APJ Abdul Kalam: Reactions from the United States on the Indian president’s death

“We lost a great visionary leader.”

AB Wire

WASHINGTON, DC: Reactions continue to pour in from around the United States on the passing away of the former president of India, APJ Abdul Kalam.

Read earlier story Kalam passed away

Reactions from some prominent personalities:

Ron Somers
Founder and CEO of India First Group, former President of US-India Business Council, Washington, DC.

“This is a very sad day for all of us who are involved in US-India strategic collaboration. Can we ever forget how Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam provided visionary leadership and served as a catalyst for progress regarding the U.S.-India civil nuclear deal and the cooperation shared between NASA and ISRO on India’s successful entry into lunar orbit with Chandrayaan in 2008?”

Frank Islam
Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Washington, DC.

“We lost a great visionary leader in the death of President Abdul Kalam. The man leaves a huge legacy that will live in bright lights. He is a big reason behind the advances India has made in missile technology in the past several decades. He was a man of ideas, character and integrity.”

Ashok Mago
Chairman and CEO, Mago & Associates, Dallas, Texas.

The former president of India, APJ Abdul Kalam, flanked by Indian American entrepreneur Ashok Mago and his wife, on one of his numerous visits to the United States. Photo courtesy of Mago.

“Sad demise of President APJ Abdul Kalam is a great loss not only for India but for the entire world. He was not only a great scientist but also a great human being who was full of vitality. He loved to teach and enjoy his interactions particularly with students. I had the opportunity to meet him a few times and every time it was a great experience. We all will miss his outspoken nature and desire to help human race.”

Ravi Batra
Attorney, political and social activist, New York.

“A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India, a pioneer of India’s space and missile initiatives -heavily decorated and awarded – has left a rich legacy to the people of India and an even richer legacy to the world. President Kalam was a man for all seasons and a lover of all knowledge. He was a Trekkie in-fact, by seeking to do in real life what Captain Kirk did in Hollywood’s Star Trek. His love of nation and peaceful celebratory co-existence of multiple faiths are an enduring lesson of humility while the world today stumbles towards a religion-based conflagration.  From the individual-extraordinary to the majestic-individual President Kalam served the public good and showed the hubris-laden world humility is better.

“He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1997, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Padma Bhushan in 1981.”

Dr. Syed Hasnain
Glaciologist and former Vice Chancellor of Calicut University, now based in Seattle.

“First time I met Dr. APJK Abul Kalam was when he was the Scientific Advisor to the Minister of Defense. He was keen to understand the processes that cause melting of Himalayan glaciers and sought my research papers on Gangotri and other glaciers. My second meeting was in late October of 2002, at Farook College, Calicut, where he came to inaugurate library building and PM Foundation Resource Center. As the Vice Chancellor of Calicut University, I had the honor to receive him along with the state governor and other dignitaries. When he saw me, he asked “how you are here?” Then the protocol person told him that I had recently become the vice-chancellor of Calicut University. In 2003, I sought an appointment with Kalam and met him at  Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi. The purpose was to invite him to address the first official convocation at Calicut University. He kindly agreed and visited Calicut in 2004 for the convocation address. His address was inspiring and thought -provoking. He believed that India will become an advanced nation by 2020. Last time he spoke to me was on the phone, in 2006, before visiting Siachen glacier as President of India. He wanted to know all about the dynamics of Siachen. He was indeed not only a humble person but a great space scientist.”

George Abraham
Chairman, Indian National Overseas Congress, USA.

“India has indeed lost one of the iconic leaders of all time and the passing away of former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has left a tremendous void. In a sea of anguish, sufferings and disappointments, he was truly an inspirational voice that provided positive energy to the common man especially the youth. His contribution to the scientific advancement of India is quite unparalleled. He will be remembered forever as a noble soul who has dedicated his life moving India forward not only in the field of science and technology but also as someone who lived a life as an example to everyone around him. As Chairman of the reception committee that hosted him in New York, I had the fortune to interact with him at a personal level and I will cherish those memories for ever.”

Sheela Murthy,
Founder, Murthy Law Firm, Owings Mill, MD

“He was a true leader not just for being a successful and intellectual Indian President in tough times but being a true humanitarian in every sense. His work for various NGOs in India to help those who were less fortunate with a true commitment to make a difference, really showed in his words and his actions. It is a great loss for every person in India and for the world. He lived a good and long life but people like him will live in our hearts forever for his kindness, generosity and leadership!”

(Updated July 28, 2015)

One Comment

  1. Maheswar Deka

    Finding another scientist president in India will never be possible.

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