Got 10 minutes for your Country?
| August 10,2010 02:03 pm IST
An E-mail from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
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 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU comeback 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 for 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, sala 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?"