Well, if you are a resident of Gujarat, the speech of chief minister (CM) Narendra Modi at Thursday’s Big Tent Activate Summit did not have anything new to offer. But thousands of netizens across the world got to know about how he had utilised information technology (IT) for his political campaigns and in governance.
Speaking on the topic ‘Technology in Politics’ through Google Hangout, Modi said that ‘new’ IT has linked people with worldwide connectivity, internet, digital convergence and social media, bringing them together and making them a strong force.
In a democracy, Modi said, IT-based technology has provided an opportunity to people to put across their grievances before politicians. It has at the same time provided an opportunity to politicians to solve people’s problems and involve people in the process of policy-making. The information process has moved a full circle from the days of politicians reaching out to people to now people putting across their opinions and comments on policies and programmes through this new-found media.
Reiterating his mantra of ITIT=IT (meaning Indian Talent Information Technology = India Tomorrow), the CM said that this had created an opportunity for politicians to have an almost instantaneous link with people. No politician can ignore technology-driven people for long. This is in sharp deviation from the past when politicians used to revisit people only after five years at the time of elections.
Modi talked about his move to use IT-enabled 3D holographic projection technique in the recent assembly elections for political campaign. He also talked about the state government’s online grievance redressal system Swagat, introduction of online voting system in local body elections, etc.
Other prominent speakers included Sam Pitroda, entrepreneur and advisor to the prime minister; Kapil Sibbal, Union telecom minister; Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media and Shantanu Moitra, music director.