Sunday, December 14, 2008

A message to the Indian Youth

My sister in law, my best friend, asked me if I could pen down something to help her make a speech to a young group of MBA students. She is one of the most talented public speakers one can find. She transforms on stage from a shy, introvert to a powerful public speaker when confronted with the multitudes.. But she thought when it comes to speaking to a set of young MBAs, her corporate brother in law might be able to connect better. So I put this down last night..
Hope it influences someone

My young friends,

It is always a pleasure to address a group like this, since I actually believe that I have a chance to influence the future course of the world whenever I address the youth.

you are about to start life - stepping out into the wide and wonderful world full of its glorious uncertainties and challenges.

Full of hope, yet also mixed with apprehension.

Maybe I can share with you a few thoughts that might help you get a broader perspective to help you as you prepare to start this journey.

Remember, the world will become flatter and more compact as you progress thru life. The opportunities ahead of you would be truly global. Those who can harness the power of knowledge and communication can harness the growth the world has to offer.

So think big. Really, really big. Reach out and touch the world. Do not think Andhra, not India, not Asia- but think one world.

Also realize - you belong to that part of the world slated to grow the fastest in the next century. Your knowledge of this part of the world will be valuable to the world. Hence learn about your roots, where you are from, what is this country, how do you tap its potential, its strengths and challenges.

Position yourself as an Indian who is global.

But as you look for opportunities, think also where you stand...

This country will soon have 40% of all the poor in the world. As of now, we are the 128th in terms of development in the world.

What can I do to change this? How do I help percolate the 10% GDP growth to the poor? How do I unleash the huge human resource potential of this country to take advantage of the flat globe? The chances are that if YOU can find the answer to this in your own sphere, you would also have found an answer to making the maximum of being a truly global Indian - and manage to have done your bit for this country to boot.

Realize also that you belong to the greatest country in the world- the biggest democracy with the largest diversity. But it is also one of the least transparent - one of the lowest in transparency index - the most corrupt- below Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sril Lanka. What can I as a citizen do to change this?
Arrest all temptations to succumb. If enough of you do this, the system will change - it will back you. Have that conviction.

And most importantly, the next 50 years will decide whether the human race will survive. We - humanity- just 100,000 years old - is really in its adolescence. Can we survive the wild swinging party we have been binging in at the cost of our mother earth? We must. YOU must. For once, think not India, Asia, earth - think human race. Can these incredibly talented, incredibly complex, incredibly innovative creations of god survive? How will you contribute to making this happen? Every action you take must conserve and protect the environment. Don’t take this lightly.

If mankind is to conquer the universe- which I strongly believe is our destiny, YOU - this generation which will own the world for the next 50 years must navigate well.

All the best. Straddle and guide my world well- I am bequeathing it to you!!


Prem said...

Interesting!! And not bad for someone who is atrocious (self-admittedly) at spelling. And RamG, sorry to say, you still haven't seen the last of me, yet!

Roon said...

RamG - you have a follower now. This must have been an inspiring speech when delivered.

By the way, why dont you change to the new blogger format ?... i just did :-)

Kalyani said...

you MBAs are such incurable humanists. out here, we deconstruct such nationalistic and global rhetoric. ur words are surely well-meant, but rather ambiguous and even misleading! For example, "Do not think Andhra, not India, not Asia-but think one world" reeks of American logic... Just my ideological differences; I am sorry if you disagree.