Narendra Modi at Facebook townhall: All you wanted to know in 10 points

By: | Published: September 27, 2015 11:50 PM

PM Narendra Modi arrived at the Facebook townhall and was welcomed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg. PM Modi thereafter responded to various questions thrown at him ranging from economy to his mother. Here are the top 10 moments:

PM Narendra Modi arrived at the Facebook townhall and was welcomed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg. PM Modi thereafter responded to various questions asked of him ranging from economy to his mother. Here are the top 10 moments:

1. In a surprising turn of events, just before townhall concluded, PM Modi broke down in tears while referring to his 90-year-old mother being forced to do menial jobs to make ends meet and the huge sacrifices she had to make while he was growing up. His voice broke and the tears flowed freely, causing many in the audience to start weeping too. It all started when Zuckerberg asked PM Modi to “Tell us a bit about your mother”. PM Modi said there are millions of such parents across India who sacrifice everything for their children.

2. To a question about his plans for empowerment of women, PM Modi responded, “In all cultures, God is in male form. It is only Indian civilisations that have so many goddesses. It is true that there has been diversion in this thought over the years. If our country has to reach its economic goals, it cannot happen with half its population shut behind doors. There has to be 100 per cent partnership and the government has to play a proactive role. We have reserved 30 percent jobs in police service for women. They will also need a big role in the decision-making process as well.”

3. On being asked whether he thinks ‘Make in India’ will become successful, PM Modi responded by saying, “It is easy to turn a scooter, but not a train with 40 bogeys. This is such a big country, changes are constant and widespread. You will see the cumulative effect. Banks were nationalized 40 years ago so that poor can benefit. But most of India still did not have a bank account. My government created 180 million bank accounts in 100 days. This is the speed of change.

4. On being asked if it has become easier in the last 15 months to do business in India, PM Modi said, “States are now competing to achieve a better ease of doing business ranking. I am sure our rating will improve this time. India is heaven for all manufacturers around the world. India is heaven for all manufacturers around the world.

5. On being asked what India offers, PM Modi said, “We offer demographic dividend, democracy and demand… 3D. I have added a new D. De-regulation. My policy is that the government has no business to be in business.”

6. On being asked what investments his government is going to make to get the rest of India connected, PM said, “We will need to stress on two things – physical Infrastructure and digital infrastructure. We will need to do all tags simultaneously. It is my conviction that highways and I-ways have similar importance these days. My effort is to connect all 600,000 villages with optical fiber networks in the next five years.

7. On social media, PM Modi said, “Now countries are connecting on social media. In China, the social network is a bit different. But I am active there too. Social media means daily voting, there is no scope for a gap in communication with the government like before. The governments now get an opportunity to correct themselves every five minutes and not every five years like before. A good government is one with many information channels, those that give real time information: PM Modi.

8. Mark Zuckerberg asked PM Modi Modi, “When you adopted social media, did he think he would become CM or PM”. PM Modi responded, “I took to it for my curiosity for technology. But then we love guides more than full text books. Social media did that for me. I got what I needed in a short concise way. Social media filled my lack of education. It changed my thought process and connected me to the rest of the world. And as I started connecting, the world started accepting me as I was. Nothing could be more satisfying,” says PM Modi.

9. On his plans for India, PM Modi said, “I dream of making India a $20 trillion economy. For that, I am pushing for agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors. I see the power of the service sector. In tourism alone we have so much potential, for job creation.”

10. On science and spirituality, PM Modi said he never expected both to have such a connect and gives the example of Apple founder Steve Jobs, “A youth from the US, comes to an Indian temple to find his path on the advice of his guru. This is a wonder. I hope the vision you got will help you become the voice of millions of people and a voice of their aspirations. See where India has got you. India has the power to fulfil your aspirations.”

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