Ignited Minds


Ignited Minds

"Ignited Minds" is a book written by A P J Abdul Kalam, formerly the President of India. The book was first published in 2002, and the full title of the book is "Ignited Minds - Unleashing the Power Within India". "Ignited Minds" is a logical step forward from Dr. Kalam's earlier book, "India 2020 - A Vision for the New Millennium" (ISBN 0-670-04928-X).

Introduction

Dr. Kalam has dedicated "Ignited Minds" to a high school child, named Snehal Thakkar, whom he met at a school, and while talking to the students, a question had come up: "Who is our enemy?". Kalam recalled that many answers came up, but the answer on which all agreed came from her (Snehal Thakkar): "Our enemy is poverty".

It is a highly motivating book for young Indians, as also to anyone interested in understanding the reasons for remaining behind in the march of human civilization. The small book of 205 pages contains dynamic and original ideas, examines attitudes afflicting the Indians, and present prescriptions for rapid growth of India to enable the country to emerge as a developed country. The scientist and the seer inside Kalam has addressed the book to young citizens of India.

Chapters

The book is organised into nine chapters, dealing with various issues. These chapters are:

#The Dreams and the Message
#Give Us a Role Model
#Visionary Teachers and Scientists
#Learning from Saints and Seers
#Patriotism beyond Politics and Religion
#The Knowledge Society
#Getting the Forces Together
#Building a New State
#To my Countrymen

Synopsis

*The book begins with a sad note. On 30 September 2001, Kalam’s helicopter, while on its way from Ranchi, Jharkhand state, India to Bokaro crashed, but all aboard miraculously survived. He was administered that night a tranquilizer, and he recalls having seen a very vivid dream. He writes in the book that he saw himself in a desert “with miles of sand all around,’ and there stood five men, namely, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Emperor Ashoka, Abraham Lincoln and Caliph Omar. Kalam felt dwarfed by their presence, and recounts the words of these great personalities.
*The next chapter emphasises the importance of mother, father and elementary school teachers as role models.
*The third chapter tells that "Vision ignites the minds", and talks about the modern Indian visionaries like J. R. D. Tata, Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and Dr. Verghese Kurien.
*The next section of the book deals with the spiritual heritage of the Indian nation and talks about developing a model of development based on India's inherent strengths.
*The fifth chapter of the book exhorts the Indians, constituting a nation of one billion people "with multitude faiths and ideologies" to develop a "national vision" and amalgamate into one "national forum."
*The next chapter begins with a Thirukkural, which states:
"Wisdom is a weapon to ward off destruction;
It is an inner fortress which enemies cannot destroy".
This chapter reminds the readers that Ancient India was a "knowledge society that contributed a great deal to civilization."
*The caption line of the seventh chapter is followed by the following inspiring words of Abraham Lincoln:
"Determine that things can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way."
*The eighth chapter exhorts for a change in the mindset and to take pragmatic risks, which shall result into success.
*The ninth and the last chapter, with the caption line of "To My Countrymen" begins with few words of the Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore - "let my country awake."
*The book ends with a "Song of Youth", with these opening words:
"As a young citizen of India ,
armed with technology and love for my nation,
I realize, a small aim is a crime."

Quotes

"What is that we are missing? What is it that needs to be corrected? There seems to be an attitude problem, as if we cannot shake ourselves out of a mindset of limited achievement."

"Our problem lies in our approach towards them."

"Great men use religion to make new friends, small men use it as a fighting tool."

ee also

*Resonance 2020


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