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The Great Need

The Great Need

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Spirit of India - APJ Abdul Kalam
Work for the Transformation to reality.
Spirit of India - APJ Abdul Kalam
Work for the Transformation to reality.

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Published by: S Anantha Prasanna Venkatesh on Jan 04, 2009
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06/17/2009

 
The great need
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
SPIRIT OF INDIA — A TRANSFORMATION INTHINKING
So What is the Spirit of India? While Celebrating this intrinsicnature of India, I reflected on the History of the country andextended my voyage to the future.
 As a nation, we are proud of our civilisational heritage, our family-orientedsociety, our unity amidst cultural diversity, our innovative method of 
ahimsa dharma
that liberated us from foreign rule and our well-tested andstable democracy with its all-round growth in different sectors of economy.India is now a country that exudes confidence and gives rise to hopes todeal with the challenges. I see the spirit of India in the capacity of its peopleto do their work and lead a contented life.There are so many aspects that I find it difficult to sum up this spirit. Can Ishare with you how India graduated within a decade from a country aboutto be forced to pledge gold to meet its foreign exchange needs to a nationthat is now growing at an average annual rate of 9 per cent GDP?Or how the farmers in partnership with scientists and technologistssucceeded in producing over 200 million tonne of foodgrain and made thenation almost self-sufficient?Or should I tell you the story of how India succeeded in launching 10satellites through a single launch and is about to embark on a mission tothe moon?Shall I mention with pride the capability of our nuclearscientists in reprocessing the high burn-up carbide fuelusing sodium-cooled fast reactors?Or share my experience of how India became a nuclear weapon state? Shall I write about the recentachievements of our defence scientists in testing strategicmissile systems?There is so much more: shall I describe the growth inproduction of generic drugs by our pharmaceuticalindustry through advanced research?
 
Shall I elaborate on the growth of small and medium industry whichcontributes to large-scale exports and provides employment to a largenumber of our youth?Shall I dwell on our experience of creating PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) complexes by some educational institutions andindustries and transforming them into economic hubs?Shall I talk about the excellent action taken by the judiciary in severalcases? Shall I describe how our IT industries are contributing to over 25 percent of our exports through software and services?Shall I express my happiness that one in every two Indians will have amobile phone before 2010? Shall I concentrate on describing the happinessof the youth due to the birth of a large number of IITs, IIMs, IISERs, andIIITs? Should I express my happiness about the active participation of ourmedia, both print and electronic, in attempting to connect a billion people?Can I share how 23 million Indians living in various parts of the world areenriching those nations and India through knowledge centres and bringingglory to our motherland? Can I share the pride of our democracy beingstrengthened during the last six decades in spite of our multiple politicalsystems?No. While each of them are great accomplishments in their own way what isstriking is the spirit of India that gives rise to such enthusiasm. In the1990s, the youth always used to ask me, “When can I sing the Song of India?”Today, the youth are asking me, “What can I give to India?” This, in my opinion, represents the New Spirit of this New India. This change in thepattern of questions is representative of the transformation of the country over the years. I receive many e-mails and letters expressing the samesentiment. When I study them and also the personal interactions with people, I canclearly see the responsibility that we owe to this spirit of India. How do wedo that? We need to focus on futuristic priorities in a mission mode.National leadership, irrespective of its political spectrum, should inspireconfidence among our people and boldly formulate and implementdevelopment missions in a cooperative and competitive mode with specifictime-bound goals, with the sole purpose of meeting the aspirations of theSpirit of India.
 
To keep that spirit vibrant and self-rejuvenating, as a nation, we have toevolve a vision for India for the year 2020. The India of 2020 should be:
 A nation where the rural and urban divide is reduced to a very thin line.
 A nation where there is an equitable distribution of and adequate accessto energy and quality water.
 A nation where agriculture, industry and the service sector work togetherin symphony.
 A nation where education with a value system is not denied to anmeritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.
 A nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars,scientists, and investors.
 A nation where the best of healthcare is available to all.
 A nation where governance is responsive, transparent and free of corruption.
 A nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removedand crimes against women and children are absent.
 A nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy, on asustainable growth path.
A nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of itsleadership. We should convert this into a Mission India 2020 for a strong, prosperousand happy nation. With such a profile, as the leading driver for the politicalparties, they can perform in the environment of developmental politics,competing with each other in the political vision of national developmentand evolve strategies to realise it through their manifesto. As Edmond Burke told his electorate in 1774, “Parliament is not a congressof ambassadors from different and hostile interests but Parliament is adeliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole— you choose a member indeed but when you have chosen him, he is notmember of Bristol but he is a Member of Parliament.”These words hold true, centuries later and miles away in our land.Generally, citizens believe that the government has no shortage of programmes and funds. What needs improvement is the efficient andtransparent delivery system, with a proper methodology for assessment,feedback and timely corrective action for full realisation of mission goals.

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