Discover more from UPSC CSE Why Newsletter
#176: Happy Birthday, Dr. Kalam!
A small story of my inspiration!
Year is 1958
India got Independence JUST 11 years ago.
You are just 23,
You love to see the birds fly
So much so that you want to be one!
Your next obvious career choice is to join AIR FORCE
You 'fly' from Rameswaram in the south to Himalayas for the exam
9 aspirants are to be selected out of 10.
You are the 10th.
Feels like an end of the world for you.
You are wandering on the banks of the holy Ganges
Your mind is full of doubts
Cut short to 2002
You walk up a hill, a hill of power: Raisina Hill
You sold newspapers back in the day
You are now the first citizen of India
You are Kalam, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
In a country of over a billion, what does it mean to be Kalam?
Kalam means Consistency
Consistency in making small efforts everyday
Efforts that range from selling newspapers to missiles
Consistency that inspires young Indians and especially UPSC aspirants
Kalam is a face of a consistent effort,
An effort that we all can relate to!
He gives us self-belief on how someone ‘like us’ did it and how
We can do it, too!
Kalam means Hard Work
Think of an example of Agni, the missile
Initial attempts at Agni’s first launch failed
Dr Kalam owned the responsibility and decided to work harder with his team.
Result? Next attempt and Agni took off!
Great win for his team and a giant leap for the Indians.
Kalam showed a way on how to stand eye to eye with the major powers of the world.
Kalam means Innovation
You pick any major scientific development in India
Be it weapons or nuclear bomb,
Be it science or space,
Be it 1984 or 2023,
Kalam's action impacted both:
- India's first nuclear test
- India's first moon landing (even after his death)
Kalam means Teacher
In one of his student interactions, he was asked which job did he love the most?
"I am a teacher" said the legend
Here in India, when we look at Kalam, we feel ownership
One that is reflected in the work of the greatest teacher.
A sense of relatable confidence on how we can do it too, just like him!
A small effort to pay a worthwhile tribute to our inspiration: KALAM
Happy birthday, Sir!
To celebrate our greatest teacher,
We now have a unique intersection of Teacher-Technology-Innovation in India.