Good afternoon, my dear young friends. I am honoured to be here today. I heard the three beautiful speeches by the young people here, talking about their aspirations. Every young mind has beautiful aspirations. The young eye, which does not dream is not worth it. I am very fond of this little story: There was a great Jewish Saint called Bonum. He was about to die. Many of his disciples came and told "Sir, can you give us a parting message"? Bonum said "You will get my message after I am dead and gone". They said "After you are dead, how can you give the message"? Bonum said "You will find it". Few days later, Bonum died; all his disciples were sad, but were also curious to know what message Bonum is giving? They went and saw his body; both his hands were clasped. One person opened his left hand; there was a small piece of paper on which it was written very clearly "I am nothing but earth". They said "We all know that we are just earth; we come from earth and we go back to earth; nothing so special about it". Somebody opened the right hand, found another piece of paper on which it was written very clearly "The whole earth is made for my sake". They were confused; on one side, he says I am nothing but earth and on the other side he says the whole earth is made for my sake. Then, one person joined the two pieces and turned back; the message was very clear there; one on the left is the reality of life but on the right is the potentiality. "It is true that I am nothing but earth, but I can live as if the whole earth is made for my sake". That is the aspiration of young people. I stand firmly on the ground. I want to whisper into the stars. But I want to be sure; I am firmly rooted on the ground. I want to be a link between the two worlds, the aspiration and the reality; young mind is capable of doing that.
My friends, we go on blaming everybody saying, "This is not there, therefore I could not succeed; that is not there, I am not able to succeed". Remember what Vivekananda said once – "No power on earth can deny you something that you really deserve". Nothing can stop you from getting it; no power on earth could stop a fisherman boy to become the President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam. No power could stop a man who was exiled to Robben Islands. I have seen; if you get a chance to go to South Africa, please don't miss it. From the Cape Town, go further into the sea; there is a rock of six acres, which has come into the sea. They have built jails there; horrible jails; I have gone and seen and felt suffocated about it. It is a jail of the size of 6' X 61/2', including toilet inside. The doors do not have iron bars; they have iron shutters; you can't see a human face. A man was put in this jail for 26 long years, can you believe that? Without seeing a human face, he lived there for 26 years, but did not lose the fire in the belly. Wrote his biography, came back and fought against the apartheid and became the President of the country. You know I am talking about Nelson Mandela; no power could stop Mandela from being the President of South Africa. No power could stop a young boy who was reading under the street lamp to become the Bharatha Rathna of India, Sir MV. If these things cannot stop these people, nothing can stop you.
I have only three things to share with you my friends; I have got a lovely video for you. Three things I want to emphasize; if you want to be successful, all your aspirations become true, first have that burning passion in your belly, passion to do something. The moment you lose the passion, take it from me, you have lost the battle already. I don't want to see the young 25s walking with their drooping shoulders or walking like the soldiers of the lost battles; the passion is more important. Can I have the first one; you can just watch it and see...
My friends, you know these outstanding people were successful because of only one thing; the passion in their heart. What differentiates between success and failure is the passion. This video requires a small correction because it was done short before previous world cup. It has mentioned the only captain to win the world cup; now, we have Dhoni also. Please see the last one; you saw Pele hitting that goal called "Goal of the Century". You must remember my friends, that is the World Cup Final; Brazil was playing. You could see in the video, Pele fell down and broke his shoulder, not dislocated, broke his shoulder. He refused medical treatment. You could see he was holding his hand and running. Shoulder block is broken; he was running without medical attention, no anaesthesia, no analgesic. What made him do that, was the passion. If young people have that passion to succeed, I told you nothing can stop you.
The second most important quality that makes you realize your aspirations is that you should choose to be leaders. Remember my friends, many people wait for leadership to happen; leadership never happens; you choose it; hold it by the neck and take it; it's available for taking. Nobody offers you leadership on a plate; if it is given, it's not true. You should emerge as a leader. In an auditorium if prime minister is speaking and ten thousand people are listening to him, do you watch prime minister or the fellow eating groundnut in the last row? Whom do you watch? We watch the prime minister. Remember, world watches leaders, not followers. Leaders make a difference to people and make difference to themselves. This is the age for you to grab the leadership and take position. I knew Mr. Anna Hazare quite many years ago; I wrote an article about him long back. But till now, many had not known Anna Hazare; suddenly has he not emerged as a leader of outstanding merit? Everybody talks about Anna Hazare, because he has become a leader now; he is a visible man. Remember, as a leader you become visible and you can do lot of things not only to yourself but to the whole society. Let me have a small clipping on leadership. Please watch it
Many people thought success comes with experience. Many people thought some things are impossible. People went on giving advises, you require experience to be successful; a boy of 16 years, Sachin Tendulkar, proved it is not required. Some people thought the retirement age is 58, but JRD Tata flew the aircraft at the age of 78. You say black man would not be successful in life; today Obama is a happy man as 44th President of USA. People have proven everything wrong. You can prove yourself and the whole world wrong by doing something, which you dreamt of. You can achieve something, which somebody thought impossible many years ago, it if you take the leadership position.
One last suggestion I have; the whole world is looking at you. If you can protect your culture, hold on to the culture and still achieve something wonderful, nothing better than that. My fervent appeal to you, so called Tech India, Young Tech India; we are drawn by different cultures. I have nothing to complain about different cultures. Every culture is beautiful in its own place but if I ignore my own culture and try to imitate somebody else, I think I will not be successful. A tree is as strong as the depth of its roots. Similarly for a human being, the depth of the root is your culture. If your cultural roots are stronger, you will be successful; otherwise, you will not have a place.
I mentioned three things; one is passion in you, the second is leadership quality and third and most important, remember my friends, sometimes in arrogance, we say "I am independent". Believe me, after some years of experience, I have understood, there is nothing called as independence. Life is charming, only when there is interdependence. Please be grateful to people who have contributed to make you successful. If I am talking to you comfortably, remember somebody must have slogged to build this beautiful auditorium, somebody has manufactured this beautiful mike, and somebody has manufactured the beautiful lights here. I am grateful to all of them; am I right? Somebody is slogging at the Jog Falls to produce electricity all 24 hours. Somebody is spending his sleepless nights to see that power is supplied to this place. I should be grateful to all of them. Life is all about interdependence and connectivity.
You can be successful individually, but you can make a difference to the whole world when you join together. Make your strengths together. Forming a team is most important; without team, you can't succeed. Team work is essential in the 21st century. All effort is to augment our strengths and make our weaknesses irrelevant. To augment our strengths and make our weaknesses irrelevant, the only solution is the team work. Last year when I was in the US, I did attend an annual day of a college in California University. It was a dance performance by thirty two boys and girls. Without a single dialogue, one boy and one girl came first on the dais, it was a wooden platform, and started tap dancing. I am sure, you know this tap dance. They only make sound with their shoe heels. They were dancing so beautifully from both the ends; perfectly synchronized music. After some time, four more people joined. In just about two minutes, the stage was filled with thirty two boys and girls and they danced so beautifully for next two and half minutes. It was almost celestial. Not even one leg was out of tune. Now, please visualize my friends, out of thirty two, even if one were to be out of tune, whole show would have been a failure; is it not right? All thirty two danced as if they are a pair of legs of a single body; whole program was remarkably successful. I went and congratulated every boy and girl and told them "You made other person successful". Is it not right? In life, it is all about making somebody successful and they make you successful.
All your aspirations will come true only when you have the fire in the belly, burning to do something. The word you watched in the first video, one word kept coming frequently, remember every time, 'everyday'. Sometimes, you get excited about certain things, you lose interest after that. It does not give you success. That passion should burn you, everyday. Second is leadership: You can do anything; believe that you can do. If you can believe that you can fly, you will fly. You have got strong wings to support you and the world is with you. Age is on your side. Please realize all your inspirations; may God be with you in every venture of yours. Thank you so much.