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A tribute to ‘People’s President’ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

August 31, 2015

Knowledge Makes You Great

While I am with you, I would like to talk about knowledge. Knowledge has four components, creativity,righteousness, courage and indomitable spirit. And the combination of these characteristics can generate enlightened citizens.

Let us look at the first component Creativity:
“Learning gives creativity
Creativity leads to thinking
Thinking provides knowledge
Knowledge makes you great”

The next component of knowledge is Righteousness. The power of Righteousness is described in a divine hymn, which is as follows:
“Where there is righteousness in the heart
There is beauty in the character.
When there is beauty in the character,
There is harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home.
There is order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation,
There is peace in the world.”

The third component is Courage, which is defined as follows:
“Courage to think different, courage to invent,
Courage to travel into an unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible,
Courage to combat the problems, and Succeed, are the unique qualities of the youth.
As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all the missions.”

The fourth component is Indomitable Spirit.
I would like to recall a great clarion call of indomitable spirit, which was given by Sir C V Raman, at the age of 82. The message is still reverberating in my mind:

"I would like to tell the young men and women before me not to lose hope and courage. Success can only come to you by courageous devotion to the task lying in front of you. I can assert without fear of contradiction that the quality of the Indian mind is equal to the quality of any Teutonic, Nordic or Anglo-Saxon mind. What we lack is perhaps courage, what we lack is perhaps driving force, which takes one anywhere. We have, I think, developed an inferiority complex. I think what is needed in India today is the destruction of that defeatist spirit. We need a spirit of victory, a spirit that will carry us to our rightful place under the sun, a spirit, which will recognize that we, as inheritors of a proud civilization, are entitled to a rightful place on this planet. If that indomitable spirit were to arise, nothing can hold us from achieving our rightful destiny"

Hence friends, now you realize, knowledge is equal to the equation:
Knowledge = Creativity + Righteousness + Courage + Indomitable spirit.

Excerpts from a speech by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam



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