Turning Points by Abdul Kalam | Summary & Analysis


The book traces Abdul Kalam’s journey post-1992 which is covered in its prequel. The earlier book covered his life from origins till his summit as the premier defence scientist in the country. This edition traverses the next 20 years of his life ending at

This is less of his story and more of his aspiration as a thinker and visionary. He dwells on his successful tenure as the President of India from 2002 to 2007 and his withdrawal from a second coming in 2013 (sparked by vested political bargaining and chaos).

His Idea of Developed Nation

Kalam enlists his ideas for transforming India into a developed nation by the time the second decade of the century comes to an end. He discusses leveraging technology and fields like data informatics, nano-electronics, digitalization, photonics etc. for fast-tracking India’s rise to a leader in modern science and innovation.

He gives examples of his own work as president like fast track courts, digital communications etc. as a template for engendering the foundation for the future push. Kalam does not provide many personal stories and incidents like ‘Wings of Fire” which makes this book a bit more platitudinous and impersonal.

Reforms in Administration

However, it does elucidate on how is imagined the role of President in India’s claim for global leadership. He also enlists his suggestions and recommendations for various aspects of national polity and society from Parliamentary reforms, judicial initiative, technological and educational overhaul, industrial transformation etc.

He believes that cutting edge sciences and emergent technologies must be encouraged in the country to provide breeding grounds for development and modernization.

Overall, he provides several turning points in his life that defined his legacy as a young student of science, premier scientist, defence advisor, President of the country and an inspirational; visionary.


He also eulogies the various influences in his lifetime like former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Dr Manmohan Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee etc. Through the book, we can witness the humility and sincerity that defined Kalam tenure as India’s topmost scientist, thinker and the head of the state.

He carried out all are roles with inimitable aplomb, even though his reign was not perfect (controversy regarding dissolution Of Bihar State Assembly, Office of Profit legislation etc.).