Letters | Sep 09, 2013
  • The Pen of Kalam
    Sep 09, 2013

    Thanks for the wonderful cover story on A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Life is not Rocket Science, Aug 26). An honest, simple intellectual and a broad-minded, inspiring leader, the likes of whom are a rarity these days. Such a nationalist leader will continue to be a role model for the many who would like see India emerge as a stronger, pluralist nation. Like his other books, his memoirs too will be a bestseller.

    G. Anuplal, Bangalore

    Dr Kalam is a one-of-a-kind polymath, his interests ranging from maths to physics to philosophy and children’s education. India is lucky to have had him.

    Raja Panwar, Edmonton, Canada

    This is the reason why our defence is in a shambles. We idolise these public sector scientists who make rockets and bombs that no one is scared of. This biography merely plays on this very media-created image. More relevant would be to publish extracts of the national money our presidents and ex-presidents waste on foreign travel. That could aptly be titled ‘My Journeys’.

    Dinesh Kumar, Chandigarh

    Would anybody have thought that a fisherman’s boy selling newspapers in Rameswaram would one day be delivering satellites into outer space and catapulting himself to the highest office in the country? His autobiography sho­uld be required reading in schools.

    K.P. Rajan, Mumbai

    As this extract suggests, and his earlier book India 2020 elaborates on, the key to transforming India is for the youth to set the bar high. There’s no other substitute.

    Beena Mathur, Pune

    I hope young Indians will have a lot more to learn when his story is released.

    Ramachandran Nair, Oman

    On Dr Kalam’s not getting into the IAF, I can assure you that laid-down standards and merit are what get candidates selec­ted there. It’s a very fair system, APJ probably didn’t make it because he did not have a military leadership bent of mind.

    R.D. Singh, Ambala

    Interesting life. He includes both Gita and Quran in his list of favourite books.

    Anwaar, Dallas

    In these trying times, the ‘people’s president’ is a great inspiration for all readers. As Kalam would say, ‘We can do it.’

    S. Balakrishnan, Jamshedpur

    If at all the BJP has shown sagacity in any of its doings, it was in elevating Dr Kalam to the presidency, a position he added lustre and stature to, qualities that his successors or predecessors are unlikely ever to be accused of.

    Vinod Kumar B., Bangalore

    It is to be remembered that Kalam was den­ied a second term by Sonia Gandhi, who replaced him with Pratibha Patil, of all people.

    D.L. Narayan, Vizag

    Reading this extract has been a huge source of encouragement for me.

    Satish Pandey, Dhanbad

    With this cover story, Outlook has proved that positive, proactive journalism is not dead in India, as many peeve about.

    V.N.K. Murti, Pattambi