I was just sifting through some old emails I had
sent sometime back... here's one I found that might make an interesting
These are excerpts from A P J Abdul Kalam's book
'Ignited Minds' I read a few years ago.... his tenets, his vision, his
thought processes truly inspire me....
I was quite fortunate to meet him and speak to him
two years ago when he was the President of India. His words of wisdom still
resound in my mind....
Arpan - 'making little differences'
From the book 'Ignited Minds'
- Let us think what prevents us in undertaking such
challenges. We have to analyse how we can give a new dimension to our style of
functioning, by cutting across the individual interests of various ministries
and even industries and institutions, to follow an integrated action plan. The
motive force has to be love for the country. We need a vision that is shared
by the entire nation.
- Our intellectual forums, political platforms,
academic institutions and chambers of commerce are full of discussion and
debate.There is noise, a lot of it in fact. There are endless debates,
arguments, hypotheses, and theories, and yet there is little progress.
However, the theme of a developed India is not discussed in board rooms and
technology conferences. I want all of us - institutions, political parties,
industries, communities, families, individuals - at every level to take full
responsibility for what is good or bad in our situation, for what we possess
and that which we do not. This would mean that we stop blaming others for the
circumstances we find ourselves in. Taking responsibility also means a
willingness to exercise our abilities to the fullest. This will make us worthy
of enjoying the benefits that come with effort.
- What I have tried to tell you in this book is that
we must be aware of our higher self and view ourselves as citizens of a
developed nation. We are a great civilization and each one of us born here
must trust in the wisdom of this civilization. Our scriptures tell us that
there is no barrier between us and the world, that we are the world just as
the world is in us. It is for you to put yourself in tune with the music of
- The whole country struggled for decades to acheive
the first vision of independence, so we have to protect it. There were
excellent leaders in all walks of life - science, education and industry. To
preserve this freedom from intruders and others who would compromise it is our
bounden duty and not a matter of choice and convenience. No idealogy is above
the security and prosperity of our country. No agenda is more important than
harmony among the people.
- Students should get ready to transform India into
a developed nation. Ignite your minds and think big.
- The administrators have a great opportunity to
link the people and political leaders. They should always take decisions that
are good for the people. I believe it is only executives like empowered
district collectors who can assisst transformation. The state-Central
integrated fund has to be deployed in mission mode programmes.
- Fifty years after Independence, the results of
scientific effort have not reached the people to the extent required. It is
time the advances in science and technology are deployed in a big way to
transform rural life.
- Global competition is on, be it WTO, competition
from multinationals or China. For industrialists, competing with
high-performance and cost-effective products will result in growth for the
industry. Competitiveness and innovation are the two pillars of industrial
growth. Industries by working together can generate multinational
institutions, reversing the present trend.
- The IT community, by its innovativeness has given
India stature in the world. India is a competitive nation in IT today. IT must
be used for healthcare, telemedicine, to remove illiteracy, generate skills
and for e-governance and tele-education. Transform the nation into a knowledge
society with IT as the linking tool.
- Finally, the farmers have given this country
surplus food with their sweat. Time has come for two events to take place in
agriculture sector. One, the value addition of all agriculture products. The
second is to improve the quality of agriculture products and compete in the
world market. Above all marketing is a great business tool; we have to create
a new cadre for this purpose. These steps will bring relief to the farmers.
- It is the people of a nation who make it great. By
their effort, the people in turn become important citizens of their great
country. Ignited minds are the most powerful resource on earth, and the one
billion minds of our nation are indeed a great power waiting to be