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 determined to “set an example” for the rest of the word in the post-pandemic economic revival, prime minister Narendra Modi has said, underling the need to become self-reliant. “There is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including
Close to 48 lakh migrant labourers have been able to reach home from the cities they were working in, as the Indian Railways have run a total of 3,543 “Sharmik Special” trains from May 1. Following the home ministry order regarding the movement by special trains of migrant worker
Before the novel coronavirus hit it, Mumbai about 10-12 lakh labourers from elsewhere had made it their home. The figure for the state of Maharashtra was another 18-20 lakh. As the pandemic spread and the Maximum City emerged as the worst-hit place in India, all economic activities came to an end, and with
For the rest of the world, it is not easy to understand China when it comes to politics or economics. Under pressure from the international community, it has accepted to open the country for a “comprehensive” probe into the origin of the deadly coronavirus. But it is not clear whether the Asian
Even as humanitarian support is pouring in to help distressed migrants amid Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, civil society organizations and NGOs are working for sanitation of community toilets which have become breeding source of virus infection. Every community toilet has 20 seats. Each
India, completing about two months of lockdown to protect against the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, has made good use of the time to improve health infrastructure, the government has said. Countering media reports “about some decisions of the government regarding the lockdown implem