Thursday, August 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Kalam calls for ‘second vision’
Tribune News Service


Kashmir not an international issue

J&K poll to usher in peace

Permanent solution needed to tackle terrorism

Advocates networking of rivers

New Delhi, August 14
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's visit to riot-hit Gujarat rubbed off on his first Independence Day eve speech as he listed eradication of communal and other divisive clashes along with a "second vision" to transform India into a developed country as the many challenges confronting the nation.

In a broadcast to the nation, the President emphasised that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and it was not an international issue.

"India is ready for bilateral dialogue once the cross-border terrorism is brought to a complete end. On the election process in Jammu and Kashmir, he said its successful completion was necessary for the dawn of peace in the state.

Drawing inspiration from his visit to the Sabarmati Ashram established by Mahatma Gandhi in Gujarat, the President dealt at length on the values cherished by the Mahatma.

He said any act by anyone anywhere in the country that ran counter to the eternal values of the Mahatma would pose a threat to the fabric of free India.

"We should all work together to achieve the mission for the unity of minds to preserve what we so preciously earned and reach greater heights in the future", he added.

Outlining the challenges facing the country, he said: "We have to eradicate communal and other divisive clashes taking place in certain parts and remove the pains of our people whether it is in Jammu and Kashmir or in any other part of our country."

He also said the country had to find a permanent solution to combat terrorism and also tackle repeated droughts and floods. One thought that came to his mind during his visit to Gandhi's Ashram, he said was "if we can go above our own personal hardships and see the problems of others and decide to work for a larger cause, then there is natural elevation of our minds.

"When we are lax in this, then our level of thinking goes down. I felt confident that all of us can be elevated to the level of noble minds, if we just decide to understand others and practise tolerance," he said.

Mr Kalam said during the visit he realised that Gujarat has given a noble leader Mahatma Gandhi, unifier of the nation Vallabhbhai Patel and the great visionary in science and technology Vikram Sarabhai and many more.

“Time has come for everyone of us to put the thoughts of these great souls into action for nation’s welfare,” he said.

Asserting that the country needed a second vision similar to the first which created a movement to achieve freedom with unity of minds of the people and the unity of purpose in actions, the President said “we need a second vision which will integrate people from all walks of our society towards a common purpose”.

The second vision, he said was to transform the country from its present developing status to a developed nation by integrated actions simultaneously in the areas of agriculture, food processing, education, healthcare and infrastructure development, including power, information and communication technologies and critical technologies.

“This great vision will aim to alleviate poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. When the minds of the people of our country are unified and fused towards this vision, the dormant potential will manifest as a mammoth power leading to a happy and prosperous of a billion people.

“The vision of the nation will also remove the conflicts arising out of differences and small thinking,” he said.

Focussing at the “long-term problem” of recurring drought and floods, Mr Kalam, who is the first scientist President advocated the need for an ambitious water mission by networking of the rivers.

Noting that it was paradoxical to see floods in one part of the country while drought in some other parts, he said “The need of the hour is to have a water mission which will enable the availability of water to the fields, villages, towns and industries throughtout the year, even while maintaining environmental purity.”

He said technological and project management capabilities of the country could rise to the occasion and make the river networking a reality with long-term planning and proper investment.

The President said in addition the vast sea around the country could help by providing potable water through desalination as a cost-effective technology.

Speaking in the backdrop of the regular disruption in Parliament proceedings, the President said “I suggest that members of our Parliament and legislatures can shape the future of our children by becoming good role models. Parliament and legislatures have a crucial role in giving the vision of developed India and value based polity.”

“Our children should see the members of Parliament debating the vision of developed India, providing action plans and putting forth great thoughts and challenges to them. Looking at national leaders, the children will find their role models for their development and growth”, he added.



Kalam greets Pervez on Pak I-Day
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today greeted Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on the occasion of Pakistan’s independence day today.

In a message to General Musharraf,the Indian President said: “On behalf of the people of India and on my own behalf, I wish to extend to you and the people of Pakistan felicitations on the occasion of the independence day of Pakistan.”


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