Turning Points, written by A.P.J Abdul Kalam, is a sequel to Wings of Fire which dealt with his life up to 1992. In this book we come to know about how and why he agreed to become President and what happened during his presidency. He has also given some anecdotes from his life. What did he do in the aftermath of the Godhra riots and what was his reaction when the Supreme Court declared the dissolution of the Bihar assembly illegal.You will also find the seven turning points of his life.
The book is less like an autobiography and more like a blueprint for his India Vision 2020. We miss out on an ‘autobiography’ of Kalam, and instead read about his vision for India and what measures he took during his presidency to realize some of them. He has discussed the various ideas he has got to develop India, from his interactions with people from all spheres—students, children, scientists etc. to make Judiciary, Parliament, and Executive in India more efficient in their functioning, and all suggestions are given in ‘points’ like in textbooks.
For example, there are: ‘ten’ pillars of development; ‘five’ causes of delay in delivering justice by courts and ‘nine’ suggestions to make them efficient; ‘four’ points on meaning of development of villages; and some ‘seventeen’ points for making our Parliament ‘functional’. He has also rightly stated that India must embrace technology in order to move forward. He has explained how with the use of e-governance many modern day problems in India can be solved.By callingIndira Gandhi a ‘great stateswoman’; Dr Singh, ‘architect of economic reforms’ with an ‘impeccable image’ he tries to be nice to every political leader he has met in his life. His humility is evident throughout the book and he has made every effort to avoid any controversy that might arise from any revelations.
For those who were expecting anecdotes from Indian polity and Kalam’s own life this book is a disappointment. Kalam’s ideas for development are very innovative and I am sure no one else in our country has suggested methods like his. This book is very motivating and inspiring and once you start reading you won’t be able to keep it down.