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President Kalam votes for uniform civil code


Monday 29 September 2003, by SINGH*Rahul

Article paru dans le Times of India, ?dition en ligne du lundi 29 septembre 2003.

CHANDIGARH: Responding to a query on the need for a uniform civil code at an interactive session with 900 school students at the PGI on Monday, President A P J Abdul Kalam made it clear that a uniform civil code was required keeping in view the population of the country.

He said, "We are a billion-strong population and any law has to be uniformly applicable". In the midst of the his favourite audience, Kalam came across as a charmer deftly tackling the queries thrown at him by the students. Questions also touched on national security issues, brain drain, the reservation policy, the utility of India’s nuclear programme, vote bank politics and the country’s space programme.

A student drew Kalam’s attention to the Kashmir problem and the heavy casualties being suffered by Indian soldiers in the valley. The President said cross-border terrorism was a problem, but the country had the potential to guard its frontiers. When a student asked the President if the policy of reservation had outlived its usefulness, Kalam replied although the Constitution provided for reservation, in course of time merit would come to play the most vital role.

Kalam urged the students to be curious and have a scientific bent of mind to progress in life. He highlighted the importance of entrepreneurial leadership. Recalling his interaction with Sabeer Bhatia at the recently-concluded CEO conference in Kerala, Kalam said, "I was told that in the US, 90 per cent wealth is generated by small enterprises which employ less than 50 persons in their establishments".

He said the educational system should equip students with entrepreneurial leadership. The Pokhran nuclear tests and the successful Agni launch are experiences that will forever remain etched in Kalam’s memory.

Recalling a question posed to him by a girl in Kochi recently regarding his supreme accomplishment, Kalam said an achievement that gave him a tremendous sense of satisfaction was that he was the chairman of a council that evolved a roadmap on how India could transform into a developed country by 2020. The President also told the students that knowledge and enthusiasm were the major building blocks for action leading to a developed India.

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