The Camaraderie between our honourable PM Narendra Modi and Dr. Abdul Kalam established when Kalam as against the wishes of then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Gujarat in the Year 2002 after the Kutch riots. Due to political reasons everyone warned Kalam that he wouldn’t be welcomed in Gujarat. . To the surprise of everyone, our present PM, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat gave a very warm welcome to Kalam along with his cabinet, which was a classy display of Modi’s maturity and leadership quality. Kalam’s visit was very soothing for the people of Gujarat and it calmed the situation there. Kalam’s belief on Modi’s leadership moved Modi which made name his MARG DHARSHAK, meaning GUIDING LIGHT.

There were many commonalities between Modi and Kalam. Both the leaders believed in youth and technology and felt that these two will help in India becoming a corrupt free nation. They both had the common agenda of servicing the people of India and improving the economic status of the people. Modi, on his part, tried uncommon endeavours to notify Kalam every once in a while about imaginative strides in administration he was taking, especially the utilization of innovation even after Kalam’s president ship was over.

When the Jyothigram(24 hours uninterrupted three phase power supply to nearly 18000 villages of Gujarat) was dedicated by Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Kalam was very happy and excited about it. Once could understand how strong was the bonding between both, when Modi paid tribute to Kalam three times, when Kalam passed away. Modi said, “He was a great source of inspiration.

My mind is filled with so many memories, so many interactions with him.”On the occasion of 84th birth anniversary of former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam on October 15th 2015, PM Modi unveiled a statue of Kalam and spoke about the vision of Kalam at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Bhavan in New Delhi. He emotionally mentioned that Kalam was a Rashtra Rathna (Gem of Nation) before Rashtrapathi (President of the Nation).  

Modi declared that the Government has procured land in Rameswaram, Kalam’s origin, to build a memorial to the former president and for the same purpose a committee has also been setup. This memorial will be a trigger for the youngsters to contribute towards innovation. To quote our Prime Minister “There are two types of people, one who look for opportunities and the other who look for challenges. Kalam Saheb was the one who always looked for challenges, which he continued doing till the end of his life,”

He also reviewed how he functioned with Dr Kalam amid the post-tremor remaking work in Kutch. Reviewing that Dr Kalam wished to be recognized as a teacher, the Prime Minister said that the Kalam was very much aware of the significance of supporting future generations.

The PM specified a few basic segments where advancement was crucial including cyber-security, housing for all, river-linking, enhancing agricultural productivity, blue economy, and zero-defect, zero-effect manufacturing. PM said he was surprised by the heights of achievements of Dr Kalam considering his humble upbringing and his dedication in building great institutions from scratch. All of us should draw inspiration from his example, added Modi.

Modi said he was amused by the child like heart and qualities of Kalam, which made him move with ease and comfort with children. He also remembered the times he spent with Abdul Kalam in rebuilding Gujarat after the earthquake and how Kalam was compassionate towards the quake victims.

PM Modi recalled how passionate Kalam was about teaching through which he wanted to reach out to the future generations and thereby upgrade the whole of the nation itself. Kalam always wanted to be remembered as a teacher and he got back to his passion after he retired as a President of India. When people of his cadre will be wondering of what to do and how to lead their life after retirement Modi was surprised by Kalam’s decision to become a simple approachable teacher. He always wanted to inspire and ignite young minds through innovation and all our young scientists should take a leaf out of his passion.

Modi also inaugurated a photo exhibition titled – ‘A Celebration of Dr Kalam’s Life‘ and launched a book on Abdul Kalam’s vision and released a commemorative postal stamp on him. He also announced that Rameswaram will be developed into an AMRUT city.

PM Narendra Modi shows his highest personal regards, sincerity, courage of conviction and commitment by upholding the embodiment of supreme nationalistic values in our immortal patriotic Hero Dr. A.P. J. Abdul Kalam. This is yet another instance of his uppermost agenda of Nation Building represented by Bismarck on the political plane and Swami Vivekananda (another Narendra) in the spiritual world.

Contributor: Anuradha