Dr APJ Abdul Kalam , ” Missile Man of India ” passed away on 27th July 2015. The death of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam led to an outpouring of grief across the country with tributes flowing in from across all quarters. Even American President said that “Abdul Kalam is an inspiration to millions of Indians and admirers around the world.” However, there was one person who didn’t think much of the former President’s accomplishments as a scientist.
Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan nuclear scientist said that ‘Abdul Kalam was an ordinary scientist’ in an interview to BBC. The father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme A Q Khan said, “Kalam used to prefer simplicity in all walks of life but he was an ordinary scientist.”
In a phone interview to BBC, Khan said ” he could not remember anything noteworthy that Kalam had achieved. He claimed India’s missile program me was developed with Russia’s help.” A Q Khan was accused of supplying crucial secrets on nuclear weapons to foreign countries in 2004. He was dismissed from his job and was put under house arrest. However, Islamabad high court in 2009 declared him a free citizen of Pakistan.
He also claimed that there was politics involved in the appointment of Abdul Kalam as President in 2002. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and the NDA was in power at the time. “He (Kalam) was made the President because the BJP wanted to garner Muslim votes,” Khan said.
For all the students in India he was an inspiration, although born in a poor Muslim family in Tamil Nadu, he rose by sheer force of education to become a missile scientist, the “Missile Man of India” becoming chief scientific adviser to the Prime Minister , then secretary of the DRDO, and then President of India.