The President of India DR. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’s Speech in
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
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
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
In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime. Why
are we so NEGATIVE? Another question: Why are we, as a nation so
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
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
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
nation. Do you have 10 minutes? Allow me to come back with a
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
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 – YOURS.
Give him a face – YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at
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
parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have over stayed in
a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your status
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
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
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
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
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
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
authorities for inefficiency and dirty pavements. What do they
expect the officers to do? Go down with a broom every time their dog
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
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
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
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
What does a system consist of ? Very conveniently for us it consists
of our neighbours, other households, other cities, other communities
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
brought home by the Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and
rape the country. Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our
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
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
Dr. Abdul Kalaam
(PRESIDENT OF INDIA)