New Delhi: The biggest surprise of the summer of 2002 was the election of Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Kalam as the President of India. Up till then, Kalam was the missile man of the country, the crown of taking India on the road to nuclear empowerment resting firmly on his head. But once he entered the portals of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, nuclear scientist Kalam got transformed into Chacha Kalam for children, and the last hope for people across the country. Records available with his secretariat show that he entertained the maximum number of aam aadmi during his stint as President. If ordinary Indian citizens emerged as his friends, the political fraternity grew increasingly uncomfortable with him. A few months after he was sworn in, Kalam took on the very government that had got him elected, and objected to certain clauses in the bill to check criminalisation of politics. But perhaps the most controversial part of his stint came at the half way mark of his presidency - the signing of the proclamation to dissolve the Bihar Assembly, which was a UPA move to bail out former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav at the stroke of the midnight hour. The move was something, which his close advisors admit made him very upset. From then on, he became increasingly wary, and cautious of all his moves - sending the Office of Profit Bill back to the government, which ultimately saw Sonia Gandhi resigning from her MPs post herself, and refusing to give his assent to promotion of those judges he felt, were not upto the mark. “The agenda that I would suggest is you can calibrate is how to bring up 220 million people who live poverty line,” said Kalam at the RNG Awards. Kalam also gave his own version of how the media should operate at the event. In many ways Kalam just took the next step in changing the perception about the institution of Presidency. His predecessor, KR Narayanan also gave enough indications that he was not just a rubber stamp. In his own way APJ Abdul Kalam ensured that the President was no pushover but the keeper of the Indian constitution and the nation's conscience, the reference point for morality and integrity in public life. His legacy will be difficult to be inherited.