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BOOK READING: THE BOOK THAT IGNITED MY MIND!

Posted on: ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 26, 2008

– BALU PRASAD.R

It was in my list from two years- ‘IGNITED MINDS’ by Dr.Abdul Kalam. But somehow I couldn’t get it and I felt bad myself for that after reading it in just two days-a record duration in my experience. It is a book dedicated to an ignited mind, Snehal Thakkar of Anand in Gujarat, who was in her twelveth class in April 2002.

This book is an expression of Dr.Kalam’s faith in the potential of India and his countrymen. The narration is as simple as Dr.Kalam. The tone of narration is just this- Confidence, confidence, confidence. An ultimate soul of confidence and patriotism and a visionary who don’t age and is everready to sweat for the nation, was teaching me althrough the book. The humbleness and innocence in the narration makes you to hold the book unbothered by time.

In the very beginning itself, I was made to surrender to the author’s nobleness. I feel Dr.Kalam’s life is in his three lines- Dream,Dream,Dream; Dreams transform into Thoughts; And Thoughts result in Action. On 30 September 2001, on his way from Ranchi to Bokaro in Jharkand, he had a miraculous escape in a helicopter crash. That night, he was forced to sleep ahead of his usual time 1 a.m and he failed to wake up at 6a.m. In his dream, appeared five men- who symbolize the finest attributes of human mind- Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Emperor Ashoka, Abraham Lincoln and Caliph Omar- among whom Emperor Ashoka had just returned from the battle of Kalinga- stood in a circle and went on a long conversation about violence, spirituality and science! How can a person survived out of a breathless disaster half a day before, slept with a tranquillizer dream that nobly? Can anyone of us dream of dreaming like that tonight? I Salute his Consciousness!


This book contains the insights that the author has gained from his meetings with children, saints, scientists, thinkers and others. I felt it has answers to many of the problems prevailing in our society and system today. Every chapter is a glimpse of Dr.Kalam’s Work and Vision. And he believes “There is no greater power in heaven or on earth than the commitment to a dream”.

The book is for the young bloods of India. A student in Dindigul asked Dr.Kalam ‘Who would be the the first scientist in the world?’, Dr.Kalam replied “Child is the first scientist”!!!. I bow to his way of thinking. Majority of the questions in the book are from students. A child told Kalam- “Big leaders in any field don’t come to us. Our PM never comes here. We want him, We want to talk to him”. The child’s urge to communicate was loved by Kalam and he discussed the incident with the then PM of India. Kalam says- “Nation ‘s wealth is the young generation of the country. Because children will have innovative ideas while Grownups tend to see more impossibilities”. He makes parents and teachers responsible for making the children good human beings and creative by nature respectively.

Dr.Kalam also touches upon the philosophy he believed and followed in his life. He insists on the lifestyle which answers the need within us. He suggests to interrospect ourselves before any action. He opines that the essence of all religions is the spiritual well-being and spirituality must form the foundation of secularism. He asks us “Oh my friends, why don’t you in every field integrate and grow instead of differentiating!”. There appeared a Saint within a Scientist to me.

This book details you about meetings of the author with many saints and thinkers. The author pays his gratitude to the great mathematicians, scientists and astrologers our nation has seen. He remembers three visionary scientists- Dr.D.S.Kothari, Dr.Homi.J.Bhabha and Dr.Vikram Sarabhai who set up DRDO, DAE and ISRO. He scans the resources of each and every state right from Tamilnadu to the then newly formed state of Jharkhand.

The book also deals with Dr.Kalam’s Vision 2020. He has aptly pointed out the problems we are facing and has found out the solutions. He picturizes the roadmap for Developed India by 2020 in his narration. More than the problems outside- globalization, recession, inflation, insurgency and so on- he is concerned about the inertia that has gripped the national psyche, the mindset of defeat. He says- “We survived as a nation the onslaughts of the invaders. We have also learnt to adjust to the rifts and divisions in our own society. But in the process of all the adjustments, we also lowered our aims and expectations”. He feels that the fragmented thinking, compartmentalized planning and isolated efforts have laid India down.

Kalam opines- “A strong nation must have three things- Collective pride in acheivements, Unity, Ability for combined action”. He replies to Dr.Amartya Sen’s comment that “Nuclear test by India in1998 is ill conceived” as “Strength respects Strength not Weakness”. He foresees- “ In 21st century, a new soceity is emerging where knowledge is the primary production resource instead of capital and labour”. Kalam sees Development as a security-centric phenomenon- from poverty to food security, social security and thereafter national security. He wishes to see the developed India with prosperous villages and zero rural-urban migration, industries providing value addition to our resources and Indian goods bieng sold out in world market.

To achieve this he emphasizes- “We need to adopt the implementation of our programmes and policies into a mission mode. We need to realize that missions are always bigger than organizations; just as the organizations are always bigger than the individuals who run them. The motive force has to be love for the country”.

Let me recite few lines from the ‘Song of Youth’-
I am one of the citizens of a billion,only the vision will ignite the billion souls.
It has entered into me,the ignited soul compared to any resource,
is the most powerful resource on the earth, above the earth and under the earth.
I will keep the lamp of knowledge burning to achieve the vision- Developed India.

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