Dr.Abdul Kalam in Toronto

In the back ground of the above picture is Dr. Abdul Kalam. He was at the the Sringeri Temple in Toronto recently.The girl in the fore-front was singing the national anthems of both Canada & India. She rendered them both beautifully. Kalam Saheb was in the background. He should have been in the fore-front, where Mrs.Prathiba patel is now. He would have been there had he chose to invest his loyalties with the ruling powers, but he identified himself with progress and future of the nation. How can anyone in India be expected to hold on to political appointments in India with such an progressive approach?

But is he really in the background? One has to be at his meets to see why he is respected that much. He started off his speech by saying that he is on the 79th orbit of earth. That was a scientist speaking. We never have heard anyone explain their age in that perspective. He asked the children sitting in the front row what his age could be. A girl replied 78. He said to that girl,”you get 100 marks”. That laid the tone for his speech. It was interactive, it was not a monologue as most other speeches were, it was lively and most importantly he was telling that he is listening. Listening to what people have to say. Listening to the problems that a nation and its people have to encounter as they navigate their place on earth.

To test if we were listening to the fact that he was listening he narrated an event. An event that happened only once 1947, 15th August. He was in school and was the day after Independence the newspapers had picture of Mr. Nehru hoisting the flag. He paused and said. The father of the nation who bought us freedom was on that day dousing fires of a communal riot. He summed it by saying the leader is present where problems are! Powerful message explained in a subtle way.

He rendered a poem he wrote the earlier day watching the mighty Niagara Falls. In his poem he asks Niagara, what is its message to the people? Niagara replies that the power of its flow of water is telling the youth of the world that they also the same power in them to change the world. The applause was spontaneous and resounding.

He then asked them to repeat an oath, called “Righteous in Life” It was simple but was oozing with morals. The entire audience repeated it. He was recalling his recent meet at Tirupathi where one hundred thousands young people were present. When they said they would do anything, he asked them to repeat another oath, “I will make my mother happy, because if my mother is happy, the family is happy, if the family is happy the society is happy” Before he started that oath he asked the youth to repeat it, and also people who felt youthful can take the oath.

At another session there was a Q & A session and one question he was asked was, “You are called a man of peace and you are also called the missile man. Aren’t those contradictory.?”He responded by saying that in the 5000 years of Indian History, Indians ruled themselves only for 500 years. The rest were ruled by foreigners. That sums up this man and his passion for India.

Hearing him talk it was hard to think that he is a Muslim. He has demonstrated that he is an Indian first. His appointment as the president of India cannot be political compulsions by BJP government. If it was determined it could have bought a Hindu leader as president. The BJP government had the vision to appoint Mr. Kalam as the president of India.

This brings us to our pet theme that for Muslims, India is the best place to be. Wish all muslims acknowledge this simple truth. NRI muslims know the truth even better because they are seeing how their freedom to living is being curtailed. Ban on wearing the Hijab is at various stages of implementation is different western countries of the western world.

As we write this article we read this wonderful statement,
“India is like a bouquet of different types of flowers. We just cannot think of allowing any one of the flowers to be separated,” said well-known Deoband scholar Abdul Rahim Bastawi, at a large assembly of Islamic clerics and scholars at the seminary in Saharanpur district, about 400 km from Lucknow.He made that statement in the first public declaration that Kashmir is an integral part of India. That is the kind of bonding that enthuses us all.