talkative tuesday: dr. a. p. j. abdul kalam’s speech

Got this e-mail from a native Indian friend from my uni days. Haven’t heard from him for a really long time (years to be exact) so imagine my surprise to see his name appeared in my inbox. After reading the first few lines, I realised that he might have sent the e-mail to me by mistake. He might have blasted the e-mail to everyone in his address book, hence unintentionally sent it to me.

I actually wanted to hit “Delete” immediately, then I noticed that it was actually a pretty interesting e-mail. It contained a speech by Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India. Let’s do this: Substitute the word “India” and “Malaysia” throughout the speech. You’ll find that the things he said are very much applicable to our country too!

Said my friend to the e-mail recipients...

pl read this before saying anna hazare anna hazare.... dis is for every one... instead of watching news channels for hours... pl spend 10 min... my sincere request.... this speech is from the true indian... dats wat i wan every indian to read dis before criticizing the system.. system is people.. n the people are we.... all f**kn paisa waala will study MBA in wales oxford etc etc... gain knowledge n start criticizing... pl join in civil service n change the system if u really care for our nation!!!! if u r age barred pl motivate ur children to join n civil services.... nooooo v r rajas na???? v want everything ready... paisa phekenge sab facilities dedho.. if such is the case rahul gandhi could have slept bindas for 10 janmas or yugas with the money he has... so pl read this....still may be some might get read... the laaaaaaast lines r important

And here’s the article...

*Dear All*

*Please read this article by giving 10 minutes from your busy life. Really good.*

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 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.

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 TVs, 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. 60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5PM 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 10 pounds (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?” 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 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 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 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....


Let’s do what India needs from us.

Forward this mail to each Indian for a change instead of sending jokes or junk mails.

Thank you,

Dr. Abdul Kalam


dyanna said...

this is soooo true!

i haven't been reading the news or watch it on TV because a lot of things being highlighted is always negative issues or politics. I wondered if these people changed the way they covered/present the news like start with positives and hopes, then maybe, just maybe people will have a little faith in ourselves and our country.

And we always complain and complain, and play the blame game. That is easy. But the fun lies in TAKING ACTION to correct things and making it better.

I think we have a case of 'the grass is ALWAYS greener on the OTHER side'.

Or it is also the case of 'spoon fed' mentality that we are all used to.

~jeet~ said...

totally agreed, actions speak louder than words,
and when it comes to bashing other people, almost everyone jumps at the opportunity the moment it appears, even if there is no opportunity, the creative mind made the opportunity, to add on to more bashing...sgt betul...

it all begins at home, every small act matters, and we should start within ourselves ;)

Sha@Mama Tina said...

Bila difikir2kan balik..banyak betulnya juga..asyik puji..sanjung negara org je.. padahal kita pun mampu buat benda yg sama..

Maya Marisa said...


Nie ler nama nyer NATO.....
yakking all the way wa

dieya said...

that's a good point, perhaps the media should give more airtime to achievements and motivating factors, kan? then only the ppl will have positive attitude.

agreed! like michael jackson said, let's start with the man in the mirror!

k sha,
betul laa, asyik dok ingat negara org best, terlupa kot negara sendiri pun ada byk achievements.

hahaha.. no action talk only?
hv u hit the publish comment button b4 u finished typing? ayat mcm tergantung part last tuh..?

Maya Marisa said...


haiyooo, tak perasan dowhhh the sentence was hanging.

the 6th para from the bottom, is reflection of nato.

they would criticize, but when actually incident took place, they would be the ones who ran first. :P

dieya said...

hahaha i thot so!
betul laa kan, when bad things happen, usually talkers run first!

Messy Mummy said...

sangat setuju dengan apa yang dikatakan. tapi isu ini telah diperkatakan berjuta kali di sini..cuma masih tiada perubahan... setuju?

bercakap tentang berita.ada berita tentang pencapaian. tapi ada kalanya pencapaian yang tak perlu diwar-warkan berlebihan dan bila muncul sesuatu yang kurang menyenangkan adakalanya disorok pula.

isu lain tentang perubahan..sentiasa mahukan perubahan.adakalanya ditahap melampau.meminta-minta semuanya diubah mengikut masa dan kepentingan sendiri juga mengikut negara org lain...tapi tak pula belajar sejarah kenapa ianya begitu dan tak pula reti bersyukur dengan apa yang ada.. terutamanya yang sentiasa berkata-kata tapi tak berbuat apa2.

Nazimah said...

great articles! betul sgt2... thanks for sharing! :)

dyanna said...

Couldn't agree more with messy Mummy there. Banyak sangat dengar berita benda2 yang gempak giler... lepas tu lepas 2 minggu senyap terus, takde follow up.

Mentaliti diri dan rakyat sebagai satu unit bersatu perlu berubah untuk melihat perubahan drastik.

Kita boleh bawa kereta elok2 ikut peraturan atas jalan raya, tapi kalau pada masa yang sama 5000 pemandu lain tak bawak elok2, tak syok gak kan? Kalau 5000 + 1 pemandu bawak kete elok2 mesti best gile.

Anonymous said...


dieya said...

sangat benar semua yg mm cakap tu *angguk2 tanda setuju sangat2*
tak belajar sejarah y things r the way it is and tak reti bersyukur, good points!

u r most welcome :-)

yeah! let's work for 5000 + 2 ( u & me) pemandu berhemah di atas jalan raya!

ooh laa laa :-D