Date :31-Mar-2024

WHEN Bhutan bestowed upon Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi its highest civilian honour, the prime idea was to felicitate the Indian leader for having converted India, a land of ancient culture, into a technology-savvy global hub. Mr. Narendra Modi certainly deserves that honour, all right. For, at every possible opportunity, he tries to impress upon people whom he meets -- common people as well as VIPs like Mr. Bill Gates -- how technology could transform the lives of common people in every domain. The look of wonderment in Mr. Bill Gates’ eyes during his recent meeting with the Prime Minister, therefore, was not missable even to the blind. Such has been Mr. Modi’s earnest engagement with the latest technology and its best possible use for the benefit of the masses and classes. In the past ten years of his Prime Ministership, Mr. Narendra Modi has never missed a single opportunity to use technology as a social and economic booster. There may not be any other world leader with that kind of commitment to using technology for common people’s benefit. True, his engagement with technology began even when he stepped into the shoes of the Chief Minister of Gujarat in the early years of this century -- as if he had a high sense of mission to using the latest in technology for people’s upliftment.
No field, therefore, escaped his attention -- administration, governance, developmental spread, agriculture, industry, education, culture ...! Mr. Modi felt sure that with the help of the latest in science and technology, he would uplift the lives of people in different socio-economic layers and cultural contexts. That was exactly what Mr. Modi did -- stressing the importance of technology as a tool of socio-economic upliftment beyond politics and beyond cheap slogans -- during his intimate and intense discussion with Microsoft Co-founder Mr. Bill Gates. ‘Yes, we want your technology, and we want your social push through your foundation,’ he seemed to insist during the meeting. Apparently, Mr. Gates loved the whole conversation and nodded his ‘yes’ to the different propositions -- poetic or practical -- made by Mr. Modi. Having spent ten full years in office, Mr. Modi has been able to communicate with the people his concern and commitment to using technology as a tool of social uplift. No matter the filthy propaganda by his critics and opponents in politics, Mr. Modi has continued very sure-footedly in the right direction to marshal every possible technological tool for the benefit of all.
That was perhaps the reason why various world bodies appreciate the speed with which India has achieved a great democratisation of technology in all layers of the socio-economic pyramid. This is, thus, a matter of the Prime Minister’s vision and mission -- and of national pride for all, no matter on which side of the ideological divide one may be perched. Frankly, India has not had a leader of such a commitment and engagement with technology before. This is a popular belief in India and goes beyond the realm of politics in the most authentic manner. World leaders in technology and business, therefore, accept Mr. Modi’s eagerness to hard-drive technology for people’s use as a natural consequence of a right kind of national quest. He has raised the bar so high that no other leader would ever think of scaling beyond it.