by V.R. Krishna Iyer
Former Supreme Court Justice of India.
Nationally respected ‘wise’ author of over 70 books and hundreds of articles.
Recognised as a legend in jurisprudence and as the “people’s justice”.
Dr. Appu Kuttan is an admirably able and inspirational advisor to all generations, especially the younger generation, a creative wonder, and a gift from Kerala, India, to the United States, India and the world.
Indian talent, when freed from the inhibitions of colonial-feudal Indian social structure, luminates in full splendour, catalysing the latent genius of our youth to bloom into excellence. In this sense, Dr. Appu Kuttan is an Indian gift and now a global asset. His fine book reveals how he began, as an outstanding academic and athletic engineering graduate from Kerala University, and then travelled to the United States to become a developmental wonder.
I first met him in the United States over 40 years ago as a brilliant adviser to the leaders of several countries. In 1980, he came to India as a volunteer to advise Rajiv Gandhi. He mentored Rajiv and taught Rajiv and many other Indian government leaders Management By Systems (MBS), his proprietary systems approach of using resources effectively to achieve goals, objectives, missions and visions, helping them become capable visionary administrators. At that time, as a Supreme Court Justice in Delhi, I had many discussions with him. At my suggestion to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor, he held luminous educative classes in Delhi for Indian leaders.
To hear Dr. Appu Kuttan speak, to talk with him and to read his writings is truly a process of enlightenment. His book is autobiographical and tells us how a bud does blossom. A few excerpts from his book will be apt and instructive. So I quote:
I was born the fourth of five children in Quilon (now known as Kollam), a town in the State of Kerala, India, in 1941. Both my parents were self-starters who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. My mother, orphaned at a very young age, transformed herself into an educated, teacher-turned physician. She taught me the mental and physical gains found through yoga and meditation. I remember reading with her by the light of a kerosene lamp in elementary school as she emphasized the importance of academic excellence. My father, a renowned football player and athletic champion, was an officer in the state forest department. He introduced me to a daily morning exercise routine and encouraged my participation in football and athletics, with a focus on sprinting.
When I was six years old, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, and on that day I vividly remember going with my grandmother to the temple to offer prayers. When I turned 14, I developed a keen interest in the Mahatma’s writings and spent a whole summer vacation reading every book I could find to teach myself about his life, ideas and accomplishments. I was profoundly influenced by his thinking and his ability to develop and apply simple practical concepts by garnering the support of millions of Indians. His work taught me the importance of the four P’s—Principles, Passion, Perseverance and Patience. His words, “a man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes,” and “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” along with the influence of my parents as role models planted in me the seeds of the happy executive concept and lifestyle.
The systems engineer in Dr. Appu Kuttan has been restless, always thinking positively and creatively. His systems-based holistic concepts inspire and enable the youth to emerge as a patriotic generation, original and inventive, no longer static but dynamic, capable of producing a transformation of our lethargic society into an activist one. Social engineering will be their new mission, beyond reading text books or traditional learning, but making radical change innovations and cultivate a passion to depart from tradition to technological advances. This is ‘Kuttanism’. He is no longer just an Indian or American, but a global citizen who can help every country and person change for the better.
His book has many chapters, progressive and of fertile adventures. My purpose is brief and I do not go into the technical details, but I would like to emphasize on how he has converted dull, drab classroom lessons into modern developmental processes. He is an inspiration and incarnation. I recommend him and his books to every nation’s leaders. He will advance their status. This is global patriotism. He is a glory for Humanity on our Earth.