May 24, 2007

What can we do for India?

Dear Friends,

I got this email today in my mailbox. The mail says that this is a speech from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India. I am not sure about the source, but the message is definitely thought provoking. I think it is something every Indian should read at least once and think about "Our role in building a developed India".

Here is the message

===================================

Why is the media here so negative?
Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?

We are the first in milk production.
We are number one in Remote sensing satellites.
We are the second largest producer of wheat.
We are the second largest producer of rice.

Look at Dr. Sudarshan , he has transferred the tribal village into a self-sustaining, self-driving unit. There are millions of such achievements  but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and failures and disasters.

I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper.

It was the   day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a   Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert into an orchid and a granary.   It was this inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments, deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among   other news.

In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime. Why are we so NEGATIVE? Another question: Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with foreign things? We want foreign T. Vs, we want foreign shirts. We want foreign technology.

Why this obsession with everything imported. Do we not realize that self-respect comes with self-reliance? I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14 year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is. She replied: I want to live in a developed India.  For her, you and I will have to build this developed India . You must proclaim. India is not an under-developed nation; it is a highly developed nation. Do you have 10 minutes? Allow me to come back with a vengeance.

Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice is yours.

YOU say that our government is inefficient.
YOU say that our laws are too old.
YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the garbage.
YOU say that the phones don't work, the railways are a joke,
The airline is the worst in the world, mails never reach their destination.

YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute pits.

YOU say, say and say. What do YOU do about it?
 
Take a person on his way to Singapore . Give him a name – YOURS. Give him a face – YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your International best. In Singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the roads or eat in the stores. YOU are as proud of their Underground links as they are. You pay $5 (approx. Rs. 60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU come back to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have over stayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your status identity… In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU? YOU wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai.

YOU would not dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah.

YOU would not dare to buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds ( Rs.  8 50) a month to, 'see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to someone else.'YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in Washington and then tell the traffic cop,
'Jaanta hai main kaun hoon (Do you know who I am?). I am so and so's son. Take your two bucks and get lost.'

YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand.

Why don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo ? Why don't YOU use examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston ??? We are still talking of the same YOU. YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but cannot in your own.

You who will throw papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country, why cannot you be the same here in India ?

Once in an interview, the famous Ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay , Mr. Tinaikar , had a point to make. 'Rich people's dogs  walk on the streets to leave their affluent droppings all over the place,' he said. 'And then the same people turn around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty pavements. What do they expect the officers to do?

Go down with a broom every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels?

In America every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job. Same in Japan . Will the Indian citizen do that here?' He's right. We go to the polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility. We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We expect the government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all over the place nor are we going to stop to pick a up a stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms.

We want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and toiletries but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least opportunity. This applies even to the staff who is known not to pass on the service to the public. When it comes to burning social issues like those related to women, dowry, girl child! and others, we make loud drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our excuse?  'It's the  whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my sons' rights to a dowry.' So who's going to change the system?

 What does a system consist of ? Very conveniently for us it consists of our neighbours, other households, other cities, other communities and the government. But definitely not me and YOU. When it comes to us actually making a positive contribution to the system we lock ourselves along with our families into a safe cocoon and look into the distance at countries far away and wait for a Mr.Clean to come along & work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand or we leave the country and run away.

Like lazy cowards hounded by our fears we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system. When New York becomes insecure we run to  England. When England experiences unemployment, we take the next flight out to the Gulf. When the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country. Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience is mortgaged to money.

Dear Indians, The article is highly thought inductive, calls for a great deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too…. I am echoing J. F. Kennedy 's words to his fellow Americans to relate to Indians…..

'ASK WHAT WE CAN DO FOR INDIA AND DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE TO MAKE INDIA WHAT AMERICA AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES ARE TODAY'

Lets do what India needs from us.

Thank you,
Dr. Abdul Kalaam

=======================================

Filed under India by

  • Praveen

    Abhishek, I really appreciate your blog, it is definelty thought provoking. Lets all build a better INDIA, by doing a bit of our contribution. If we believe in oursevles and if we can stand be counted for, nothing can stop from making our dear India the best country in the world. We can definely work towards eradicating poverty, giving education to the less fortunate, working around our area and helping the poor learn the healthy ways of lives. As the mail rightly said, everything starts with "I" and if we can make a change in this world. Lets go for it.

    Thanks again for this beautiful message.

  • http://yahoo saloni

    A good speech
    but it could be more intresting to be hear.
    It helped ne to give a sppech on what we are doing for india.

  • http://yahoo saloni

    It is very encouraging to the today's youth of india .
    ti also tells us that even we need to do something for india , the holy land

  • http://www.india-ourdream.blogspot.com omsingh shekhawat2020

    ya for sure its true read it nicely
    great piece for living..

  • rachel

    strong speech.really makes u think…..mabe if everyone thought like this we could save the world.keep beleiving!

  • surbhi

    this speech is really thought provoking.I'll definitely give my contribution to make India a better country..
    thanx..

  • http://twitter.com/therajguru rAjEsH

    "This is said good, I feel something deep with those words.I as an Indian have to do the betterment to our India rather than asking for what India did to me.I belive if this article is being read by many young Indians like me soon there can be a change in the society,because the way I feel now after reading this article is something great.Motivates that my small help to india makes a big difference one day…Beliving so I am going to do things.To get the future Indians a developed Indian nation"
    By Rajesh.M [therajguru06@gmail.com]

  • Rohithreddy

    I really appreciate u for posting this article……it is really inspiring..being an indian everyone must show a minimum respect towards our country…i can say one thing "only the youth can bring the change and change the fate of our country"….there are many politicians in india who are eating the wealth of our nation…nd keeping them in swizz banks nd many more…..why can't the youth come into the politics nd change the entire nation and then the world..

    by- M ROHITH REDDY(rohithreddy04@gmail.com)

  • Raj

    Thats great to read this article, but too much difficult to follow as habits dont change overnights but they can be changed atlast. I think thats great to keep our country clean with our little efforts and i will try to do it.. but there are still more bigger problems in our country thats need to be solved first before this. Like problem of Prostitution,Girls Fetus killing, Homosexuality, Poverty, corruption and the list is endless. These problems are hurting human rights rather as compared to other like cleaning ( i am not undermining it..). But a problem that is directly hurting the emotions and rights of a person are really of greatest priority and to eradicate them.. a national movement is needed as soon as possible. rest I LOVE MY INDIA and i can do anything for it.. and i am not undermining the issues you raised in this article..they too need be look upon by us ( Indians) at last it is our home.

  • Hemant

    THIS SHOWS A NEW WAY TO COUNTRYMEN

  • maya

    its really what an indian heart should speak out

  • Dattarajsonsare

    very good
    impresive

  • Mohit Tonpe

    its ossum thoughts of a.p.j.abdul kalam & i ought to change myself and india.

  • ANJALI

    I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU. I BELEIVE IF EVERY INDIAN READS AND FOLLOWS THIS,I AM SURE THAT INDIA WILL NOT BE FAR AWAY FROM SUCCESS.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jmadhusudhanarao Sandeep Salivendra

    The good one after so many days. Long Live India.

  • Mohammad Ali Hirani

    VERY TRUE, NOW THE QUESTION IS HOW TO DO IT. UNTIL AND UNLESS PLATFORM IS PROVIDED TO EVERY CITIZEN FOR IT. WE WILL READ, APPRECIATE IT AND FORGET IT. I HAVE DEVELOPED THE SYSTEM TO PROVIDE PLATFORM TO EACH AND EVERY CITIZEN TO GIVE THE COUNTRY WHAT EVER HE IS WILLING TO GIVE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA. MY NAME IS MOHAMMAD ALI HIRANI, MY MOBILE NO. IS 09329007374, AND MY E MAIL ID IS mohammad_hirani@hotmail.com

  • Siddharthamithu

    Most of the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in  'Culture of Poverty'(a theory introduced by an American anthropologist Oscar Lewis), irrespective of cl-ass or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold. Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children those are born out of ignorance, real poverty. All of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of 'poverty') in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in 'Production of Space' (Henri Lefebvre), at least initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up. – Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah-711101.

  • Siddharthamithu

    Most of the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in  'Culture of Poverty'(a theory introduced by an American anthropologist Oscar Lewis), irrespective of cl-ass or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold. Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children those are born out of ignorance, real poverty. All of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of 'poverty') in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in 'Production of Space' (Henri Lefebvre), at least initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up. – Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah-711101.

  • Jainpramesh007

    itis an inspiring text by A.P.J.Abdul Kalam

Permalink Print