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THOUGHT–PROVOKING QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA

[Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam's Speech in Hyderabad]

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. 135.00) 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 10pounds (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?

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

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

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 that 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 neighbors, 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. Forward this mail to each Indian

for a change instead of sending some Jokes or non-sense junk mails.

Thank you,

Dr. Abdul Kalaam

(PRESIDENT OF INDIA)

Thanks for sharing and spreading the awareness, and I strongly agree with all the statements. See the example of dowry deaths even after so much of education and awareness and we blame government for everything.
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