When two people meet a lot of things can happen, but when two powerful people like the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets, there is a potential for some very crucial decisions and things to happen. This is exactly what happened in the San Jose Town hall. Things began to take a head start when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg changed his profile picture on Facebook and publically declared his support to the Prime Minister’s Digital India plans. The Prime minister replied in kind changing his picture and wholeheartedly thanked Facebook for its support.
While there is no information about what actually happened behind the screens and what important decisions were taken that day by Facebook towards aiding the Digital India campaign, both men seemed to share a lot of personal experiences in their life. Mark Zuckerberg shared some little known facts about how a visit to India, suggested by Steve Jobs, helped him gain perspective while Facebook was not doing well. He said that the visit helped him clear his mind, and make decisions regarding the future of Facebook when it was in the middle of a crisis. The Prime Minister was quiet glad to know this and said India is a place where anything is possible and that he was glad to know that Mark Zuckerberg gained perspective after his visit.
The Prime Minister shared some hardships that he had faced as a youngster. He said his mother had made a lot of sacrifices for him and they used to make ends meet with his income of selling tea at railway stations. The Prime Minister then said that a person’s mother and teacher are the only two constants in his life. He also said that he was thankful to Zuckerberg’s parents for supporting their son in pursuing what he wants. The visibly touched couple nodded their acknowledgement from the audience to the Prime Minister.
Besides these emotional moments the PM also explained how he wanted India to become a $20 trillion economy from where it is now. He said that he wanted to empower the 600,000 Indian villages by laying an OFC that can help him realize the Digital India campaign. The Prime Minster stressed the potential that India has and why people are investing millions of dollars in the Indian economy. He said that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today. He also stressed about the role that technology has to play in our lives today and that it was his curiosity towards technology that actually prompted him to open accounts in social media platforms.
Facebook, meanwhile said it whole heartedly supported India’s Digital India Campaign and that it would do anything it can to empower the movement. It was earlier announced that Facebook would work to provide free Wi-Fi in around 500 Indian Railway stations but looking at the conference more analytically it can be seen that both men are actually spreading their propaganda. While India will be using Facebook to realize the Digital India campaign and bring in more investments for the country, Facebook will be using India to enhance the number of followers and to promote its “Internet.org” idea. For doing so India will have to prove that it is a country that supports Net neutrality but this is quiet questionable in a country that has enforced things like the beef ban and porn ban. As of now it is only too soon to predict the actual outcome of this meeting but one thing is for sure, both sides will need to make some important changes in their existing ideologies to do what they have just said they will and this will lead to some major decisions being taken by both sides in the next few weeks. The most exciting thing is that the clockworks have started to turn and soon we will be able to see the effectiveness of the Prime minister’s Digital India initiative and Facebook’s support to the campaign.
While companies like QUALCOMM have promised a $150 million investment to startups in India and other countries have promised billions, the Prime minister’s move to bring in foreign investments seems to certainly be working out well!