Excerpts from the book “Turning Points: A Journey Through Challenges” by the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (June 30), was interesting. More so because the election process for the 13th President is on. It is well known that Mr. Kalam had many embarrassing moments during his stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan. He handled them diplomatically. The NDA government’s reaction to his decision to visit Gujarat in the aftermath of the 2002 riots and the Office of Profit Bill episode indicate that the role and responsibilities of the President can be very challenging, especially when he or she is from a non-political background.
Sudhakar Reddy Kalathuru,
Although a little late, Mr. Kalam’s revelation that he did not object to Sonia Gandhi becoming Prime Minister in 2004 has set the record straight for the benefit of those who were led to believe rather mischievously that the Congress president nominated Manmohan Singh for the job not because she wanted to make a sacrifice but because Mr. Kalam had some reservations.
The truth is: Hindu fundamentalists led by the BJP could not digest the drubbing they received at the hands of people who had seen the Centre watch the state sponsored post-Godhra pogrom mutely. It is indeed gratifying that Mr. Kalam has exposed the divisive elements. It is never too late for the truth to emerge.
Mr. Kalam’s recollections are interesting. He has busted the myth that he dissuaded Ms Gandhi from becoming Prime Minister. In his capacity, he could have acted more forcefully against the midnight dissolution of the Bihar Assembly in 2005. His thoughts about the death penalty are progressive and his visit to Gujarat despite being discouraged is commendable.
Keywords: Abdul Kalam