Friday, August 14, 2015


A man, his vision and his message


A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was a multifaceted personality, a statesman and visionary, and above all a good human being. He was a brilliant scientist and modern thinker. When I joined him as Press Secretary after 10 days of his becoming President, at his very first meeting he gave me his vision of a developed India. He spoke of how he wanted to make Rashtrapati Bhavan a people’s place where the voice of the millions of downtrodden people of India would be heard and action taken. Indeed, during his time Rashtrapati Bhavan became the President’s place and he became the people’s President. He wanted that institution of the President to be totally identified with ordinary people. 

President Kalam took his Presidency seriously from Day 1. He was as comfortable with constitutional and legal issues as he was with school children. He was committed to nation-building and created a vision document to make India a developed nation by 2020. He made a PowerPoint presentation to senior Ministers and bureaucrats on this. 

He used to make PowerPoint presentations at conferences and seminars both in India and abroad to discuss that vision. On these he used to work himself and he was particular about every word and sentence. 

He did it during his visits abroad and while meeting dignitaries such as U.S. President George Bush and Pakistan President Pervez Musharaf. When he presented his vision of India’s nuclear energy requirements to Mr. Bush and his vision of a joint fight India and Pakistan could wage against poverty, the respective Presidents commented that they had to become scientists to understand the presentation. You can’t think of any other President of a country who would have done that. 

His vision for the nation was based on equality, the dignity of the individual and justice, social, economic and political, to every Indian. Only then can India succeed and everybody sing the song of India, he used to say. 

I met him last on July 22, five days before his demise. It was a one-on-one meeting that lasted a good 40 minutes. He was full of ideas as always, very active and discussed different subjects. He used to tell me: whatever you do, do differently. Wherever you work, leave a mark and be remembered. 

During his Presidency he was always comfortable, except on two occasions, when his unease was visible. When he had to give his consent to the Office of Profit Bill, 2006 after it was sent for the second time by Parliament, and when he had to approve the ordinance on Disqualification of Elected Representatives in 2004 as it was sent to him by the Cabinet for a second time. 

He was an icon for the youth. He used to say aiming small is a crime. Youth should have the courage to think differently and explore unexplored paths. Difficulties would come but don’t be afraid of them.. Overcome them by your intellect and hard work. 

The man who pioneered India’s missile programme was always proud of his work at the Indian Space Research Organisation and other scientific institutions. He used to believe that a scientific approach could find a solution to every problem. 

He was as ardent secularist, and also a religious man. He believed all religions are like beautiful islands; but there is no connectivity between them. We should strive to achieve this connectivity and transform religion into spirituality. For him religion and morality were the same. 

A man of vision, he always worked in mission mode. He had a mission to meet 10 lakh students and interact with them. He completed this when he left Rashtrapati Bhavan. He continued with this till his last breath. His child-like simplicity was an instant hit. 

He got the sobriquet of being the People’s President because of his humility and accessibility. President Kalam always worked towards building consensus rather than ramming down decisions.
He came from a modest background, but educated himself and worked hard to rise to the top. He was simply the missile man, whose books were prime-sellers, whose lectures were always house full. He was adored by children as he would to give them easy-to-digest messages. 

(The author was Press Secretary to the President from 2002 to 2007, and is now Registrar of Newspapers for India) 

(Courtesy: The Hindu)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Simplify Aadhaar Card System

Getting Aadhaar card is not easy. In Tamil Nadu there may be lakhs of applications pending. Applicants are waiting for the call from the authorities to be photographed and give the necessary information. 

The government should make the procedure for getting the card easy. It will be better if the services of companies like TCS are made available to the people to get Aadhaar card easily as was done in the case of Passport. 

The “yellow sheet” insisted to be produced at Aadhaar card centres is not available with thousands of people. To get Aadhaar card insisting on “yellow sheet” is simply ridiculous. The procedure should be simplified.The government should make the system easy to enable people to get the Aadhaar card.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Janab N. Mohammed Sayeed saheb, General Secretary, Ambur Muslim Educational Society (AMES) in association with two other associations arranged a meeting on Monday, 10th August 2015 at Ambur Trade Centre (ATC) to pay tributes to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, who passed away recently.  It was well attended by students of different schools and colleges, politicians belonging to different parties, social activists, Muthavallees of mosques etc. The main hall of the Centre was full.

Janab N. Mohammed Sayeed saheb welcomed the gathering and paid high tributes to Dr. Abdul Kalam by mentioning his scientific and other contributions to the country and his qualities of head and heart which are rare. 

Janab M. Khaleelur Rahman,  President of a recently started party, was the moderator of the meeting. 

Cash prizes were given to the meritorious students of different institutions of Ambur by Janab N. Mohammed Sayeed saheb.  

The Princial of Mazharul Uloom College Dr. P.M. Aadil Ahmed gave an excellent power point presentation detailing the life of Dr. Kalam from his childhood to passing away.  It was very much liked by the huge gathering present. 

Janab Khatheeb Shihabuddin saheb, Qazi of Ambur Ahle Sunnath Wal Jamaat, boys and girls of different educational institutions,  political personalities, social activists and others addressed the gathering and paid rich tributes to Dr. Abdul Kalam by saying that he took India to new heights in the field of science and technology and lived a life of pristine pure honesty and unimaginable simplicity mixing with all sections of the people without any inhibition whatsoever.  It was mentioned that even while he was the President of India in New Delhi, he lead a simple life following austerity. When his family members visited him, he spent for them from his pocket, and during the month of Ramadan instead of giving posh ifthar party to the elites as was in practice, the estimated amount of Rs.22 lakh was given to some orphanages in the shape of food, dresses and blankets. Costly gifts given to him during his visits abroad were photographed, catalogued and handed over to the archives without getting anything, even a pencil from them.

Janab N. Mohammed Sayeed saheb is a man of action, not just speech. AMES of which he is the General Secretary, has decided to start a Centre by name Dr. Kalam Vision Foundation to encourage and help students for getting higher education and emulating the example of this great scientist and humanist of the present age.

Monday, August 10, 2015



In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a great scientist and spiritual technocrat par excellence. We all know his contribution to the country is immense. He was a great person comparable with none. He was the people’s president when he was in office and even afterwards. 

What was the secret of his popularity?  

When you speak, speak the truth, perform when you promise, discharge your trust…withhold your hands from striking and from taking that which is unlawful and bad…
Gladden the heart of a human being, feed the hungry, help the afflicted, lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful…….

Dr. Kalam practised the above noble principles of the Prophet (sal-am) in his life and became the darling of the masses. 

He strongly believed that all God’s creatures are His family and he is the most beloved of God who tries to do most good to God’s creatures….

His advice to students was:

Dream, Dream, Dream,
Dreams transform into thoughts,
And thoughts result in action.

When Dr. Kalam talked of dreaming, he meant that youngsters should set themselves a goal. He believed that if one firmly believes in something and makes efforts in a focused way, then one can realize his dreams. “Dreams……….is not what we see in sleep but it is the thing which does not let us sleep”. In other words Dr. Kalam wished that youngsters should aim big and work for the country’s transformation.

Why was he so popular with the children? It is because unlike other VIPs he was accessible and made the children feel important. He was never in a hurry to finish the meeting and run away. He encouraged children to ask questions and patiently answered them.

We must be proud that we had Dr. Kalam in our midst in Ambur itself. A delegation led by Mecca Rafeeque Ahmed saheb met Dr. Abdul Kalam in New Delhi when he was the President and invited him to inaugurate the Centenary celebrations of Ambur Muslim Educational Society. He magnanimously accepted it, came to Ambur and inaugurated it on 4th September 2006. That day is green in our memory. The whole of Ambur wore a festive look and the people were so excited and happy.

Dr. A.P. J. Abdul Kalam’s inaugural address impressed everyone. His question-answer session with children was thought provoking and full of encouragement to students. He was determined to mould the minds of the students to work hard to make India a developed nation by 2020.
He strongly believed that it is education which can change ones destiny for the better and make our country a progressive and prosperous one. He considered teaching as the noblest profession.

He was a scientist and a devout Muslim. He was pious in the real sense and got inspiration from the holy Quran. It is said that he never missed his fajr namaz.

Dr. Abdul Kalam will always be remembered for his role as an excellent scientist, as a people’s president, as a good writer and orator and most importantly as a humble and genuine human being.

It is heartening to know that the AMES is thinking of starting a Centre by name Dr. Kalam Vision Foundation in his memory to encourage students to emulate his example and come up in life with flying colours.

Dr. Kalam is not with us now but his shining example will always influence us. Let us all pray for his “maghfirat”.

Thank you,

V.M. Khaleelur Rahman,

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Paying Homage to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam at Ambur


A meeting has been arranged at Ambur Trade Centre (ATC) on Monday, 10th August 2015 by Janab N. Mohammed Sayeed saheb, General Secretary,. Ambur Muslim Educational Society in association with Ambur Muslim Educational Society (AMES), Ambur Tanners Association (ATA) and South India Shoe Manufacturers Association (SISMA) to pay homage to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who passed away recently. Invitations have been sent to different trade associations, social and welfare organizations, political parties, schools and colleges to participate in the meeting.