Friday, November 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Kalam justifies N-weapons
Says necessary for self-defence
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 14
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today made it clear that India will use nuclear weapons in self-defence when its peace is threatened.

Delivering the keynote address at a function in Vigyan Bhavan on Children’s Day, the missile man said despite the “no-first-use” policy, India would use nuclear weapons when peace is threatened and somebody else used it. “Our country will use its might to defend itself,’’ he said.

Justifying the necessity of having nuclear weapons, Dr Kalam said, “When two of our neighbours have got nuclear weapons, naturally for India, to protect peace, we have to have it.’’

The President replied questions posed by children on a host of subjects ranging from his vision to make India a developed nation to ways to stop brain drain and development of North-East.

He took pains to explain his vision on the slide screen.

Replying to queries contesting the diversion of funds for nuclear capability at the cost of the welfare of the poor, Dr Kalam said, “All this is necessary to defend our frontiers.’’

Much to the joy of the children, he encouraged them to send their queries on e-mail and assured them of a reply.

Music director A.R. Rehman’s composition of Dr Kalam’s song ‘Ignited Minds’ sung by a group of school children won him a thundering applause by the audience and earned him compliments from none other than the President.

Addressing another gathering of school students on the opening day of the First Child Education Summit at Ashoka Hotel on Children’s Day, Dr Kalam gave the children his mantra for success — curiosity, thinking, knowledge, hard work and perseverence.

Sharing his inspiring and thought-provoking philosophy about hard work and thinking, Dr Kalam said, “Hard work has not killed anyone, less work may have......Thinking is progress, non-thinking is destruction.’’

Dr Kalam said he had met about 10,000 school children across the country since he assumed office in July this year. 

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