Is the halo around A.P.J. Abdul Kalam the scientist wearing off? Beyond the pale of criticism for long, the former president is now in the middle of a controversy after he refuted the claims of K. Santhanam, a former nuclear scientist with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), that Pokhran-II had not delivered the expected results. Now more voices challenging Kalam have come out in the open and are getting louder.
First, Santhanam refused to buckle under. Instead, in a recent interview, he said: “Kalam is not a nuclear scientist. He is a missile scientist and was not there at that time. He is blissfully ignorant of the facts. Do I need to say more?” Former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman and the guiding force behind Pokhran-I in 1974, Homi Sethna, seconded him: “The former president was not a scientist and Santhanam is a physicist and he knew what he was talking. What does Kalam understand about physics?”