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I have a Dream says Rahul at BITS Pilani OASIS 2009 Inauguration
As the Moon and the Jupiter formed a rare conjunction over the evening sky on October 27, 2009, the renowned actor and bundle of talents, Rahul Bose walked into the auditorium of BITS Pilani to give a thought provoking start to Oasis 2009.
By: DR BR Natarajan
Rahul mesmerised the audience with his I have a dream speech and in short his dream wished for the absence of every known evil one could think of. According to him, while there are a thousand manifestations of evil on this planet, perhaps the single most instinctive evil is discrimination.
More importantly, it was stark realism, when Rahul pointed out that in the college everyone has 80 percent idealism and 20 percent responsibility while as one moves out of college it is 80 percent responsibility and 20 percent idealism. He urged the youth to carry on a greater percentage of idealism even after moving out of college.
Rahul's dream goes as follows:
I have a Dream “That the 26/11 attack on Mumbai will spur civil society to unite and present a force that government will never again ignore. That in time we will have the maturity to reflect on the mistakes India might have made to incite such hatred. That our new generation of political leaders will truly look beyond party lines and do what astonishingly few leaders in post-independent India have done – their duty. That Hemant Karkare’s work on the Malegaon case will not lose momentum or integrity.”
I have a dream “That one day, the next time women are thrashed anywhere in a pub in India, the entire country’s women will march half to Mangalore, stopping the entire city for months, the other half to the Prime Minister’s – stopping the government for months. That 100 million Indian Children will not go to bed hungry every night. 100 million is two United Kingdoms. That pregnant women will never again have their wombs slit, their living fetuses torn out and dashed to death while they were set on fire – Gujarat 2002. That there will not be a rape every 23 minutes in this country. Or a dowry death every 33 minutes.”
I have a dream “That small farmers will never again have to apologise to their children and then commit suicide. That Article 377 making homosexuality a crime will be abolished. That when a girl goes to her mother and says her uncle or her father has molested her, she will not be asked – Are you sure? And she will not be told – Don’t be silly – you’re imagining things. That Muslims who fled Bombay in 1992, will return to their homes and M F Husain will return to his.”
I have a dream “Of a time when we will cheer a Younis Khan sixer as we cheer a Yuvraj Singh one. Of a time when no girl child will ever have to walk the 3 KM average to fetch water everyday - instead she will spend that time in a school. That we will allow people with AIDS to work with us, eat with us, live with us – with dignity. Where God is not a Setu, a pandal blocking the street or the reason for jihad, but is linked with our hopes, our hearts, our homes.”
I have a dream “That one day I will be six inches taller. Have a full head of hair. Look nineteen forever. And always have the right, witty answer when face to face with a beautiful woman.”
But I also have dream “That I will never ever be scared to speak the truth. That one day I will have the means, the time, the heart to gather all the street children in this country, put them on a train and take them to a land where they can heal. Where they can play, laugh, eat, do nothing. That we realize that – slum dwellers – are not the cockroaches of the world. They are fathers forced out of their villages through poverty, now struggling to make money pushed and abused by the police. They are mothers working as Kaamwalis in three houses a day so that their children can do what they didn’t – go to school. They are children, who have like all children an equal dose of delight and tears in them, not dirty, lice – ridden creatures shivering in the rain holding today’s papers in a plastic bag.”
I have a dream “Where every Indian plays a sport, any game, for at least an hour a day. Where no hockey player will ever again have to sell his medals to feed himself. Where we win twenty Olympic gold medals in London 2012 – if we do things right, its possible. Where the Indian Rugby team wins the World Cup – We are ranked 83 rd now – I will cheer from my wheelchair.”
I have dream “That one day we will all stop what we’re doing – working on laptops, tending to hundreds of patients, sweating it out at cricket practice, running our homeopathy clinic, trying to balance the books at your non-profit organization, begging our child to have bas one more bite, commuting in a local train, closing that complex merger .… we will stop what we’re doing and suddenly realize, all of us together, at the same, precise moment, that we are all Indians and that there is no one like us on this planet – we are unique. Because we fight with words all the time, with fists sometimes, we talk loudly on our phones, laugh loudest at our own jokes, we are sexist, smelly, love sweets, swear we will exercise tomorrow and don’t believe in queues. But that we are also moved by tears by a sad film song, we fight to pay the bill in a restaurant, you cannot leave our home without at least a cup of tea (and thepla and vadai and shingada and matthi ….), we feel guilty when we don’t stand up if someone elderly walks into the room, we don’t shake hands – we hug, we are all first cricket selectors, then bankers, lawyers, bad actors …., we stand up and cheer during the climax of Chak De, we all watch terrible soaps on television and swear we don’t and we all love Sachin Tendulkar.
And at that moment, that moment when we realize we are all the same, the choice will be ours – to turn to the stranger on our side and say – we are 1.2 Billion – 1.2 Billion. The world is six billion. That’s one Indian for every four non-Indians. Sounds Good - Let’s do it.”
For Rahul who has taken up his dream as a mission with passion, it is for sure that there are no frontiers beyond reach. For the boys and girls from all over the country who have converged at Birla Institute of Technology and Science (popularly known as BITS) Pilani for this year OASIS to experience the "Flipside" which promises the tranquility, the hysteria, the liberation and the celebration of the unconventional, the speexch of Rahul Bose is simply unforgettable.
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About BITS Pilani: The Birla Institute of Technology and Science - BITS Pilani is a Deemed to be University established vide Sec.3 of the UGC Act, 1956 under notification No. F.12-23/63.U-