur. Exactly a year later on July 29th he visited Reshambaug and also addressed students. I led him to Drji’s Amrit Mandapam, with folded hands and great reverence he laid flowers at the lotus feet of Drji. It was one of the happiest days in my life.
A month back too I happened to share a flight with Kalamji. I was actually planning to organise a magnanimous felicitation program led by PM himself at Delhi on his upcoming birthday on October 15th. Coming near his seat, I enquired about his availability on October 15 at Delhi, in his usual style he asked what for. When I mentioned the purpose, he told me with his trademark smile, “Jayakumar I wont be there, I will be far away from Delhi”.
I never thought as always his words would carry so much weightage, he has gone so far away and the thought that we can’t reach him anymore is a poignant fact, I hate to swallow. But even in his physical absence I would try my level best to walk through his vision till my breath lasts.
Jayakumar (The writer is Secretary General of Vijnana Bharati sharing his experience with former President Late Abdul Kalam) (August 9, 2015 Page 10-11)