"WHY are we so negative?"
WHY are we, as a nation so obsessed with foreign things?
WE crave for foreign TVs and foreign clothes.
WE want foreign technology. Why this obsession with everything
DO we not realize that self-respect come with self reliance?
I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14year-old girl asking
me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in the life is.
She replied: "I want to live in a developed INDIA. For her,
You and I have to build this developed India. You must proclaim. India is
not an under developed nation; it is highly developed nation".
Do you have 10 minutes ?Allow me to come back with vengeance.
You say that our government is inefficient.
You say that our laws are too old.
You say that our 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 and that mails never reach their destination.
You say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute
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
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
to drive thru Orchard road equivalent of Mahim Cause way or Pedal Road)
between 5pm and 8pm.You come back to the parking lot to punch your parking
ticket if you have over stayed in restaurant or shopping mall
irrespective of your status identity. In Singapore YOU don't say anything ,
You would not dare to buy an employee 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 some one else".
YOU wouldn't dare to speed beyond 55mph in Washington and then
tell the traffic cop," do you know who 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 can respect and conform to a
foreign system in other countries .But cant in your own. You who will throw
papers and cigarettes on the road you touch Indian ground. If you
can be involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country. why
cant you be the same here, in India?
Once in an interview, the famous
ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay Mr. Tunica had a point to make.
"Rich people's dog 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. Will the Indian citizen do
that here?" He's right.
We go to the polls to choose the
Govt. and after that we forfeit all responsibility. We sit back wanting to
be pampered and expect the govt. 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 the 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 reserve at home.
Our excuse?" It's the whole
system which has to change ,how will it matter when I alone forego my
son's rights to a dowry." So who's going to change the system?
What does a system consists of? very
conveniently for us it consists of our neighbors, other households, other
cities, other communities and the government. But definitely not me but
definitely not me.
When it comes to us actually about
positive contribution to the system we lock yourself along with the
families in to a safe cocoon and look in to the distance at countries far
away and wait for a Mr. clean to come along and work miracle 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
disgrace the country .No body thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience
is mortgaged to money."
"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."
DR.ABDUL KALAAM'S SPEECH In Hyderabad