In response to a group of US-based academics urging Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to boycott Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to San Francisco, a group of eminent people hailing from various spheres of life have issued a statement condemning such reactionary behavior.
The cooperation of Silicon Valley for the Government of India’s new information technology program is crucial for India’s overall growth, for bringing technology to the masses, and reducing corruption and allied bureaucratic ills.
Sri Narendra Modi is the democratically elected Prime Minister of India, and under his leadership, his party has been able to form Government in four states across India including Jammu and Kashmir. This establishes without an iota of doubt that Indians have firmly reposed faith in Modi’s governance.
Therefore any attempt to boycott the Prime Minister is tantamount to advocating a boycott and marginalization of India as a country, and such cannot be condoned in any way.
Narendra Modi has initiated various other programs like Jan Dhan Yojana, and Make in India which have already shown remarkable positive impact. These have in turn set a stellar precedent and high expectations from the benefits of the Digital India initiative.
Contrary to what a group of a few reactionary academics may believe, Digital India has the potential to transform the way things work in this country, bringing in richer benefits for all sections of society.
Allegations of Narendra Modi’s involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots are baseless and are in reality, malicious attempts at trying to derail Prime Minister Modi as an individual, a Prime Minister, and India as country. These allegations have already been proven false in the highest Court of Law in India.
Therefore, such a blatant denial and contempt of a court verdict is not only unfortunate, but also betrays a complete lack of objectivity and acceptance of truth, and further calls into question the true motivation and agenda behind their desperate attempt to stop Narendra Modi.
Ironical is the fact that these individuals who have probably taken the shorter and unethical cut to fame through spreading falsehood and maligning Modi, are doing so in the name of the very masses who have emphatically endorsed Narendra Modi as the leader of the Indian nation.
The following is the counter-statement from a group of eminent intellectuals denouncing the political gimmickry of the aforementioned reactionary academics in the US who have urged a boycott of Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley.
To sign the counter-statement, click: URGE SOME ACADEMICS TO LIFT THEIR VEIL OF IGNORANCE THAT WAGES ECONOMIC WAR AGAINST INDIA
Digitization to Transform the Indian Economy and Society
A letter signed by a group of US-based academics, implacably opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, has advocated a boycott of India by Silicon Valley. The attempt to instigate a boycott by Silicon Valley, one of the leading sectors of the US and world economy, against cooperation with a vital flagship information technology programme of the Government of India effectively constitutes a call for economic war against India itself. Shri NarendraModi is visiting USA as the democratically elected Prime Minister of 1.25 billion Indians.
The victory he has secured at the hustings has been the grandest triumph in three long decades. Not only that, under his leadership his Party and alliance have formed Governments in four provinces across India including the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This clearly establishes the fact that people of India, transcending barriers of caste, class, creed and community have reposed their faith in the Prime Minister.
The Digital India initiative, which the enlightened signatories decry, is going to transform government and governance in India. It will take technology to the remotest corners of India and eliminate corruption. It will profoundly change the lives of ordinary citizens who have to run from pillar to post in their dealings with official India and ensure speed, accuracy and disbursement of welfare to the poorest. Prime Minister Modi intends India’s embryonic digitization endeavor to become a vehicle for the transformation of Indian societyby deepening and democratizing it.
The process of digitization of the government-citizen interface is already in place in most advanced countries. Yet, academics based there allege civil liberties in India will be endangered if its own government adopts the rational and efficient measure of digitizing to improve governance that is standard elsewhere. Moreover, India is home to several digital innovators and a vibrant start-up ecosystem that stands to gain tremendously from the Digital India initiative. Silicon Valley, which is where the transition to a digital world began, is, thus, a natural place for the Prime Minister to visit and explore cooperation and growth opportunities in IT.
Shri NarendraModi has already unveiled schemes that were previously unheard of in nature and extent in the sphere of governance. For the first time the Government of India launched a financial inclusion scheme, Jan Dhan Yojana. Continuing this focus on the poor and the marginalized the Government has initiated a social security programme as well. These schemes have already touched millions of Indians. The wheels of economic reforms have begun moving at an unprecedented pace, with global agencies and organizations taking note of India’s strides. Shri Narendra Modi’s clarion call to ‘Make in India’ has drawn the world to invest in India and create employment for the people.
The faculty statement concerning Prime Minister Modi’s alleged culpability for the tragic events of 2002 is even more of a disgrace. It is a belabored and questionable effort to throw mud at PM Modi as a person; in the desperate hope some of it would stick. The canard of his alleged responsibility for the communal rioting in Gujarat in 2002 has been comprehensively debunked by a high powered Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed and intensively monitored by the Supreme Court of India at a period when NarendraModi was not even the Prime Minister. By ignoring the fact that India’s Apex Court has exonerated Mr. Modi of all charges over 2002 amounts to defamation.
It also reflects their scant regard for India’s judicial process and her time tested constitutional institutions. Other slanders in the petition against India’s incumbent executive authority are unworthy of comment. The cavalier disregard for facts and paucity of measured judgment also demonstrate that signatories to the malicious counsel against India have very little stake in it. It seems as if they are determined to pursue a vengeful agenda against a democratically elected Prime Minister of the country even if it seriously harms the interests of the people of India.
As scholars and public intellectuals from around the world, we submit that we have far more faith in the wisdom of the ordinary people of India than in the motivated slander concocted by a tiny group of first world academicians.
We urge the signatories of the letter to lift the veil of ignorance and grasp the bigger picture. They should stop seeking fame by thriving on misplaced victimhood and false grievances. It is ironic that those who claim to be most exercised about “Human Rights” and “Civil Liberties” have arrogated to themselves the power to judge and mock the democratic choice of those very same masses they purport to speak on behalf.
- Dr Gautam Sen, Former Professor of Political Science and International Relations, London School of Economic
- Dr Dilip K Chakrabarti, Professor Emeritus, South Asian Archaeology, University of Cambridge
- Professor Kapil Kapoor, Former Pro Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
- Dr Lokesh Chandra, President – Indian Council for Cultural Relations
- Madhu Kishwar, Professor CSDS, Founder Manushi
- Prof Indranath Choudhury, Formerly Chair Tagore Studies, University of Edinburgh
- Ramesh N. Rao, PhD, Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Communication, Columbus State University
- Shalendra Sharma, Professor of Political Science; and Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco
- R Narasimha Rao, Ph.D., Loflin Chair Professor-Emeritus of Computer Science, University of Louisiana
Former President, Hindu University of America, Orlando, FL
- Vamsee Juluri, Professor of Media Studies, University of San Francisco
- Delphi Chatterjee, Professor, Colorado State University
- T.S. Rukmani, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (Religion), Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
- Ravi Wig Former President PHD CHAMBER of COMMERCE& INDUSTRY & Chairman Human Resource & Industry Relations
- Dr JyotsanaSuri, President, FICCI
- Rana Kapoor, President, ASSOCHAM
- D S Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM
- Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII
- Milind Kamble, Founder Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries
- Sunil Alagh, Founder and Chairman of SKA Advisors
- Professor Sunil Kulkarni, San Diego State University
- Professor Jayanta Kumar Ray, National Professor and Former Chairman, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies
- Professor Santisree Pandit, Department of Political Science, University of Pune
- Dr Sanjay Paswan, Faculty Department of PMIR, Patna University
- Professor B B Dutta, Former Member of Parliament and Former Head of Department of Economics, Saint Edmund College, Shillong
- Professor Aswini Mahapatra, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
- Prof RakaArya, Faculty National Law School, Bhopal
- Professor Gunamagesan, Vice Chancellor University and Institute of Advanced Research, Gandhinagar, Gujarat
- Professor C.I. Issac, Former Head of Department, P.G. History, CMS College -Kottayam, Member, Indian Council of Historical Research
- Professor S R Bhatt, Former Head of Department – Philosophy, Delhi University
- Professor S P Singh, Department of Political Science, Delhi University
- Professor K.T.S. Sarao, Department of Buddhist Studies, University of Delhi
- Professor Purabi Roy, Member, Indian Council of Historical Research
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- Professor Sacchidananda Sahai, Professor of Epigraphy and Member, Indian Council of Historical Research
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- Tufail Ahmad, MEMRI Institute Washington DC, Former Head of BBC Urdu
- Prof R Vaidyanathan, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
- Dr Rajiv Kumar, Senior Fellow CPR and Chancellor Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics
- Professor Madhav Nalapat, Department of Geopolitics, Manipal University
- Surjit S Bhalla, Chairman Oxus Investments
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- Laveesh Bhandari, Director and Chief Economist,Indicus Foundation
- Professor Rajavashisth Tripathi, PhD, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
- Professor Ashok Gulati, Former Chairman Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission, Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture, ICRIER
- Jaya Jaitley, Former President Samta Party
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- Professor Ashish Garg, Indian Institute of Technology,Kanpur
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- Professor Dr T.V. Prabhakar, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
- Avinash Kumar Agarwal, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
- Professor Nomesh Bolia, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
- Professor [Retd] Dr. M.S. Sriram, Former HOD, Dept. of Theoretical Physics,University of Madras, Historian of Indian Astronomy and Mathematics
- Sonal Mansingh, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan, Founder President Indian Classical Dances Academy
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- Prakash Shah, Reader in Culture and Law, Queen Mary College, University of London
- Professor Asoke Mitra, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Delhi University
- Jagbir Singh, Former Professor and Head Department of Punjabi, University of Delhi, Life Fellow, Punjabi University, Patiala
- Professor Rajeev Srinivasan, Faculty Indian Institute of Management, Innovation Consultant
- Professor K Gopinath, Department of Computer Science and Automation, Indian Institute of Science
- Dr T G Sitharam, Professor in Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science
- Dr Kishor S Trivedi, Hudson Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University
- Dr Udipi Shrinivasa, Professor [Retired], Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science
- Professor Balaji Krishnamurthy, BITS, Pilani (Hyderabad Campus)
- Professor A.K. Jain, Emeritus Fellow, Physics Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
- Professor R Shankar, Former Professor & Head Department of Architecture and Planning, IIT Roorkee
- Ishan Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
- M Vidyasagar FRS, Cecil & Ida Green Chair in Systems Biology Science, The University of Texas at Dallas
- Dr Shanthu Shantharam, Visiting Professor, Seed Science Center, Iowa State University
- Dr Nambinarayanan, Director (Retd) Advanced Technology, ISRO
- Dr. R V Prasad, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
- Prof M D Shrinivas, Center for Policy Studies, Chennai
- Professor J K Bajaj, Center for Policy Studies, Chennai
- Shri Francois Gautier, Editor in Chief La Revue de l’Inde, Paris, France
- Vijay Bedekar, President VPM Bedekar Institute of Management, Thane, Maharashtra
- Prof. C.P. Ravindranathan, VPM Bedeker Institute of Management, Thane, Maharashtra
- HariKiran Vadlamani, Founder, Indic Academy
- Prasanna Viswanathan, Chief Executive Officer, Swarajya
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- Koenraad Elst, Historian, Author
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- Padma Sundaram, Indian Administrative Services [Retired], Author
- Mohan Raj Goyal, Entrepreneur, Founder – MoGo Mantra Inc, Fremont California
- Prakash Singh, Former Director General, Border Security Force, India
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- Ambassador Bhaswati Mukherjee, IFS, Former Ambassador of India to The Netherlands
- Amita Sharma, Visiting Faculty Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Former Secretary Government of India
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- Shakti Sinha, Indian Administrative Services (Retired), Former Power Secretary, Delhi Government
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- Professor Deboshruti Roy chowdhry, Ashoka University, Former Professor of Philosophy, Presidency University, Kolkata
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- Satyesh Sinha, Assistant Professor, CDU, Los Angeles, CA
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- Prof (Dr) K. L. Chopra (Padamshri), FNA, FASc, FNASc, FNAE, D.Sc.(hc), Former Director, IIT, Kharagpur
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