RAMESWARAM: He was India’s Missile Man, who also oversaw the nuclear detonation trials, but late president A P J Abdul Kalam was also a strong votary of peace, observed former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, G Madhavan Nair on Wednesday.
He was speaking to the media at Rameshwaram, where he had reached with his wife to pay homage to the veteran technocrat who died on Monday.
“As a technocrat, he saw missiles and other arms as an essential component to India’s safety and security to make the country powerful. But as a person and a global leader, he always thought about the people. Kalam was a man of peace, a noble man who had great concern for the youth, poor and the common man,” Nair added.
Recounting his experience of working under Kalam when the latter was the project director at ISRO, Nair said there was an instance where a launch mission failed due to an error for which he was responsible. “But he did not point the finger at me either in public or private, or in his books, but instead took the whole blame on himself as the project director,” he said.
Nair said Kalam had invited him home twice, but he couldn’t make it. “I now regret that I am finally visiting his home after his death,” he said.
There was a steady stream of visitors to his home here in the coastal town right from the morning. A few hundreds braved the harsh sun, waiting for the ambulance carrying his body to arrive around 1.30 pm.
Meanwhile, in view of the presence of VVIPs, including those accorded high category security for the burial on Thursday, personnel from the National Security Group conducted a thorough search of Kalam’s brother’s house where the body will be brought.