“The true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves,” said Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, India’s second President, a great philosopher, a great educationist and a great humanist. Apparently, when he was elected as the second President of India in 1962, his students wanted his Birthday, which is 5 September, to be celebrated as ‘Radhakrishnan Day.’ However, Dr. Radhakrishnan was not fond of his students’ wish. He refused the idea by saying, “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my privilege to if September 5 is observed as Teachers’ Day.” We have been celebrating September 5 as the Teachers’ Day ever since.
There is no better occasion than Teachers’ Day to discuss about the books of another great teacher, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. A scientist by profession and the 11th President of India, Dr. Kalam’s books have always been inspirational. He once said, “Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me.” Here are 3 must-read books of Dr. Kalam that every student should read before they leave the campus.
Wings of Fire: An Autobiography
If you have not read any books written by Dr. Kalam, then Wings of Fire is the best one to start. As said in its title, Wings of Fire is the autobiography of Dr. Kalam, who from a humble background, went on to become a renowned scientist in Indian space research programs and the president of India. Although, some of the chapters of this books are already available in the school textbooks, a cover to cover reading, that too as many times as possible, may bring considerable changes in the readers’ lives.
Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India
Published in 2002, ‘Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India’ talks about some of the most tangled issues that confront India as a nation. In this book, Dr. Kalam, who always had wonderful dreams about the future, talks about his experiences and interactions with people from different spheres of the society, including school and college students, eminent scientists and visionaries, saints and industrialists. As Khushwant Singh wrote, “Ignited Minds will fire the minds of young to whom it is primarily addressed.”
Turning Points: A Journey Through Challenges
As per the reports from Goodreads, Turning Points: A Journey Through Challenges, has already been sold more than 3 lakhs copies. Why not, it is indeed an inspiring sequel of Wings of Fire. If Wings of Fire talked about his life till 1992, Turning Points is more about his life as the President of India. Unlike Wings of Fire, Dr. Kalam has not included adequate personnel anecdotes, instead, he brings in a heavy dose of his ‘India 2020 Vision.’ In the preface, Dr. Kalam writes, “Seeing the response generated by Wings of Fire I felt that if in the same way this book too could benefit a few people it would be well worth the effort.”