Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about a wide variety of topics during his townhall question and answer session at Facebook ‘s headquarters in California.


About India’s future and the Make In India campaign

“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.”

“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.”

“The secret to Make In India? Low cost manufacturing, skill, man power, raw materials. I don’t think this is something that someone can ignore. In fact, it is a paradise for investors.”


On how Social Media helps the government

“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.”

“With social media, we have daily bonding. Right now with what I am saying, people are voting if Modi is good or bad. 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.”


About modest beginnings and his mother

“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.”

“When we were young, to get by, we used to go to our neighbours’ houses and clean the dishes, fill water.”

“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.”


Role of women in India’s growth

“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.”

“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.”


Aside from everything Modi said, there was a revelation by Zuckerberg as well about an old trip to India:

Apparently, when Faebook wasn’t doing too well and they were thinking of selling the company, Mark was adviced by his mentor Steve Jobs to visit a temple in India to get some clarity on his vision for the future of Facebook, just like he himself had done when Apple was in its initial phase. Zuckerberg made a one-month trip to India which helped him a lot and so he says Facebook owes a lot to India.

You can watch the full video here .