Film­maker Nila Mad­hab Panda who made a film inspired by the late Pres­i­dent APJ Ab­dul Kalam, says his best qual­ity was his sim­plic­ity

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Sa­marth Goyal and Yashika Mathur ■ sa­marth. goyal@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

As the na­tion mourns the death of the for­mer Pres­i­dent of In­dia, APJ Ab­dul Kalam, film­maker Nila Mad­hab Panda, who made a film ti­tled I Am Kalam (2011), and met the Pres­i­dent sev­eral times, re­mem­bers him.

“I met him many times. The most won­der­ful thing about him was his sim­plic­ity. Peo­ple call him the Mis­sile Man and In­dia’s most en­dear­ing Pres­i­dent, but I call him the hero of mod­ern In­dia,” says Panda, whose movie was based on how a child gets inspired by Kalam and fights all odds to ed­u­cate him­self.

Panda says that Kalam loved the film since it spoke about chil­dren and ed­u­ca­tion, and al­ways harped on nur­tur­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. “He never liked to speak about him­self, but he gave out an in­cred­i­ble mes­sage to peo­ple just by his ac­tions. He al­ways spoke about how im­por­tant chil­dren are for the fu­ture of the na­tion. But most of all, he al­ways said that we should never stop dream­ing,” shares Panda.


APJ Ab­dul Kalam (be­low) was also an en­thu­si­ast of the arts, in­clud­ing mu­sic and po­etry

I re­ceived the Padma Shri from Dr Ab­dul Kalam in 2004, and as I was ac­cept­ing the award, he said to me in my ear, ‘I am a huge fan of yours.’ I was so sur­prised. I never thought that a man who was so much into science would en­joy films. He kept on in­spir­ing peo­ple. In many ways he was like Swami Vivekananda. His name couldn’t be as­so­ci­ated with any re­li­gion ... his only re­li­gion was hu­man­ity

Anu­pam Kher, ac­tor

I was for­tu­nate enough to re­ceive two Na­tional Awards from Dr Kalam. When I went to ac­cept the award for Traf­fic Sig­nal in 2006, he re­mem­bered giv­ing the Na­tional Award to me for Page 3 in 2004. Then I told him, ‘Sir, I will com­plete a hat­trick of get­ting Na­tional Awards from you ... he just looked at me and smiled — Mad­hur Bhan­darkar, film­maker

Nila Mad­hab Panda (above); A still from the film I Am Kalam (be­low)

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