Written by Dr. Abdul Kalam
I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14 yearold 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 highlydeveloped nation.
Do you have 10 minutes? Got 10minutes 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 theirdestination.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 yourInternational best. - In Singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the roadsor eat in the stores.- YOU are as proud of their Underground Links as they are.- You pay $5 (approx. Rs.60) to drive through OrchardRoad (equivalentof Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8PM.- YOU come back to the parking lot to punch yourparking ticket if youhave over-stayed, identity. In Singapore you don't sayanything, DO YOU?- YOU wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan,in Dubai.- YOU would not dare to go out without your headcovered in Jeddah. -YOU would not dare to buy an employee of the telephone exchange inLondon at 10 pounds (Rs.650) a month to, "see to it that mySTD 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 NewZealand.Why don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo?Why don't YOU use examination jockeys or buy fake certificates inBoston?????We are still talking of the same YOU.YOU can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but cannot in your own. You throw papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch the 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 or any where else every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job. 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 cleanup 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 fore go 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 households, other cities, other communities and the government.Butdefinitely not 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 toAmerica 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 fellowAmerican to relate toIndians!"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"Let's do what India needs from us.
Dr. Abdul Kalaam