We Belong To The Night We Belong To The Music Wings of Fire: Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam, the Missile Scientist Turned President of India

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Wings of Fire: Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam, the Missile Scientist Turned President of India

I: Biography, introduction:

Writing an autobiography is a risky business because everyone is exposed to personal weaknesses and failures. He is expected to openly admit his failures despite criticism. Only a few people like Mahatma Gandhi can do that. Because they are such great people, their faults and weaknesses cannot detract from their famous and authentic image.

There are biographies that cover only one aspect of their life (such as their profession) and do not reveal much of their personal weaknesses. Therefore, there is no need to openly say it because it will not interfere with their conversation. Most of the biographies we read these days fall into this second category.

II: Biography of APJ Abdul Kalam:

“APJ Abdul Kalam” is a magic name that sends electric signals to millions of Indians, especially the youth who want to achieve something for their country. He is like Mahatma Gandhi in his simplicity, Kennedy in his charisma and Einstein in his scientific and technological progress. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, his autobiography describes the “failures” and personal losses of his experiments, so his autobiography, like Mahatma Gandhi’s My Experiments with Truth, is a must-read for all young people.

In this book, he covers the critical issues of a rocket technologist and how to succeed in his mission. In the course of his speech, he emphasized faith in God through secular attitude, loyalty to elders, obedience to teachers, absolute loyalty and unity of mind in fulfilling one’s duties, a sense of teamwork, and effective management skills. took him to the highest level of professional and social life.

We want to share the pleasure of making the right management decisions at the right time with a brief summary of his biography.

III. A brief discussion of his biography:

His life can be broadly divided into three parts.

1. His early life as a rocket scientist is only briefly mentioned in this review.

2. Role of Scientist and DRDO Chief: This is an important part of his book and hence this review. The reason for his promotion from an ordinary scientific assistant to the head of the Defense Laboratory is explained in this section just before his retirement.

3. His post-retirement life, including his highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, and his tenure as President of India (2002-2007) are not covered in this book or other reviews. It is our sincere hope that the completion of a section of his biography covering these aspects of his life will be our pleasure in the near future.

IV: His early life up to his employment as a technical assistant.

The first three chapters are broadly grouped into one chapter under the heading ‘You’.

Covering his childhood to becoming the Chief of the Missile Launch Station in the coastal town of Tumba (Kerala).

He was born in an ordinary family in Rameswaram on the Holy Coast in Tamil Nadu, India. His father was a boat owner and a fisherman. He had a very humble life and a very simple life as a schoolboy. Several times he had to earn money to take care of himself.

Throughout his life, there were several reasons for his honesty, integrity, loyalty and orthodox views. He belonged to a simple orthodox Muslim family and therefore followed the religion of Islam. Born in a Hindu pilgrimage center (a visit to Rameswaram purifies a Hindu of all his sins), he was (and still is) highly respected in Hinduism. He was taught by Christian and Hindu Brahmin teachers, who he credits as having the greatest influence on his life. Above all, he is a tireless worker, working 18 hours a day even at 81 years old. Later chapters of this book show him to be a great workaholic, a great team leader, and most importantly. management qualities. He loves Carnatic music and can play Veena, one of the most difficult musical instruments. He was very pious, had an unshakable faith in the Divine Will, and predestined his destiny. To this end, he often quotes from the Koran and other religious scriptures. He is a poet himself and writes poems in his mother tongue Tamil.

Information about his studies at MIT in Rameswaram, Ramanathapuram, Trichy and Chennai is given in the first chapters. Later, the book says, he left the Air Force and joined the Office of Technical Development and Production.

The rest is History and will be covered in later sections.

V: The Becoming: India’s Space Rocket Success Story.

In fact, Dr. Kalam’s technical-scientific life began when he and his elementary school classmates built a model of a hovercraft named Nandi (Bull, the vehicle of the Hindu god Shiva). Defense Minister of India Mr. V. Krishna Menon. However, Nandi stopped the project. He was then sent to NASA for a six-month training course that changed the course of his life.

Abdul Kalam traces India’s rocket history to 1799, when Tipu Sultan ruled Mysore. After the death of Tipu Sultan, India’s missile technology also perished, only to be reborn 150 years later through the technological vision of the then Prime Minister. Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Prof. Vikram Sarabhai, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organizations.

Below is the sequence of space missions sent directly under the supervision of Mr. Abdul Kalam.

V.1. When he returned from NASA, India’s first rocket launch took place on November 21, 1963. It was a sounding rocket made by NASA called Nike-Apache. It provided excellent flight information. (Dr. Kalam wrote with deep regret about the assassination of the then President of the United States, J.F. Kennedy, the next evening.)

V.2. Then the first Rohini rocket was launched, a 32 kg single-engine rocket that lifted a 7 kg payload to an altitude of 10 km. This was followed by another stage, and another solid propellant stage was added to carry multiple test payloads of 100 kg to altitudes above 350 km.

V.3. In 1969, Director Prof. Vikram Sarabhai decided to go full steam ahead with building an indigenous (completely made in India) capability when he built and launched his own satellite. The SHAR launch pad was born in Sriharikota near Chennai. At that time, the satellite launch device was invented.

On August 10, 1979, the first test flight of SLV 3 was launched. The first round was successful. Smooth transition to stage II. Suddenly out of control. The flight crashed into the sea about 560 km from Sriharikota. Hence the launch of SLV 3 on 10.8.79 failed.

VI: Errors and Losses:

As mentioned earlier, Dr. Kalam in his autobiography lists the failures of his mission and the tragic loss of his family. In his book, he lists the three biggest failures of his career. The first was the death of the helicopter project (Nandi), the second was the shelf of the RATO (Rocket Assisted Take-off System) project, and the third was the abort of SLV 3.

On family matters, he mentioned the death of his parents and older brother, so he took on the burden of his entire family, including his younger sister’s younger daughter. At first, he faced only failure. How he fulfilled his fledgling dream and how he became successful is the most important part of his biography and he shares it with the readers without hesitation so that the youth can start dreaming about a promising future. “Start dreaming creatively” is Dr. Kalam’s mantra and thousands of youngsters have benefited by following this guideline to achieve their goals in life.

VI: Further Space Missions:

VI.1: Initial Success: Undeterred by the failure of his mission and the loss in his family, Dr. Kalam began to focus on further space missions. On July 18, 1980, SLV 3 was relaunched by Rohini Satellite. Dr. Kalam wrote: “Mission director calling all stations. Stay tuned for an important announcement. The fourth stage’s peak motor has given the necessary momentum to put the Rohini satellite into orbit.” He said these were the most important words he had ever spoken in his life. Everywhere there were shouts of joy; there was great joy and celebration. The mission was a complete success!

Dr. Kalam’s humility and simplicity make him contribute to this success not for himself but for the team. He took full responsibility for his previous failures, but shared his victories with everyone. Isn’t it a virtue that every manager follows through?

VI.2: If the launch of SLV 3 with Rohini satellite is one important day in her life, the launch of IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program) is considered to be the second important day in her life. The proposed (integrated) projects are a reflection of India’s long-cherished independence and are marked by India’s most traditional names:

a) Prithvi (Earth) represents surface to surface weapon system.

b) Trishul (Trident of Lord Shiva) represented the primary tactical vehicle

c) Akash (Sky) represents the surface air defense system

d) Representing Nag (Cobra) anti-tank missile project and finally

e) AGNI (Fire) is the long standing name of REX personally chosen by Dr. Kalam.

VII. Final blow:

Dr. Kalam briefly explained how he chose the five scientists to lead the five programs and their assistants. In fact, these should be included in any MBA course syllabus. The Tamil Veda Thirukral, written by the poet Saint Thiruvalluvar 2000 years ago, says, “Before assigning responsibility to someone, one should weigh and analyze the nature of the work that the person is doing and what tools will be used to complete the work. Look at it from the right perspective.” Leave the work to others.” Dr. Kalam did the same when he entrusted the task to 5 efficient scientists. Although his selection was frowned upon by some of those around him, he was ultimately vindicated by the success of the mission.

This is an important part of his biography because, as mentioned earlier, the book focuses more on the management side than on the technical side, probably because of the defense norm that no book should include technical details. Technical details were therefore carefully avoided.

The first attempt to launch the Agni vehicle was made on April 20, 1989. However, it was canceled due to technical problems at the last minute.

The second attempt took place on May 1, 1989, after 10 days of hard work. But here too, the program was delayed due to technical delays.

Finally, on May 22, 1989, the launch was successful and it entered the sky like “Wings of Fire” with golden flames on both sides.

Let me repeat the poem written by Dr. Abdul Kalam in his diary that night.

Do not see Agni as an upward entity

To stop the horrors or show your strength.

This is fire. In the heart of India

Don’t even give away the shape of the rocket

Clinging to the burnt pride of this nation

So it’s bright.

VIII Conclusion:

Thus, “Wings of Fire” is the biography of a patriotic Indian born in an ordinary family, who rose to the position of the President of India only through dedication and hard work. His mission was to make India self-reliant in space exploration, which he achieved through dedication, hard work and team spirit. This book has 1000 books on management. Anyone who reads the book will befriend and identify with the author, which is the goal of writing a biography. In this regard, it is an honest and sincere attempt at self-motivation and personal development.

If the readers want to achieve this goal, then the author will be happy that the purpose of this article has been fulfilled.

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