'Need to evolve world opinion against N-weapons'
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'Need to evolve world opinion against N-weapons'

Former Indian President and world renowned scientist APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday said world opinion was needed to be created against nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

india Updated: Jul 14, 2012 23:02 IST

Former Indian President and world renowned scientist APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday said world opinion was needed to be created against nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

"Nuclear energy is a clean source of energy but world opinion should be formed against nuclear weapons," he said at an interface with students of Shimla's schools and colleges.

Kalam said there were more than 10,000 nuclear weapons in the world. "Russia and America have signed nuclear arms reduction treaty. Attempts should be made not only to put curbs on addition of new weapons but also on their use. We are also a nuclear state. There is a need for universal pressure to free the world from nuclear weapons."

Kalam's comments came as school children asked him, "With technological advancement, how can we check the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction."

"This is really a difficult question," Kalam, who was the principal scientific advisor to the government before serving as the president from 2002 to 2007, remarked on being asked by another student about his experience with the political parties (during his presidentship).

"In politics, there are some good people. But the focus now shifted from development to politics. Normally, the development polity should be 70% and the politics of parties to get elected should be 30%. But now, the phenomenon has reversed. Development polity has reduced to 30% and the focus of political parties (to get elected) is 70%."

The missile man, who was the key player in India's 1998 nuclear test, asked students to read Biology Of Beliefs by Bruce Lipton to develop scientific temper.

"One should have four qualities -- great aim, upgradation of knowledge, hard work and perseverance," he told a class 4 student on being asked, "How one can become a president?"

He advised students to follow the footsteps of great personalities and get inspirations from them.

"When I was a 10-year-old boy studying in Class 5 in a small school, my teacher taught me about the bird's flight by drawing pictures on the blackboard. This developed my inclination towards science. I chose physics as one of my subjects. Thereafter, I learnt aeronautics and rocket engineering."

He said he had met 12 million youths in a decade and he could say there "is a marked change in their thinking process".

He told the students that India was going through difficult times. Despite corruption and scams, with the inner strength of the country and its strong economic base, India has the potential to become the leader of the world. "The 60 crore youth below the age of 25 give a lot of hope."

The former President was in town to deliver the keynote address at a public colloquium on fundamental duty.

His address to the select gathering of students, judiciary and government functionaries at the historic Gaiety Theatre was interactive.

Before taking questions from the children, Kalam asked the children to recite poem I Will Fly with him.

"I am born with potential. I am born with goodness and trust. I am born with ideas and dreams. I am born with greatness. I am born with confidence. I am born with wings. So, I am not meant for crawling, I have wings, I will fly I will fly and fly."

First Published: Jul 14, 2012 23:00 IST