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Youth must eradicate corruption: Kalam
January 26, 2004 02:09 IST
Following is the text of the President's address to the nation on the eve of the 55th Republic Day:
Dear Citizens, on this important day on the eve of 55th Republic Day of India, I am indeed happy to greet all the billion citizens of our country, including those living abroad.
I also greet the members of the armed forces and paramilitary forces who guard our frontiers on the land, the sea and the air and also internal security forces. I would like to share some of my thoughts for evolution of a beautiful India, combining economic prosperity and a value system drawn from our civilizational heritage.
Indian economic scenario:
The rupee is steady, the middle class resurgent and domestic buying power is on the rise. This has made our economy one of the fastest growing in the world. The time has come for these economic benefits to reach speedily the rural population through development programmes such as Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) and interlinking of rivers.
Indian industries in certain sectors have matured to be very responsive to national and international needs and have shown steady growth in spite of earlier adverse predictions.
Interest rates from the banks need to be more proactive to stimulate the growth of the right type of small, medium scale industry and agro food-processing industries. The combination of entrepreneurship education in schools and colleges, hassle-free flow of venture capital and evolution of a good market will give additional momentum for national growth transforming India into a competitive and beautiful nation.
Dear citizens, for the next five years, with certain progress behind us, the challenge we have, is to launch a major thrust for attaining national prosperity. We should convert the present opportunity and work towards giving our future generations, a competitive nation which has the following characteristics.
Profile of a Competitive India:
The development of the society also weans away its people from destructive activities of alienation, leading to celebration of peace-makers.
When guns are silent
Towards Unity of minds:
Recently fifteen gurus, acharyas, swamijis, maulavis, reverent fathers, spiritual leaders, devotees and the representatives of many religions met at Surat in the presence of His Holiness Acharya Mahaprajna and deliberated for two days and took vital decisions to ensure religions graduate into a spiritual force.
Also, they have declared that the nation is bigger than any leader or individual or an organisation. They had collectively evolved five inter-religious projects for implementation. The Nation's best wishes to our spiritual leaders and their mission of transforming religions into a spiritual force.
Challenges Before Us:
Service to Society:
In the new capacity, scientists step beyond their campuses, laboratories, ministries and institutes and move into the centre of their communities to engage in active dialogue and action with their fellow citizens.
They should ask themselves a question, how their knowledge can make an impact on the common man's life. Our civil servants and others in the service sector should become fearlessly people-friendly have a positive attitude, and provide responsive, proactive, transparent and unbiased administration and service to the billion people.
While doing so, a review of the syllabus is also required to prevent overloading of the children for ensuring blossoming of their creativity.
Protecting the Brand Image of Higher Education:
These characteristics must be preserved and nurtured. We should also encourage universities to become cradles of higher learning and research, contributing generation of high skilled global human resource force.
While we should deal with such individuals with sternness to protect the image of our national selection system and the quality, we should also find technological solution that can ensure tamperproof examination system.
Agriculture and Agro Food Processing:
Aircraft, Electronic warfare systems, radars, under-water sensors, combat vehicles and armaments. The Indo-Russian joint venture programme - BrahMos - is one of the leading examples of development, production and marketing of state- of-the-art missile system.
Desalination plants can be co-located with proposed nuclear power plants for converting sea water to drinking water. We need to establish large solar farms of 800 to 1000Megawatt capacity to augment energy availability.
Scientists and technologists must undertake a health mission - Let my brain remove the pain. The scientific community must realize that competitiveness can come only by integrated mission driven programmes partnered by academy, R&D organisations and industry.
During my interactions with the youth of our country, two aspects came out very clearly. One is that the young have a passion, self-respect and dream to live in a developed India. Second, they want to live in a corruption free India.
I can see these two are glowing in their eyes. I am also convinced that we should build developed India in a time bound way to prevent instability in the society.
Hence the manifesto of the political parties has to take into account their aspirations and designed to meet the dreams of the young and be resonant with their aspirations with identified missions and action plans. Every political party must clearly state its vision, action plan and approach for achieving a developed India and how fast they can realize these missions in quality and quantity.
The right to vote is the greatest power given to you by democracy, so that you can reinforce further democratic values.
I would like to appeal to all eligible voters to exercise their franchise without fail, fear or favour. A large voter turn out will be the first step towards realization of a developed India, and the second step would be to become enlightened righteous citizens.
Movement by Young Citizens:
I was talking to a group of 600 persons consisting of young children, their parents and teachers. The topic I selected was the knowledge society, foundation for a developed India.
One boy who was studying in 10th class, asked: Mr President, tell me is it possible for a nation to get transformed into a developed country, when there is corruption everywhere?
This question greatly upset the many faces of the experienced generation. I said the question is beautiful and I must answer.
Fortunately, the boy's parents and teachers were sitting by his side. I asked both: Do you have an answer?
They said: Mr President, he shouldn't have asked such a question, which is beyond his age. Please ignore it, sir.
How can I ignore such a valuable mind? I must answer. My answer was the following: We can create any number of laws in the country. No law can remove corruption fully. However there are only three members of the society, who can remove corruption. I call it as a 'Three dimensional action' plan. Who are these three members? They are father, mother and elementary school teacher.
In this connection, I would like to recall a famous statement from a Vedic Guru, who said: You give me a child for seven years - after that, no God or devil can change the child.
That is the power of the teacher.
My dear young friends, when you hear my national broadcast, please ask yourself a question, what can be the greatest contribution that the youth can give without disturbing their academic pursuit. You have to commence a silent revolution for removal of corruption by rightly reforming those who go against righteousness in your families.
You all must endeavour to make the home you live, beautiful and righteous. You definitely have the power on your parents to do so, with love and affection.
Dear Citizens, now I would like to administer an oath for the youth which I would like the youths to repeat with me now, wherever you are. Are you ready?
Ten point oath for the youth of the nation:
Righteousness comes out of good character. The evolution of good character leads to harmony in home. Harmony in home leads the people of the State to become enlightened citizens. Enlightened citizens will make planet Earth a peaceful world.
Let us rededicate ourselves on this occasion of the 55th Republic Day to work towards making India a prosperous, happy and secure nation, with a smile on its billion faces. Almighty, the God is with us.Jai Hind.
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