So here it was. Everybody had their eyes glued onto the screens. After all the leader of the world’s largest democracy Shri Narendra Modi was one on one with the CEO of Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg. The recent Q&A session at townhall was enlightening as well as breathtaking.
The session included a mixed bag of questions ranging from women empowerment to infrastructure development and the icing on the cake was when our beloved prime minister got sentimental when he described his parents especially his mother’s contribution in his upbringing. He got emotional while telling about his mother and how did she support her family.
The townhall was full of diverse Indian communities to address their beloved Prime Minister. It appeared as if the townhall had transformed into a mini India.
Mark Zuckerberg had also changed his profile picture which was emblazoned with the Indian tri-colour in support of the “Digital India” movement. He said “I changed my profile picture to support Digital India, the Indian government’s effort to connect rural communities to the internet and give people access to more services online. Looking forward to discussing this with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Facebook today. Show your support for Digital India at fb.com/supportdigitalindia.”
The programme went live at 9:30 AM (PST) and 10 PM (IST) and went viral not only on Indian televisions but I guess everywhere in the world.
Many Indians had posted questions through facebook itself, approximately 40,000 and only few lucky souls made it till Mr. Modi.
Let’s take a look at some of the important points in the discussion that took place between Prime minister Narendra Modi, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the people that have gathered in the townhall.
Mark Zuckerberg started by a story which he said was not known to many. He said that before everything got on line, there had seen very tense periods. There were many who were ready to buy facebook until he consulted his mentor Steve Jobs who told him about his visit to an Indian temple. He advised him to visit the same temple and Mark went through a month long journey through that temple. Through the journey he realised the importance and power of connectivity which instilled in him the required confidence that helped him undertake his endeavour and that’s how he and his team developed facebook all through the past 10 years.
He further told that he is very optimistic about the future of Internet growth in the world and especially about India. He told that apart from entertainment and communication, Internet also offers access to information related to health, education and jobs. He further stated that for every 10 people who use the internet, 1 out of them raises out of poverty and 1 job is created.
He congratulated Mr. Modi for his vision to connect millions of Indians directly through social networking sites which could be used for so many things like spreading messages of peace, empowerment of education, fighting for the rights of women etc.
After the opening speech from the CEO of facebook, the mike was then handed over to the man whom everyone was looking forward to. The honourable prime minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.
Mr. Modi congratulated Mark for connecting the world like never before. He even highlighted the fact that an American youth see’s the dream of connecting the world and his mentor advices him to take blessings from an Indian temple which is in itself a thing to admire.
He further said that he hopes that millions and billions of people all across the world take inspiration from his life and help in making the world a better place to live in. He saluted the spirit of Mark and said that may his inspiration help in keeping the flame of millions of aspirations alive.
Further on he stated that India is the biggest democracy in the world and if we look at that from an economic perspective all the various economic institutions such as the IMF or the World Bank, everybody has said it unanimously that among the biggest economies of the world, India is among the fast growing economies.
He further stated that today India is a $8 trillion economy and his aim is to make it a $20 trillion economy and to realise his dream he has to emphasise on three sectors- Agricultural, Service and manufacturing sectors.
He told that India has a lot of scope in the field of tourism and a lot of job creation is possible in this field if we account for the present technology available with us.
He even told that the greatest achievement of their government is that in the last 15 months the perception of India as well as that of Indians has changed immensely. People from other countries feel proud talking about India and fellow Indians.
He said that social media has played an integral role in his life. He said that due to social media he has been able to learn a lot and widen his horizons. He said that its a human nature to consult textbooks but it’s a lot better when someone gets a guide to look forward to and even better when he gets sure shot results and decisions. This is how social media has helped him. He told that he was not fortunate enough to receive advanced studies but his views and understanding drastically changed when he found out a whole new world of internet where he could just type in 3-4 words and get whatever he wanted to.
He told that social media gives us the ability to analyse whether we are taking correct decisions. He even appealed to every leader in the world to connect to the social media because it gives them the ability to connect with their citizens almost instantly. He further said that this fast flow of information helps the leaders to take decisions very fast as compared to earlier times when real time information was a distant dream.
He even told that social media has a very important role as far as diplomacy is concerned. He told that prior to the advent of the social media only the political leaders of various countries were in touch with each other but now the political leaders are also in touch with their own citizens. Recently he wished the Chinese prime minister on his birthday and the message went viral among the Chinese people. He even congratulated the prime minister of Israel on a festival that is celebrated over there in Hebrew and he got a thanks in return in Hindi. So this is how social media has played a decisive role in diplomacy as well.
He said that India needs both physical infrastructure as well as digital infrastructure. He said that along with highways we also need I(information)-ways. He said that all through the human history, cities were first established along the rivers, then the times changed and the cities began to be settled around the highways and in the upcoming future, the cities are going to be build around I-ways i.e. around optical fibre enabled routes.
He told that from last 40 years about 180 million people didn’t have bank accounts but his government in only 100 days created 180 million accounts.
He further told that at the ease of doing business scale, India is ranked at the 140th position but in just 6 months they have been able to create a competitive spirit among the Indian states and they are sure that the next ratings will be decisively better than the present ratings.
He also told that in the last 15 months the foreign direct investment (FDI) has increased by 87% from US alone. He told that the average FDI growth of the world is -16% and that of India is +40% which is a major achievement for India and therefore the MAKE IN INDIA initiative will be successful.
He further told that India has about 800 million people who are below the age of 35 and has a population of 1.25 billion people and therefore it is a paradise for manufacturing.
He further stated that in all religions the GOD’s are always represented in the form a male except India where we have many female goddesses such as Laxmi, Saraswati, Amba, Kali etc but over time deterioration has taken place and our government is working hard to recover the lost status of women. He said that a country cannot progress by confining 50% of the population i.e. the female population within their homes. He even told that women are massively employed in sectors like education and health care sectors in India.
He then told that in a person’s life two things matter a lot. First of all the role of a teacher and the role of mother.
Later on he thanked the citizens of India to accept him as the leader of the biggest democracy in the world. He thanked them to select a person who used to sell tea at the railway station to be their prime minister.
He told that his father is no longer with him, his mother is over 90 years old and still does her daily work by herself. She is not educated but get’s to know about the news through television. He got very emotional while telling how her mother supported their children and helped them to grow by doing household chores. Listening this everyone got up and clapped for him and the pain and the sufferings that he has taken to come up so far in his life.
I not only hope but I am sure that Prime minister Narendra Modi will be able to realise all his dreams. India has after a long time got such a charismatic leader who can rewrite history and once again help India regain its lost status.
Proud to be an Indian!!!
In support of the DIGITAL INDIA movement you too can change your facebook profile picture from the link given below. Your profile picture will remain the same, it will only be emblazoned by the Indian tri – colour.
Click on this link: fb.com/supportdigitalindia