>Kalam Namaste!


The Indian media today is an all-consuming giant looking for the tiniest bits of news to devour and then spit out at the public. Creating news is what the media does better now than reporting it. No surprise then that the hitherto neglected Indian Presidential elections were widely covered by the nation’s media this year. But to give the devil his due, Prez Kalam had his role to play in making this into a much-talked-about affair.

The scientist-turned-statesman made the “rubber stamp” Indian Prez into a living, thinking being and the post even a coveted one. I don’t remember caring who the President of my country was before this. And now that Kalam isn’t occupying that post and somebody called Pratibha Patil is, I do! You had e-petitions doing the rounds asking the government to elect him for a second term. When has that happened before in Indian history?

But the point isn’t just that Kalam is far more popular than Patil; the point is that one man can make all the difference. It’s not the job you do but how you do it that matters. Not many of us know how to make ourselves indispensable and maybe we could take a leaf out of Kalam’s life to learn that. The much quoted “successful people don’t do different things, they do things differently” is totally useful in conveying what I want to say.

You’ve got a situation you can’t change – what you probably can is the way you work within it. And that’s why I think Prez Kalam is so inspiring! We let the system get to us, but if we care to think out of the box, things could be better.

14 responses »

  1. >people say there is some good left in politics.. and from first hand experiences and now the latest president row.. the belief is quickly fading.. or has faded.. i dont know.. but hats off to Mr Kalam.. he was defiitely however cliched it may sound The People’s President..cheers!

  2. >yes, the man is an inspiration. his books are wonderful. what i like most about him is that he brought the rashtrpati bhavan within the common man’s reach. i personally know lots of people – from common walks of life – who have been received by kalam.the only thing that put me off was his statement that he would contest again if he were assured victory in the election. i’m still unable to digest the idea that this man would say something stupid, and i am utterly lost as to why he would do so.

  3. >I wouldn’t be surprised if there are e-petitions going on asking the government to elect amitabh bachan or sachin tendulkar (when is he turning 35?) or rakhi sawant as the president. Yes, we are talking about democracy. Kalam, is a great scientist, an average writer, and a horrible poet. As for his term in the office, he never realised he was not heading a bunch of scientists or school children. Missiles and nuclear warheads are no great visions, for god’s sake! Is there anyone who thinks he would have made a great Prime Minister?

  4. >You are quite right in saying ‘when in Indian history’ have we cared about who our President is, the PM meant everything to us (if incase we cared) and yes, WHEN have we had over thousands of signatures of common people desperately wanting KALAM back. I feel happy and lucky to have met him as the President, and oh…he is not only the best president our country has ever had but also the cutest ‘person’. And it is his personality that makes him so likeable and loveable among all of us. But now, its Prez. Patil…I wonder what she is capable of, but I am sure, she can not create the same magic as Kalam did!

  5. >@Jeya: Dunno about genius, but yes, he’s done justice to the opportunities he’s received.@Ankit: Yes, a People’s President he was!@Dbum: Everyone is granted the liberty of saying one stupid thing (more than one actually) in life. No?@Jubin: But there have been e-petitions for Kalam and none for Amitabh Bachchan or Tendulkar (will he retire even to become the President??)!! I agree, Kalam is a great scientist and poor poet, but he’s one of those rare Presidents who used the limited powers given to the Indian President to make some sense out of the political mayhem. For one, he refused to let a corrupt High Court judge become the Chief Justice because the Congress govt wanted that. The reason why Kalam is inspiring is because he made the most out of the little he had as Prez! And probably, our country needs a school master. Evidently, other things haven’t seemed to have worked for us! @Nabila: You are lucky to have met him! As for Prez Patil, why does she look like she needs a time machine to come to 2007?!

  6. >His non-political image and heroic reputation as the father of the nation’s missile programmes are the factors for his popularity. The mention of one or two incidents where he used his limited powers sounds to me as arguments for its own sake. By that logic, one should conclude that Giani Zail Singh was many times better. And in comparison with his predecessor – arguably, the best president we had so far – all that President Kalam did was some ambitious exuberance of a greenhorn. By the way, what do they call rashtrapatiji now?

  7. >@Sach: Don’t know about Democracy. It’s a one-woman army out there. Sonia Gandhi not only decides who the PM will be, but also the Prez!@Jubin: You’re being unfair. At least I don’t like Kalam as Prez because of the missile programme he headed! Of course, his achievements in life did make him immensely popular. Just as they did Abraham Lincoln.As for the rashtrapatiji, Patil would surely come with a dumb one for that! (Ok, I’m biased – I don’t already like her!)

  8. >YEah!didja know he actually PAID the government for the food costs of his relatives when they came visiting?pretty darn cool,the man is.!

  9. >@Mihir: No, I actually didn’t know that. Did you hear that Jubin??@Prince: I know, Patil so looks like she’s not meant for this century.

  10. >I’m afraid that you got me all wrong. Kalam is almost saint-like; and I know about his popularity too. He is one of the most admirable Indians alive. Me, myself was a huge admirer of him 10 years back. I know a few people who had worked with him at VSSC early in his career and later in DRDO. But all these, added with the popularity among the i-want-IITians-as-politicians generation, won’t make him a good president. And it’s not in comparison with the current president, but the previous one. Obviously, that’s only my not-so-humble opinion šŸ™‚

  11. >@Jubin: Get that, but my point is that however good or bad he might have been as prez, he did make the post and the election of his successor so talked-about. I’m trying to underscore how the attitude you take to work can make such a huge difference.

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