India Habitat Centre Annual Lecture by Abdul Kalam
India Habitat Centre held its annual lecture for the year 2015. Each year an illustrious personality addresses the audience present. This year the Ex-President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, was the speaker. Kiran Karnik, Director of India Habitat Centre welcomed Dr. Kalam. He said, “It is indeed a exceptional pleasure to host Dr. Kalam for the Habitat Lecture. This is a series of lecture where we get most distinguish people to come and share their thoughts with us. Dr. Kalam is many things to many people. He has been referred with various names which indicates the things he has done and what people look at him as. He is known as the Missile Man of India but more importantly he has been known as people’s president. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
I dream of an India where righteousness is in the heart
Dr. Kalam took the podium and shared one anecdote. He said once he had to visit China to give a lecture. He asked, through his twitter handle, if Indian youth wanted to give a message. There was one message which got his attention that said, “The moment we land up on moon, we will be united by our passport with address as the Earth. Let’s thrive to peace in the future”. He said that it is remarkable to think that we all share common identity as humans of the earth.
Children from India Habitat Learning Centre singing the National Anthem
He then said, “We have seen, in last few months, terror incident across Indian Ocean, in Sydney another in Peshawar and followed by Paris and Nigeria. We saw how the forces of hatred have tried to use violence to divide us, the whole world stood in contemplation of actions and grief. We have a collective to task to ensure that our common bonds are strengthened.”
Kiran Karnik, Director of IHC, welcoming Mr. Kalam
He then talked about India. He said, “Friends today’s topic is ‘Evolution of a great nation’. For that you need prosperity and a value system. 21st century needs value system, and then only we can succeed.” “So, I will start with the dynamics of society. Nations across the world have survived for centuries on conflicts. Be it national, regional or global. Conflict arises with love of territories, natural resources and limited space for the expansion in population.” He further added that conflicts also arise due to difference of ideologies. There is a sense of frustration in citizens of nations about these conflicts. People like to live in peace. Every nation needs a mission beyond its national boundaries.
Welcoming with flowers
Towards the end he talked about the current economic situation and the recession in the Indian economy from last couple of years. He said, “In terms of GDP we are the third largest economy. India’s economy grew at 9% till 2009. Then following the crisis in United States and Europe, Indian economy went through a bad patch. If we want to develop and achieve all the aspirations 9% is the minimum that we should target.” He then said that he had discussed the fundamentals of economy with many experts and had come with some key issues. He said that there were some key issues which prevented India from the crisis from full scale. He said that Indian economy was less affected from the world crisis due to policies in India has put check and balances with unique social requirements. Indian banking system, due to its conservative approach, also played its part in preventing the crisis. Indian families are saving oriented and that made a huge difference.
To conclude his speech he shared his vision of India in 2020. He said that he dreams of an Indian where there will be equitable distribution of wealth and access to clean energy. A nation where agriculture industry is developed. A nation where education value system is not denied to any meritorious candidate. A nation with most talented scholars and academics. A nation with best healthcare facilities. A nation which is free from corruption in the governance and a nation with best of the living amenities.
And he ended his speech.
Photo Credits: Neel Kamal Pandey, One World News.