Sunday, June 8, 2008

Thinking - Azara Feroz Sayed

I came across quotes on 'Thinking' from the former Indian President Abdul Kalam at and couldn't help thinking how my life has changed over the years with Feroz, for whom 'Thinking', is the most important aspect of living.

While in school and college, I studied for my teachers - to impress them - so it was a education of mugging-up without thinking about its application. While working too, it was about picking up new technology and using it - to brag friends about it! There was always a rush to impress!

In contrast, Feroz's learning has been with an emphasis on learning with understanding and thinking about its application - not for impressing anyone.

Being with Feroz, I have learnt the things that are said so beautifully in these quotes from Kalam
"Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life."

"Thinking is progress. Non-thinking is stagnation of the individual, organisation and the country. Thinking leads to action. Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant. Knowledge with action, converts adversity into prosperity."

"What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful and to remove the wrongs of injured..."

"I will not be presumptuous enough to say that my life can be a role model for anybody; but some poor child living in an obscure place in an underprivileged social setting may find a little solace in the way my destiny has been shaped. It could perhaps help such children liberate themselves from the bondage of their illusory backwardness and hopelessness?.."

I received the below article as a speech from Kalam and went on to Kalam's site to check the authenticity of the article - couldn't confirm - I will let you read the thoughts below as from anonymous rather than quoting them to be from Kalam - to ensure I am not contributing to the propoganda - in the name of Kalam.

Importance of civic sense is something I learnt being with Feroz too. I guess most of the stuff mentioned in the speech below is, due to we not giving a thought to our actions. One such incident I can talk about, I would sweep our veranda - without giving much thought to the routine activity - that I was pushing some of the dust to our neighbours. Once Feroz saw me doing that was upset about it! I learnt to thank and salute the military men whenever I saw them. We have never missed talking about their motivation levels, everytime we saw a man in uniform. Feroz surprises the cops by stopping and thanking them - for working on holidays at public places, to help all of us enjoy the festivities with our families.

I have learnt to live the words from Quran, "Give in the name of Allah, When ye yourselves would not receive those except with closed eyes" by Feroz's many demonstrations. At my Mom's place, we would give stale food which we are not able to eat to the beggars. Feroz corrected me on that and I now talk to my Mom on right aspect of Charity in Islam. My parents have to bear my bragging about Feroz all the time!

The definition of Charity as per Hadith (Collection of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)'s preachings, conduct) "Indeed the gates to goodness are many: glorifying God, praising Him, magnifying Him, saying 'There is no god but Allah', enjoining the good and forbidding the wrong, removing any source of harm from the road, listening to the aggrieved, guiding the blind, showing the seeker his need, striving as far as your two legs could carry you and with deep concern to give succour to him who asks, carrying with the strength of your arms (the burdens of) the weak. All these are (acts of) charity which are an obligation on you. And your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, your removing of stones and thorns from people's paths is charity, and your guiding a man gone astray in the world is charity for you."

The article that set me off on this post
10 Minutes
I have three visions for India. In 3000 years of our history , people form all over the world have come and invaded us , captured our lands , conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards, The Greeks, the Turks, the Moguls, the Portuguese, the British, all of them came and looted us, took over what were ours. yet we have not done this to any other nation. we have not conquered anyone. we have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others. That is why my first vision is that of freedom. I believe that India got its first vision in 1857, when we started the war of independence .It is this freedom that we must protect and nurture and build on. If we are not free, no one will respect us.

My second vision for India is DEVELPOMENT. For fifty years we have been a developing nation. It is time we see ourselves as a developed nation. we are among top five nations of the world in terms of GDP. We have 10 percent growth rate in most areas. Our poverty levels are falling. Our achievements are being globally recognized today. Yet we lack the self confidence to see ourselves as a developed nation, self reliant and self assured .It isn’t this incorrect?

I have a third vision. India must stand up to the world. because I believe that unless India stands up to the worlds, no one will respect us. Only STRENGTH respects strength. we must be strong not only as a military power but also as an economic power. both must go hand in hand.

Why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths,our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why? We are the first in milk production. We are the number one in remote sensing satellites. We are the second largest producer of wheat and rice.There are millions of such achievements but our media is only obsessed in bad news and failuires and disasters. In India we only read about death, bombrdment, terrorism, crime. Why are we so NEGATIVE?

Why are we as a nation so obsessed with foreign things? We want foreign shirts, tecnology. Why this obsession with everything imported. Do we not realize that self respect comes with self reliance?

Do you have 10 minutes? Allow me to come back with a vengence. Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes,then read; otherwise, choise is yours.

YOU say that your government is inefficient.
YOU say that the phone’s don’t work, the railways is a joke and our airlines are the worst in the whole world, mails never reach their destination.
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 cigratte butts on the road or eat in the stores.
You are as proud of their Underground links as they are.
You pay $5 to drive through Orchard Road.
You came back to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have overs stayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your status or identity.
In Singapore you don’t say anything, DO YOU?

YOU wouldn’t dare to eat in public Ramadan,in Dubia.
YOU would not dare to go without your head covered in Jeddah.
YOU would not dare to buy an of the telephone exchange in London at 10
pounds a month to “see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to someone else.” YOU would not to speed beyound the speed limit in Washinton and then tell the traffic cop,”jaanta hai 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 another than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand.
Why don’t YOU spit pan on the streets of Tokyo?
Why don’t YOU see examination jockey 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 involved and appreciate 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 to 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 officer’s to do? Go down with a broom every time their dogs feel the pressure in their bowels? In America every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job. Same in Japan. Will in India citizen do that ?”, he is right.

We go to polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility .We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We expect the government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all over the place nor are we going to stop to pick up a stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms. We want Indian Airlines to provide the best of food but we are not going to stop pilfering at least opportunity. This applies even to staff who is known not to pass on the service to the public. When it comes to burning social issues like dowry we make loud drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our excuses? ”It is the whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my sons’ rights to a dowry.” So who’s going to change the system? What does the system consist of? Very conveniently for us it consists of our neighbors, other households, other cities, other communities and the government . But definetly not me and families into a safe coccon and look into the distance at countries far away and wait for a Mr. Clean to come along and work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand or we leave the country and run away. Like lazy cowards hounded by our fears we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system. When New York becomes insecure we run to England. When England experiences unemployment, we take the next flight to the Gulf. When the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the Indian Government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country. Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience is mortgaged to money.


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