Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Sensible speech on 15th August (Indian Independece Day)

Waking up early this 15th August turned out to be a great reward. Unaware of what the reward was I just managed to make it to IIIT campus early morning(8:15 is early for me) to witness the flag hosting and participate in the National Anthem singing.
To my surprise Dr. A P J Kalam was the chief guest for the occasion. What a pleasant surprise. The usually low profile 15th August celebration turned out to be a big event. With Police, photographers, Fire brigade and a big Pandal etc in place. I have been used to watch the event every year attended by some 100 students from all batches sitting on the small ground next to main building. This time it was on the main grounds with certainly 300+ ppl attending it. Faculty strength was also overwhelming.

As Dr. Kalam spoke, I realized it was not one of the usual 15th August speeches we have been hearing all these times. Most speeches I have heard in the past have been on the theme "Have we really achieved anything to be proud of, Have we solved problem of poverty, unemployment etc." All concluding that we are really in a screwed up situation rt now and blah blah. Some others are again on similar topics of "How much we want India to be poverty free and propserous, but without any ideas or suggestion on how to achieve these far fetched goals". Dr Kalams speech was (were) different. He talked about science, technology and ways of transforming the society with the help of these. It motivated students to think about what little/large we can contribute to make India developed by 2020. It had some firm ideas and suggestions instead of just usual cry over the current situation.

It was specially great to see how much technically advance and aware a person at that post is when he said about writing emails to him at his personal email address and then told if you miss any point or want to revise the speech you can visit his website( moments later to see the transcript of the speech. In his thought provoking speech he clearly showed the students the reasons for which the much hated Jeevan Vidhya or moral science lessons were very important. The link for the two speeches he delivered there are:

Would be great if someone can upload the video to Youtube so others can watch him speak.