Sparring over PM’s visit
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley, a war of words has broken out between pro and anti Modi academics of Indian descent spread over major American universities. The first salvo was fired by over 100 professors “who engage South Asia in our research and teaching”, asking US technology executives to be wary of supporting Modi’s Digital India initiative when he visits Silicon Valley on September 27, 2015.
The other group hit back with “a counter petition against the anti-Modi statement given by some faculty of South Asian studies” on Change.org, an American website providing a petition tool backed by nonprofits and political campaigns. By September 3 evening the counter-petition accusing the anti-Modi group of lacking “the slightest respect for facts and for academic integrity” had gathered 1108 supporters.
“The allegation that Narendra Modi ought to be viewed with suspicion, if not disdain, by business leaders in Silicon Valley because of surveillance implications in the Digital India initiative seems a desperate ploy rather than any genuine concern for India,” the counter petition said.