Creative leaders needed for developed India beyond 2020: A P J Abdul Kalam

Abdul Kalam

Talking about the need to create a value system to weed out corruption, the missile man said, "During 2003, youths started to ask what I can do to change the situation and contribute to the development of the nation..... During the last 6 months I see a further change in the youth, who now say I can do it.

This has given me confidence that India will become an economically developed nation by 2020."

He said even though social activist Anna Hazare's route was definitely going to bring a very powerful law on anti-corruption, it was not enough.

"I believe that Anna Hazare route is definitely going to bring us a very powerful law on anti-corruption one day.

But what use is the powerful law when there is no place in jail as all the prisons would get filled up, do you want that?" he asked.

"I want to see how many young children can change the value system in country."

He narrated an incident of 1990s when during his address to a group of children in Ahmedabad a young girl got up and asked him when she could start "to sing a song of India."

Kalam said he came to understand that the girl's elder brother, who lived in the US, used to give her accounts about the beautiful lakes, roads and prosperity there and she wanted Kalam to tell her when she too can "sing a song about India like her brother was singing a song about America".

Having authored a number of bestsellers including "India 2020", "Ignited Minds", "Mission India", "The Scientific Indian" and "Target 3 Billion", Kalam is on of the country's distinguished scientists who was responsible for development of India's first satellite launch vehicle, the SLV3.

The five previous Penguin lectures were delivered by journalist-writer Thomas Friedman (2007), diplomat-writer Chris Patten (2008), Nobel laureate Amartya Sen (2009), historian Ramachandra Guha (2010) and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (2011).

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