Technology

Narendra Modi, Indian PM, Visits Silicon Valley

There is a lot of common ground between Mark Zuckerberg and Narendra Modi. The former is the chief executive officer of Facebook, the biggest social network in the world, which has around1.5 billion active users. The latter is the Indian prime minister who oversees a nation comprising of 1.25 billion people. Both individuals regard themselves as global leaders who are trying to bring about a broad social change. It is also the norm for them to use social media for communicating with their hundreds of thousands of fans. At the headquarters of Facebook in Silicon Valley, both men got together on Sunday for participating in a mutual admiration session.

The Indian Embassy invited some guests and a group of Facebook employees attended the session where Mr. Modi answered some preselected questions sent his way. The Prime Minister was full of appreciation for the job that social networks do. In fact, he also said that tools such as Twitter, Facebook and even Weibo, a Chinese social network, were extremely useful in regard to diplomacy and government. He stated that the greatest perk of social networks was that it could be used by leaders for knowing exactly what they are doing wrong. Previously, he added, elections were held after every five years. However, with social media, people vote after every 5 minutes.

The visit to Facebook headquarters by Mr. Modi occurred halfway during his Silicon Valley tour. During this visit, the prime minister has met with technology executives and sough their assistance and ideas that can be used for fully immersing India in the digital world. Silicon Valley isn’t one to turn its back on such a golden opportunity because the India’s economy is one of the world’s fastest growing one and the use of smartphones and internet is becoming widespread, which is a playground for American companies.

Furthermore, thousands of employees in Silicon Valley originate from India and are eager to make a contribution to their own country. Mr. Modi is a frequent user of Twitter and Facebook and he believes that technology can play a great role in eliminating poverty in his country. On Saturday, Mr. Modi gave a dinnertime speech in San Jose, California where he spoke to nearly 500 technology leaders including the CEOs of tech giants like Uber, Adobe, Google and Microsoft. In his speech, the prime minister said that the digital age had opened up new windows for changing lives that weren’t previously available.

Founder of Nexus Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley investment firm. Naren Gupta aided in organizing the prime minister’s visit. He said that Mr. Modi wanted the tech companies to assist him in transforming the lives of his people. The message of partnership with American tech companies by Mr. Modi has been carefully designed for appealing to the constituents in his country. There have been some setbacks that the prime minister’s party has encountered in its legislative strategies and they would soon have to content with state elections. There have been concerns about his policies and a protest by Sikh separatists was also conducted outside Facebook headquarters. 

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