Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen “A. P. J.” Abdul Kalam India’s 11th President, passed away yesterday, aged 83.
Known as the Missile Man of India, he was a career scientist, a politician and a statesman.
He was president for the five years from 2002 to 2007, elected on the strength of BJP and Congress support, taking 90% of the vote. Many called him the People’s President.
Abdul Kalam Dies Delivering A Lecture
The Missile Man of India collapsed at about 6.30 pm, while delivering a lecture on ‘Livable Planet’ at Indian Institute of Management Shillong on 27 July 2015. A cardiac arrest caused he collapse. He was taken to the ICU at Bethany hospital, in a critical condition but was pronounced dead just over two hours later, at 7.45 pm. The medical team was unable to revive him.
“His death is a great loss to the scientific community. He took India to great heights. He showed the way.”
– Prime Minster of India, Narendra Modi
In 1998, Abdul Kalam wrote the book India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium with co-author Yagnaswami Sundara Rajan, advocating a plan of action to develop India into a “knowledge superpower” and a developed nation by the year 2020.
“I have learnt with profound sorrow about the demise of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. In his death, our country has lost a great human being who made phenomenal contribution to the promotion of self reliance in defence technologies. … I worked very closely with Dr. Kalam as prime minister and I greatly benefited from his advice as president of our country. His life and work will be remembered for generations to come.”
– Manmohan Singh.