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Kalam was caned for being naughty in school
October 15, 2006 17:52 IST
A P J Abdul Kalam, the country's top missile guru who rose to become President, was caned for being a naughty boy in school.
Kalam made this candid admission in response to a query by 12-year-old Naina Gautam of Dehradun, who wanted to know whom he admired the most and whether he was mischievous in school.
"Of course my parents. I always remember my teacher... Since I studied during the 1940s, [those were the times if] you are naughty, you will be caned. I have experienced that," Kalam, who turns 75 today, replied in his popular website presidentofindia.nic.in.
To a suggestion by 11-year-old Abhudaya of Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh that homework should not be given to students, the man responsible for the development of the Agni and Prithvi missiles had simple words of advice.
"I believe that homework is part of education. It improves the working of students. Personally, it has helped me."
The scientist who in his literary pursuit has written thought-provoking books like Wings of Fire, India 2020-A vision for the new millennium, My Journey and Ignited Minds-Unleashing the power within India, has responded to questions from children that touched on his personal life and issues like poverty eradication, role of parents in molding children and scientific theories.
Ten-year-old S Arun Venkat Krishna from Trichy in Tamil Nadu had an unusual question. "Sir, if God appears before you, what request will you make to him?"
Kalam's reply was, "I will pray... God bless my nation with people of hard work and knowledge and thereby make it an economically developed nation."