Modi at Social media giant's event, talks of the power of the mediaum and tells world leaders to connect
GN Bureau | September 28, 2015
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has had his belief in his company reinforced by India. This was confessed by Zuckerberg himself as he hosted prime minister Narendra Modi on sunday at the headquarters of Facebook in California.
Zuckerman told of a time when the company was going through what he called a "rough patch", eis late mentor, Apple boss Steve Jobs advised him to travel to India. "Seeing the people and how people connected, reinforced what we were doing and is something I've always remembered," he said.
Both Zuckerberg and Modi shared emotional moments during the discussion.
On a Sunday evening the man manages to get 18,000 people to come & listen to him. He is probably doing something right. #ModiAtSAPCenter— Rashi Kakkar (@rashi_kakkar) September 28, 2015
After Mr Zuckerberg pointed out his parents in the audience, Mr Modi welled with tears speaking about his own. He recounted stories from his childhood in a poor family, selling tea at a railway station and doing hard chores to earn money. "It is hard to imagine that a tea seller has actually become the leader of the world's biggest democracy," he said.
At the outset Modi hailed the political power of social media, as he visited the headquarters of Facebook in California.
"We used to have elections every five years and now we can have them every five minutes," he added.
Modi, 65, regularly uses both Facebook and Twitter to communicate with millions of his followers.
Modi's Q&A was decidedly more A than Q, as of 40,000 questions submitted, only three were asked. The prime minister even appeared to cry. An elderly Indian lady told me it meant he "just like us".
Those who see Modi less favourably say that was exactly its intention, a staged display designed to build his reputation as a man of the people.
Mark Zuckerberg, keen as ever to expand Facebook's user base and global influence, talked up the prospect of connecting a billion more Indians to the internet. Modi said he hoped his motivations weren't purely about Facebook's bank balance.
Modi said he wanted to connect all India's villages to the internet - around a billion Indians currently lack internet access, dwarfing the roughly 300 million connected Indians.
Facebook's internet.org project, which offers free access to a bundle of mobile phone web apps, is promoted by the company as a way of getting millions in the developing world online.
But it has drawn criticism in India, accused of favouring Facebook and its commercial interests over local online services. Mr Zuckerberg has promised to open the scheme to a wider range of apps and services.
The prime minister also spoke about the need to bring more women into "decision-making".
"If we want to achieve our economic goals, we cannot do that if we imprison 50% of our population inside their houses," he said.
Silicon Valley tour
Modi's tour of Silicon Valley included meetings with top officials from Apple, Google and other companies.
US tech companies see India as a big commercial opportunity, but want the country to reduce red tape. Mr Modi in turn is keen to encourage digital investment.
After meeting Mr Modi on Sunday, Sundar Pichai - the Indian-American head of Google - announced that the company would provide wifi access at hundreds of Indian railway stations.
On Monday, Mr Modi will attend the UN General Assembly in New York and is expected to hold talks with US President Barack Obama.
Zoho CRM - Affordable On-demand CRM
India is known for its old and rich culture, and religion forms a substantial part of it. In India it is hard to find people who categorise themselves as atheists, unless we refer to the matrimonial or dating apps that now have a breed distancing themselves from any religion and categorise themselves as sp
No untoward incidents have been reported from the parts of the capital that witnessed communal riots this week, but the peace Thursday morning was still tentative and a number of those hospitalized for injuries were battling for life. Clashes began Sunday evening and engulfed parts of northe
In the more than 40 hours of stay in India during his two-day visit, US president Donald Trump exhibited his talents as a politician and also a showman with acumen to provide the Indian audience and Americans back home enough opportunity to stay glued to his activities on the Indian soil. Whether it be his
On the second and last day of US president Donald Trump’s India visit, prime minister Narendra Modi said the real foundation of Indo-US friendship is people-to-people relations. Trump, meanwhile, sidestepped the contentious issues of the protests against the new citizenship law, telling a joint press
America loves India, America respects India, said US president Donald Trump as he and first lady Melania Trump began their short visit of India from Ahmedabad on Monday, welcomed by prime minister Narendra Modi. The US president was in Ahmedabad, in Modi`s home state of Gujarat, to attend th
"The year 2020 is going to be a significant year for India and especially for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), "said the Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for heavy industries and public enterprises on Wednesday at the 7th PSU Awards and Conference organised by Governance Now on 19th