PM Modi gets emotional talking about his mother: Key takeaways from Facebook townhall with Mark Zuckerberg
The townhall at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California just concluded with a standing ovation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he took questions about everything from social media, women's issues to his mother.
The townhall at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California concluded with a standing ovation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he took questions about everything from social media, women's issues to his mother.
Mark Zuckerberg welcomed Narendra Modi, saying he was impressed by how social media savvy the Prime Minister was and moved on to ask several questions.
Zuckerberg had announced Modi's visit on his Facebook page earlier this month and invited users to post questions. While more than 37,000 comments were made in reply, with questions ranging from those about internet expansion in India and unemployment rates, there was only scope for asking few questions in such short time.
Here are some of the key questions asked to PM Modi:
Modi talks about his mother
It was Mark Zuckerberg's question to Prime Minister Modi asking him about the role of his mother that got him emotional.
While his mother was the first person he paid a visit to after he won the 2014 general elections, PM Modi said, "I came from a very humble family. It's hard to imagine that a tea seller has become the leader of the world's greatest democracy. For that I would like to thank the country."
"My father is no longer with us. My mother is over 90 years old now. She does all her work herself. She is not educated, but through television she knows what is happening in the news," he says.
"When we were young, to get by, we used to go to our neighbours' houses and clean the dishes, fill water," PM Modi said.
"So you can imagine what a mother has to do to raise her children. There are thousands of mothers like that and I salute them," said PM Modi getting emotional and almost breaking down.
Role of women in India's growth
When asked about his stand on women's empowerment, the girl child and the role of women in a growing India, PM Modi said, "All societies believe in god, but mostly they are male., Only in India we have women goddesses -- Durga, Kali, Amba."
"But as far as the government is concerned, if we have to achieve economic goals, we cannot imprison 50 percent of our population inside our homes. Women must walk shoulder to shoulder with men," Modi says.
"As far as education is concerned and the health sector, there are a large number of women. We have now reservation for women in the police in some union territories where the government has jurisdiction," said PM Modi.
Can Make in India succeed?
Make in India is one of PM Modi's pet projects and to a question on how successfull it can be PM Modi said, "When you want to turn around a scooter, it takes half a second. But when you want to turn around a train it is much more difficult."
"So how do you keep track of what is happening? In 40 years we have had 180 million people who didn't have a bank account. After my government came to power, in 100 days 180 million bank accounts were opened. That is the speed of change," he said.
"What is the secret to make in India?" asked Modi and said,"The low cost manufacturing, skill, man power, raw materials -- these are what we have. I don't think this is something that someone can ignore. Infact, it is a paradise for investors."
Social media can help govt take corrective measures: PM Modi
Another question Mark Zuckerberg was if PM Modi had thought about the potential of social media when he started using it.
PM Modi said, "When I took to social media, I did not think I would become the Prime Minister and hence think about how it could be used for governance. I took to social media out of curiosity."
"I did not have the fortune of much education, but social media helped me gain knowledge. It broadened my horizons," he said.
"With social media we have daily bonding. Right now with what I am saying, people are voting if Modi is good or bad, PM Modi said and added, "Social media has the potential to show the government if it is taking a wrong path and then go for a course correction, it is a strength of a democracy."
"You get real time updates, we can come to know instantly when something happens in any corner of the world. And if a government is alert it can take this information to take corrective measures," he said.
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