Abdul Kalamji was the president of India from 2002 to 2007. When I thought about writing about good things done by Politicians of India, Abdul Kalamji was the first name that came to my mind.  As a part of this, I could not help giving a simple example based on his interview at Wharton in Philadelphia. Though this interview is just 22 minutes long, every word that came out of it is invaluable.

I understand that I have the luxury of all the time in the world, while many of you are quite busy in your life. For those of you, I have tried to capture the key points he spoke, each one of which is a gem in itself.

———Kalamji’s Interview Excerpts Begin Here————————————

1. Learning – Knowledge

Kalamji has a four line poem which he made millions of kids in India to repeat. I made my son repeat this showing him how his lego toy, the one he built fit right into this poem. Now he believes in what Kalamji said.

The poem goes as follows:

Learning use creativity

Creativity leads to thinking

Thinking provides Knowledge

Knowledge makes you Great

2. Peace

Kalamji believes that peace is essential for any country to prosper. Peace comes out of strength, because strength respects strength. We need strength so that the nation is peaceful and you have the necessary focus required for developing the country.

3. Leaders:

Kalamji talks about leaders and the traits of a good leader. He says a good leader must have the following traits:

– Leader must have a vision

– Leader must be able to travel into unexplored path

– Leader must know how to manage success, but more importantly failures

– Leader must have the courage to take a decision

– Leader must have nobility in management

4. President of a Nation:

Abdul Kalamji believes President should be in touch with people of the country continuously in order to deliver the right level of governance. During his time he visited over 1000 schools in every state in India and met millions of kids there as he believes that if we manage to give the right message to the kids right from childhood, we can change the future of the country.


Kalamji also explained the PURA (Providing Urban facilities to Rural Areas). The core idea behind PURA is giving a cluster of villages physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity, so that economic connectivity can emerge.

He has identified 7000 puras across India. They are categorised into hill pura, coastal pura and plain pura. If implemented right, this will result in providing the right employment to people across all these areas.

6. Energy Independence:

Kalamji’s vision is to see that India become energy independent by 2030. Today, fossil fuel such as petrol and diesel is dominating the energy sector through out the world. In seven to eight decades, this will disappear and hence Kalamji recommends a three dimensional approach

a. Solar Power: 15 to 20% efficiency today will not be sufficient. It has to go up in 3 to 5 years to 45 to 55 percent using newer ideas.

b. Nuclear Power: Due to abundant thorium presense, we should be able to leverage it

c. Bio Fuel: Ethanol and Bio diesel can be leveraged to be used as fuels

The combination of these three will help us get independence from fossil fuel and also provide a clean environment.

Using Fossil fuel such as petrol and diesel, 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide released into air every year. To come of it, we need these alternative energy sources, which give us energy independence.

7. Technology

Kalamji talks about Societal grids:

Pura Grid: Knowlege and communication across all rural areas

EGovernance Grid: Transparent governance to citizens

Health Grid: Super speciality health care from city to doorsteps of rural areas

A combination of these three will result in economic development.

8. Regret

Kalamji regrets that he did not get the opportunity and time to complete one of his dreams, ie. to power Rashtrapati Bhavan with solar power so that it becomes the first home in India to be driven fully by Solar Power.

9. Poem:

Kalamji also spoke about a poem he wrote on a topic called ‘Vision’. The poem goes as follows:

I climbed and climbed where is the peak my lord

I ploughed and ploughed, where is the knowledge treasure my lord

I sailed and sailed, where is the isle of peace my lord

Almighty, bless my nation with vision and sweat resulting in happiness.

————Kalamji’s Interview Excepts End Here———————————–

My wish is, if every politician thinks like how Kalamji does, it would make India into a wonderful nation.


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