By J. Lee
AAP contributing writer
MINNEAPOLIS (May 20, 2013) — Swarmed by people acting like “paparazzi”, mild-mannered man of peace and virtues, Dr. Abdul Kalam, former President of India flashed the winning smile to show why he was beloved by the people of India and called a visionary “People’s President.” His visit to Minnesota in late May was sponsored by the India Association of Minnesota, the Sri Venkateswara Hindu Temple, and Dr. Madhu Reddy, president of U.S. Electronics Inc.
Kalam’s video, “One Dream, One Billion Smiles – Vision 2020” explained his dream for India becoming a developed nation where its billion people would smile together as one. He explained how India’s billion people could develop and transform India in five areas: agriculture and food processing; infrastructure with reliable water and green energy; education and affordable healthcare; information and communication technology; and critical technologies and strategic industries.
In calling for “creative leaders to resolve conflict for peace and prosperity,” Kalam spoke of the “need for a multi approach across multiple nations for peace and prosperous world.” He explained his vision of “cooperation and collaboration in a ‘world knowledge platform’ where there was a “seamless flow of knowledge throughout the world,” “where there was sharing of core competencies and technologies” including nano technology and bio technology.
A true visionary, Kalam detailed “new methods of collaboration to protect against disasters, against terrorism and poverty” and in “protecting the environment, and providing clean water and energy.” He spoke of “low cost global solutions and ‘break through’ technologies in eliminating blindness, handheld nano devices”, new methods of food processing and storage, “solutions in medicine around cardiac, diabetes, and malaria”, “desalting water and solar energy.”
As a man of peace, religion and science, Kalam said we should “appreciate what we are blessed with, share with the less fortunate, and conserve light and water to benefit others.” As a “value system”, he added that one can “profit with integrity.”
In progressive logic, he elaborated “where there is right in heart, “there is harmony in the house”, “order in the nation”, and “peace in the world.” In simpler terms, he started with “when the mother is happy”, it leads to a “happy family,” then the “home”, “society” and “world” becomes “happy.”
Kalam’s history from humble beginnings, to rocket scientist, to President of India was inspirational and motivational in promoting education and hard work as a key to success. Advising parents to have “a home library and prayer room”, and that when they “read and pray, and the children will follow”, Kalam emphasized the value education that needs to start at home within the family.
A man of poems, songs and writings, an aspect of Kalam’s youth was told in video parable form to entertain and educate children. It illustrated discrimination by a teacher when he was a child, intervention by a friend and authority, and personal changes made whereby the teacher stopped discriminating.
In problem solving, Kalam told people to “be the captain of the problem, defeat it and succeed.”
India Association of Minnesota’s “India Fest” celebrating India’s Independence will be held Aug. 10, 2013 on the State Capitol grounds. www.iamn.org