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PHOTOS: Remembering the People's President

July 28, 2015 13:24 IST
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“It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone.”

                                                                                               -- APJ Abdul Kalam

It seems that Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen ‘APJ’ Abdul Kalam lived by these words. The 11th president of India (2002 to 2007) was loved by all -- scientists, politicians, world leaders and children.

A day after he passed away after collapsing during a lecture at IIM Shillong on Monday, here are photos from his life and career as India's pre-eminent defence scientist and one of the country’s most popular president, who taught the nation to dream.

 

Kalam was born in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation as a scientist. Photograph: Reuters

 

Here’s Kalam at a SLV- III review meeting with Dr Sathish Dhawan. After being transferred to Indian Space Research Organisation in 1969, he became the project director of the India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle- III, which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980. Photograph: Press Information Bureau/Facebook

 

Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. Photograph: Press Information Bureau/Facebook

 

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam with former Prime Minister Shri AB Vajpayee at Pokhran nuclear test site. Kalam served as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999. Photograph: Press Information Bureau/Facebook

 

In 2003, Kalam travelled to Jammu and Kashmir and met with the soldiers patrolling our borders. Accompanied by then J-K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Kalam, addressing the soldiers had said, “Tomorrow’s world will be a difficult one but India will be a focal point and we will win.” Photograph: PTI

 

Even after finishing his term in office, Kalam remained a favourite amongst politicians. After his demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Dr Kalam…my mind is filled with so many memories, so many interactions with him. Always marvelled at his intellect, learnt so much from him.” Photograph: Press Information Bureau/Facebook

 

APJ Abdul Kalam with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi in Sep 2004. Photograph: PTI

One president to another: APJ Kalam and President Pranab Mukherjee are all smiles as they pose together for a photograph in 2014. After his demise, Pranab Mukherjee condoled the loss, saying, “We have lost a great son of India who dedicated his entire life for the welfare of the motherland and its people.” Photograph: PTI

 

Kalam wasn’t just loved by India’s leaders. He was revered around the world. US President Barack Obama with APJ Abdul Kalam. Photograph: PTI

 

 

Kalam with Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Delhi in November 2012. The Dalai Lama said, “This is an irreparable loss. He was not only a great scientist, educationist and statesman, but also above all a real gentleman. Over the years I had the opportunity to meet and interact with him on many occasions and always admired his down to earth simplicity and humility.” Photograph: PTI

 

Nelson Mandela and Kalam enjoy a joke at Mandela’s office in Johannesburg on 16 September 2004. An awestruck Abdul Kalam had hailed Mandela as a “mighty spirit”-- a term signifying near-divine status in India- after meeting with South Africa's most famous son. Photograph: PTI

 

Kalam was an inspiration to children. He often interacted with them as he believed they were the future of our nation. His love for children was so great that his 79th birthday was recognised as World Student's Day by United Nations. Photograph: Ajay Verma/Reuters

 

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam's chilldhood home in Rameswaram. Kalam came from a poor background with his father being a boat owner. Photograph: Press Information Bureau/Facebook

 

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Abdul Kalam talk before the Republic Day parade in New Delhi January 26, 2007. Photograph: Itar-Tass/Reuters

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