Let me begin at the beginning. The theme of the event was Innovation and Leadership. The fact that The President, in spite of his busy schedule, actually customized his speech for the occasion speaks volumes about his meticulousness. The President basically spoke of something called World Knowledge Platform. While I don’t want to go into the details of this proposal, it would suffice to say that it is exactly what the name says – a proposal to bring together the “knowledge workers” of the world over for the betterment of the world as a whole.
Now comes the interesting part. After putting forth every point, he pointed out the relevance of this point in the context. “What is the importance of this here? What role does your company have to play in this scenario?” And then, he very accurately stated what responsibility the company should take up to make this a reality. This impressed me mightily. Where every other so-called “leader” just repeats the same speech over and over again, function after function, day after day, year upon year; we have a President who has taken the interest and the pains to come up with such a striking plan, something that really matters! I urge all of you to go through the website http://www.presidentofindia.nic.in. You will be amazed at the super brains of our President.
The President has proposed several plans for rural development in
When asked “What do you think are the necessary qualities to be a good leader”, The President listed 3 points:
1. Vision: He cited the example of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, who had a vision as early as in the 1960’s – that
2. Confidence that the vision will be Achieved: Again, Vikram Sarabhai had not simply said something random. He had the confidence that it is achievable and with that end in mind, he worked his entire life.
3. But these 2 qualities are not enough. At the end of the day, a leader must be a good human being!
Another question posed to him was “What do you think are the most important factors to propel
- Development of Human capital.
– This could be realized through judicious mix of Solar power, Bio-fuel and Nuclear energy. Independence
And this one takes the cake. When asked what his most memorable and happiest moment so far was, The President replied thus:
- In 1987, when the satellite that he and his team worked on, was launched and the satellite successfully placed into orbit, that gave him immense satisfaction.
- After that, when a 2000 km range missile was developed by his team and according to specifications, within budget, that was a very happy moment too.
- Then, when He was in Pokhran and the earth shook – the realization dawned:
was a Nuclear Power. That was a proud moment too. India
- All these were happy moments, BUT, the happiest was something totally different. It seems a doctor once told Dr. Kalam “What do you want to prove by launching a missile? Look at this poor girl – she has polio and she carries 3 kgs of weight in her crutches!! Do something for her; it will be much more meaningful.” So Dr. Kalam and his team set down to work and reduced the weight of some of the material used for the missile (FRO) from 3 kgs to 300 grams. They used this ultra-light material for the girl’s crutches. “When the child walked normally and I saw her parents wipe their tears – That was the happiest moment of my life”
Now it’s up to you to decide whether The President deserved the Three (Not one, not two but 3) standing ovations that he received!
However, this brings a few questions to the fore –
- Why is it that the right person is always at the wrong place? Make no mistake – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is a great visionary in every sense of the phrase. Given the power, he has the potential to turn
into a knowledge society free of all prejudices. Which brings us to the next question India
- What powers does The President of India really have? First of all, Dr. Kalam has been the only President in recent times to have really utilized whatever little powers he has (as was demonstrated in the recent Office of Profit case). But these powers don’t amount to much (which was again shown in the Office of Profit case).
Regardless, please don’t ever let go of an opportunity to listen to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s speech if you ever come across one. He is a tremendous motivator. You can’t help but feel extra-ordinary respect for him. Hope that his vision is realized in the nearer future.