The Tale of Two Scientists – View from Bahrain

Bahrain’s Abdullah Al Madani gives his view on the parallel career’s of India’s Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Pakistan’s Dr A Q Khan, and concludes that it was India’s democratic system and accompanying conditions that made all the difference.

Avul Paker Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam in India and Abdul Qadeer Khan in Pakistan are both Muslim, miracle men, and have been known as the fathers of the nuclear bomb in their respective countries. The latter, however, is now facing humiliation and a trial, while the former is happily fulfilling his daily duties as the president of India.

The reason cannot but be attributed to the different political systems and the accompanying conditions under which each man has managed his life and career.

Whether Khan acted on his own to share sensitive nuclear secrets with Iran and Libya (as he confessed on February 4) or did so in agreement with his bosses in the army and military intelligence (as he emphasised on February 2), the problem lies in the country’s system and ideology[Gulf News]

Though Al Madani gets some facts wrong – President Abdul Kalam is not a nuclear scientist, but an aeronautical engineer; more responsible for India’s missile programme than for its nuclear bomb – he get the crux of it right.

And President Abdul Kalam is a much better example of a moderate Muslim than Gen Musharraf can ever hope to be.

1 thought on “The Tale of Two Scientists – View from Bahrain”

  1. While Al-Madani is well meaning (certainly from an Indian standpoint) he not only got the facts about Kalam’s field of expertise wrong, he also indirectly but wrongly attributes Kalam’s simplicity and “200 percent” Indian status to India’s political culture. Nothing could be farther from the truth – politicians being abstemious went out of fashion immediately after Independence – witness Chacha, Indira and particularly Rajiv not to speak about Devi Lal, or a host of other thugs like Sukh Ram, Satish Sharma or Shah Nawaz Khan to name just a few. Curiously, he reserves the corrupt label for Pakistan’s elected leaders but not the military. While Zia or Musharraf possibly did not stash personal bank accounts from their coffers one can surmise fairly reasonably their perversion of the instruments of state to advance a homicidal agenda is corruption of the worst sort.

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