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?"




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sunil on 08/12/10 at 09:46 am

yes we do or we forced to do .....they do all these not because they want but because of very strict laws ..but in India when the last time a law is passed on time and then implemented successfully i don't remember that's the difference ...if 40 percent of money coming from taxes is utilized for welfare of country believe me these all will become things of past..but when politicians are busy in putting all the black money in Swiss banks and in collecting votes how they will find time to pass these laws or at least think of and implantation is far far away...u may say if we know all these why don't we follow rules yourself but i like to remind 40 percent of population is illiterate and rich are blind by excess money whom these things don't bother so only strict laws can solve all these problems but the ultimate question is who will dare to bell the cat or blow the whistle...

devang on 08/12/10 at 10:27 am

Dear Sunil

I think this country has blamed politicians too much but maiexecution failures by the team on the street.

The issue is not law but execution and in that case Judiciary (judges) and Executives ( IAS/ IPS) have let us down

surendra on 10/02/10 at 11:52 am

Hi Sunil and Devang,

if you see current situation neither the politician nor officers would take the right we as Citizen of India adopt the rules and individual change can change the society.

surendra on 10/02/10 at 11:52 am

Hi Sunil and Devang,

if you see current situation neither the politician nor officers would take the right we as Citizen of India should adopt the rules and this individual change can change the society.

Saji Kumar R on 10/04/10 at 10:13 pm

Let us start thinking.

Guest on 01/03/11 at 12:14 pm

Brillaint take on the psychotic mentality of the people in our country where everyone is an expert and run commentary but nobody like to play.