President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam passed away. He was by far the most loved and respected Indian President. He did not belong to any political party. He was no superstar actor. He was no cricketer. He was not someone who fits in the general stereotype of being a celebrity; still he was someone who has left whole country in mourning.
Those who are saying that he was The Common Man, are wrong.
He was not common. He was extra-ordinary.
He has risen from the ashes to the top. He was born in a poor family of Rameshwaram, and worked odd jobs to help his family. But one thing that he did not take granted was his studies and his goals. He became an aerospace engineer, and later helped India in conducting Pokhran Nuclear test; thus receiving the title of ‘Missile Man‘.
He was elected as the 11th President of India, with unanimous support of both ruling BJP party and Opposition Congress party.
He received highest civilian honor ‘Bharat Ratna‘, from Indian government.
But, it was not what made him a people’s President. He was the most down to earth President and the most inspiring one too. His quotes and sayings come first to mind when someone talks of motivation. He has given so many lectures and seminars to youth of India, motivating and inspiring them. He died while giving a lecture to students in Shillong. Died doing the one thing he liked the most. Inspiring Youth.
If you think what does religion has to do with all this. Well, Nothing; and this is the point.
Kalam was loved by everyone. His death is mourned by every level of society. He was a leader who lead by example, and not by exploiting religion. Those who are mourning his death, are not Hindu, or Muslim, or Sikh or Christian. They all are Indians.
Nobody is saying that he was Hindu, or Muslim, or Sikh or Christian; he was just our very own ‘Missile Man‘.
Kalam had no religion. He was an Indian.
But, when it comes to Ajmal Kasab, or Yakub Menon, or Tiger Menon, or those terrorists who killed innocent people in Gurdaspur; they all had a religion.
Religion of Terror.
When we love and respect someone we do not care about things like their skin color, or their religion or their financial background. But when we want to hate someone, we look for every tiny detail we can get to hate that person.
It can be hard being a Muslim in India; but the truth is that try any other country, and I bet it will be much-much harder anywhere else in this world.
Kalam didn’t had a resourceful childhood. Nobody helped him except his determination and hard work. He made it work. He reached at the top. He never said, it was difficult for me because I was a Muslim. He never said, Indian government did nothing for my people. He never said, I belong to minority. He made weapons to defend his country. He did not attack his country. He did not kill innocent young people. He inspired them to achieve success in life. He taught young minds to be good in life.
Kalam did not turn into a terrorist. He chose to be President instead.
Nobody had it easy. Everyone is struggling in their own life. System is not fair. Governments are not fair. Society is not fair.
But, we have a choice.
We have a choice to be Kalam, or be Kasab.
We always have a choice. Just remember that next time you face a difficult situation.