India’s 'Missile Man' Abdul Kalam dies before he could finish his dream book
Chennai/Hyderabad: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam completed seven chapters of a book in Tamil with a vision for the growth of Tamil Nadu and almost till his end he had discussed about the initiative, his aide said tonight.
Similar to Kalam's Vision 2020, which aimed at transforming India into a developed nation, he was in the process of writing a similar book for Tamil Nadu in particular.
The book was titled "Ennathil Nalamirunthal Kanavu Tamilagam Uruvagum, Puyalai Thandinal Thendral," and seven chapters of the book was completed after detailed discussions, co-author of the book and scientific advisor to Kalam when he was President, V Ponraj said.
On July 23, he said he had a last discussion with Kalam on the book.
"He dreamed of a developed Tamil Nadu and wanted such a State to blossom, the book had his vision for such a transformation," Ponraj told Puthiya Thalaimurai, Tamil TV News channel.
Kalam was active till the end. In his twitter account he spoke of his Shillong lecture, which turned out to be his last.
"Going to Shillong... to take course on Livable Planet earth at iim. With @srijanpalsingh and Sharma," he had tweeted.
Kalam, the 'missile man' who came to be known as 'People's President' died on Monday evening after he collapsed during a lecture at the IIM.
Kalam, who would have turned 84 in October, was confirmed dead more than two hours after he was wheeled into the ICU of Bethany hospital in a critical condition following the collapse at around 6.30 pm.
Abdul Kalam with Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg (Photo: PTI/File)
Considered the most popular President, Kalam became the 11th head of the state and occupied the post between 2002 and 2007 but lack of consensus denied a second term in office for a man who came from outside political spectrum.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his Telangana counterpart K Chandrashekar Rao and several other leaders condoled the death of former President.
Naidu, who expressed deep shock and anguish at Kalam's death said that the former president was "a dear friend" and the noblest human being he met in his life.
"During NDA rule under Vajpayee's leadership, we had collectively proposed his name for the President's post," Naidu was quoted as saying in a statement.
"I am deeply saddened. My deepest condolences. Kalam and I shared a great bond. His achievements as a fine scientist, scholar, teacher and a mentor are immeasurable. He will remain in our hearts," Naidu said.
Abdul Kalam with US President Barack Obama in New Delhi (Photo: PTI/File)
He recalled that Kalam had launched the "primary sector mission" of his government in Anantapur district last year during which he made farmers in a village recite a poem along with him.
"He was a gem of a person, an icon India has lost. May his soul rest in peace," the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said.
Describing Kalam as a great humanist, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said the former president's death is a great loss to the country.
Rao also recalled Kalam's contributions, which made him "the Missile Man".
Several Andhra Pradesh ministers, Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy and other leaders condoled the death of Kalam.