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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Golden Words From The "Grey" Gold

The speech delivered by the Honorable President of India at the inaugural
memorial lecture on the first death anniversary of Shri Ambani in
Hyderabad.

Please make time to read it. Especially if you live in India.
May be this is long but i am very sure you'll long for more



"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.650)
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 are walked 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
(PRESIDENT OF INDIA )

2 comments:

gokul said...

gr8 one man but it comes at the wrong time....i had plans of going abroad...speeches like these give me confidence 2 live on....good going...truly inspiring...true 2 the last word

gokul said...

gr8 one man but it comes at the wrong time....i had plans of going abroad...speeches like these give me confidence 2 live on....good going...truly inspiring...true 2 the last word