A.P.J. Abdul Kalam took quite some time to make up his mind on whether to contest the presidential elections in 2012 despite the numbers stacked oddly against him as he greatly wished to fight corruption at the grass roots and had drafted two contrasting speeches to justify his decision, says his aide.
One of the two letters addressed to the nation was for the occasion if Kalam chose to contest and the other if he decided against it.
The letter, which was drafted in the eventuality of Kalam agreeing to contest, was a long one. "So my dear Indians, I have decided to contest this election with ALL OF YOU. I enter the fray knowing well that the numbers are against me. I will contest knowing well that I lack the majority. I will run the race knowing well that I will lose. But I have already won in the hearts of the people and I am now duty-bound to contest this election for them," the draft address said.
"I don't belong to any political party. I neither endorse nor oppose any political ideology. I am just a scientist and I always wish to be remembered as a teacher. Now that I have decided to face the elections, I have become a candidate. A candidate has to campaign in an election by meeting party leaders and seeking their support. I don't have a party or cadre-strength to campaign or lobby for votes. I appeal to you, my dear Indians, to campaign for me," it said.
Kalam went on to write: "I have realised that my decision to contest this election is our collective decision. I am the people's candidate now. I hope you will continue to shower the same love on me whether I win or lose. Maybe I am bound to loseâ€”I don't know. But I am certainly bound to be true, loyal and affectionate to you. This is not a political statement or campaign mantra. But a few words that come straight from my heart."
He concluded with a verse from the Bhagavad Gita.
The other letter which was drafted it he was not contesting was a mere 100-odd word one.
"You are aware of the developments in the run-up to the presidential elections. Though I have never aspired to serve another term or showed interest in contesting the elections, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and other political parties wanted me to be their candidate. Many, many citizens have also expressed the same wish. It only reflects their love and affection for me and the aspiration of the people.
"I'm really overwhelmed by this support. This being their wish, I respect it. I want to thank them for the trust they have in me. I have considered the totality of the matter. Considering the present political situation, I have decided not to contest the presidential elections. May God bless you all," it said.