Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India
  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam    
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08-12-2004 : Srinagar
Museum - a window of Valour.

I am delighted to participate in the inauguration of "Ibadat-e-Shahadat" Museum particularly the great tradition of multiple cultures with the background of beautiful people and beautiful environment. I recall a part of the famous poem by Lal Ded. The Paradise, will be regained Mother Lalla will bless her children. The fruits of Development Will be abundant and available With the blessings of the God Almighty.

It reflects how the people of Kashmir are poetic about their state. It was indeed a peaceful land for generations, with three regions having multiple cultures, religion, and language with Unity of mind. It is indeed sad to see during the last few decades, violent activities were induced leading to the disturbance of tranquility of the people. I am glad that the elected government has come in, guns are silent in the border and peace process intensity has increased. I am very happy that the museum is not only focusing on the weapons and war like material, but is providing the history, heritage and unique culture of Kashmir, including the sacrifices made by the armed forces and Awaam, since 1947. It also displays the honour received by our valiant soldiers.

When I see the museum displaying the captured arms and war material, I was thinking how the mechanism of terrorism translates thinking into action.


Psycho-social Model of Alienation

How a person is initiated towards the tendencies of the terrorism? I discussed with a friend of mine who is a famous psychologist. He gave me a long lecture. I have taken a few points for our discussion. Constant deprivation among these personalities leads to frustration, frustration on provocation leads to alienation. Alienation can manifest itself in two forms -passivism and activism. Activism can manifest itself in constructive or destructive modes. Constructive mode leads to development; destructive mode leads to terrorism, violence and aggression. We need to collectively address these sources of disturbance for global peace.


Routes to Terrorism

There are four routes to terrorism.

(1) Within the country

(2) Cross border terrorism

(3) International terrorism

(4) Combination of all the three.

Terrorism within the country arises out of political differences leading to taking vengeance by individuals, leaders and followers. It also results out of large societal gaps between groups and caste, religion and region based differentiation. The cross border terrorism generally arises out of defeats in conventional war and religious fanaticism. International terrorism arises out of the large wealth and wealth generation capability gap between countries and poverty level coupled with religious fanaticism. Sometimes, due to parental vow this type of terrorism can lead to war. In addition, terrorism arises out of the combination of all these phenomena in some parts of the world.


Technologies Against Terrorism

In view of the developments in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare agents and possible access to these technologies to the terrorists a new threat scenario emerges at global level. The science and technology research and development endeavours need to strive to achieve an edge over these operations in terms of intelligence gathering, surveillance, protection and intervention. Some of these technologies may include satellite based surveillance, sensor technology for NBC threat assessment, personal protective ensembles, collective protection shelters, technologies for disaster management, signal and communication intelligence, technologies to counter information warfare, cryptography and security algorithms, cyber security, design and establishment of vital installations with survivable systems, and non-lethal weapons. We may need to develop sophisticated technologies for interrogation of terrorists and to access analyze and unearth the network and overall strategies behind the scene.

One of the lasting solution for preventing terrorism in the planet is the economic development of the nations and vanishing societal discrimination.


Economic Development

We have a population of over one billion people of which 260 million are still living below the poverty line. They need education, they need habitat, they need health care, and creation of employment potential. To meet their needs we have the second vision of transforming India into a developed nation by the year 2020. We have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Reliable and quality electric power and surface transport for all parts of the country. (3) Education and Healthcare (4) Information and Communication Technology (5) areas are closely inter-related and if well done would lead to food, economic and national security. A strong partnership among the R&D, academy, industry and the community as a whole with the Government departments will be essential to accomplish the vision for a developed India. Indian GDP is growing at an average rate of 6% p.a. whereas the economists suggest that to remove the poverty of 260 million people we have to grow at the rate of 10% p.a. consistently for over a decade.


Employment Generation

Even a compulsory short military training scheme could be introduced wherein all able bodied youth can lead a regimental life for the period of 3 years. The first year could be devoted to inculcate discipline and physical/ personality development. The second year could focus on vocational and entrepreneurship training. The third year the trained and ignited youth could be deployed for the national development programmes such as interlinking of rivers, PURA, Power mission, water mission, second green revolution, infrastructural development and critical technology areas. After this, organized training the youth may be provided with necessary financial support from the banks to put into practice the training which has been imparted by creating enterprises which can generate employment for many.


Conclusion: Evolution of Enlightened Citizens

There are many challenges in our planet earth of six billion people. Many nations are experiencing the problems of injected terrorism. The young people of the planet are dreaming to live in the land of opportunities and happiness. We have also seen that the economic prosperity of few nations alone has not brought lasting peace to the world. In such a situation, it is essential to evolve the principle of enlightened citizenship in all the regions. The enlightened citizenship has three components: education with value system, religion transforming into spiritual force and bringing economic prosperity through development. This mission can be put into action by all the nations coming together economically and spiritually. How it can be done? All the children in the age group of 5- 17 years will be learning in the schools and home, the education with value system, with the teacher in the centre stage. Every religion has got two components: religious dogmas and spiritual preaching's. The spiritual focus influenced by compassion and love must be nurtured as an integrated mission. In many nations, in spite of their core competence, material wealth, biodiversity and human resource, still certain percentage of people is below poverty line. By using the core competence, with competitiveness as a base and the mission of transforming the developing nation into a developed country, nations can work together for a peaceful, prosperous and safe region. I am putting forth these thoughts of enlightened citizenship on this occasion to promote a sense of peace and prosperity in this region.

When I see the Museum I feel that time has come for India to establish a "War Museum" of armed forces ?which will tell the story of our battles that, is courage at the sea and under the sea; courage at air space and courage at land operations. War Museum is essential, since it will not only provide the record of struggle but also narrate the sacrifices behind the hard earned victories. What more can inspire the youth of our nation towards the path' of National Development?

I inaugurate the museum and wish the organizers and all the personnel present here success in their missions.

May God bless you.

Note: This was discussed with the Organisers of the Museum.




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