Topic started by Pavalamani Pragasam (@ 22.214.171.124) on Sun Dec 7 22:02:09 EST 2003.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
By : Dr. Abdul Kalaam
I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14 year old girl asked
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
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
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
You say that our country has been fed to! the dogs and is the
YOU say, say and say.
What do YOU do about it?
Take a person on his way to Singapore.
Give him a name?
Give him a face?
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
- YOU are as proud of their Underground Links as they are.
- You pay $5 (approx. Rs.60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent
Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM.
- YOU comeback to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you
have over-stayed, 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
calls are billed to
- 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
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
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
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
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
Same in Japan. Will the Indian citizen do that here?"
We go to the polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all
We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do
everything for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We
government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage
over the place nor are we going to stop to pick a up a stra! y piece of
paper and throw it in the bin.
We expect the railways to provide clean bathrooms but we are not going
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
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
continue to do the reverse at home. Our excuse?
"It's the whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I
forego my son's 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
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
the distance at countries far away and wait for a Mr. Clean to come
& work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand or we leave
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
- 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
deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too! ?..
I am echoing J.F. Kennedy's words to his fellow American to relate to
"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 Jokes
or junk mails.
Dr. Abdul Kalaam