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Mr. Kalaam’s profile was a rare ensemble of incisive professional competence of a scientist, all-pervasive visionary flare of a statesman, unfathomable perseverance of a nationalist, revolutionary zeal of a youth, philanthropic instinct of a saint – all revolving around the core identity of him as a very good human being who remained unflinchingly rooted to the ground of humanism. His extraordinary contributions to the significant elevation in India’s defense profile notwithstanding, when we think of him we think of possibilities and hard work, we think of science and religion, we think of wisdom and humbleness, we think of youth and old, we think of present and future and so on.

More important than his visible contributions is the great ‘integrative’ institutional legacy he has left behind which will keep adumbrating our path towards the accomplishment of a better world to be in where the power and authority would emanate from responsibility, dedication and an urge to serve; where students would set the goals of serving motherland through their acquired talent; where society would celebrate democratic values and reflect scientific temperament; wherein our children would not be struggling for two meals an basic education; wherein teachers will take pride in their profession for their indefatigable commitment to the cause of societal emancipation and value-laden teaching; wherein scientists would enjoy their collective enterprise with farmers in the field to serve the Country………………………….

This could be the only and only way to pay him the kind of tribute our People’s President deserves. We feel extremely fortunate to have lived with him for so long. A glorious chapter in the history of Independent India reaches its completion only to be executed in future by all of us.

Director, IIIASA