“That’s not just the case with Narendra Modi”.
The Prime Minister asserted that during his 15-month tenure, the “scale and speed” of reforms has improved significantly and even the global bodies like World Bank and International Monetary Fund have forecast a high growth for India.
“Digital India” is an enterprise to transform India in a scale unmatched anywhere in the world and it has the potential to make development truly inclusive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a gathering of Silicon Valley CEOs. “There are [thousands] of mothers who have given up their whole lives for the dreams of their children…A mother never cares what you become”.
Prompted by Zuckerberg to talk about his experience of being an early adopter of internet in India, Modi said: “I did not have the privilege to become a very educated person growing up”.
He said there would be chaos in countries like the United States where the United Nations was located if leaders of different countries began organising meetings like Modi during their visits for UN meetings. “I come from the land of Mahatma Gandhi and the Buddha, the icons of peace”, he said.
A huge crowd waited patiently for his arrival in the suburb of San Francisco, as if awaiting the arrival of a Hollywood celebrity at the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park. “As existing terrorism threats grow and new ones emerge, we have resolved to further deepen cooperation on counter-terrorism and radicalism”, the Prime Minister said. Modi also laid emphasis on connecting with the Indian diaspora community in Silicon Valley.
Modi, who wraps up his historic visit to California’s high-tech region today, was greeted by fans chanting his name, but also by protestors outside concerned about digital privacy, gay rights and his role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots that killed more than 1,000 people in Gujarat. The media have reported how Apple’s CEO Tim Cook visited him in the hotel.
“We used to go to neighbours houses, clean dishes, fill water, do hard chores”.
Ahead of Modi’s visit, Zuckerberg changed his profile picture – and created a filter for other Facebook users to do the same – to support the initiative. “Seeing the people and how people connected, reinforced what we were doing and is something I’ve always remembered”. There is also concern among Modi’s critics that his plans to connect more Indians to the internet is actually an excuse for government surveillance.