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ARTICLE
PRABIR PURKAYASTHA | 3 OCTOBER, 2015

MODI'S SILICON VALLEY VISIT: INVITING DIGITAL COLONIALISM FOR MEDIA HYPE

Modi recently had one of his now trademark sound and light shows in the SAP Centre in Los Angeles, while visiting Silicon Valley, the home of high-tech IT industry in the US. He coupled this with meeting the CEO's of companies such as Google, Microsoft, Tesla and a “town hall” with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder-head of Facebook. It was a huge “success” for Modi, the Indian media keeping Modi on its front page for days. Facebook again plugged its discredited internet,org model and created a campaign to support “Digital India”, Google “promised” to provide free wifi in 500 Indian railway stations, and Microsoft talked about connecting India's villages. What was missed in all this media spectacle, is that Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are all interested in grabbing India's digital market, and Modi's high profile visit, has put a public seal of approval on their attempts to takeover this market.

Remember when the British came to India, all the Indian nawabs and rajas were very excited. They all thought that had got now another readymade source of cash. The British traders – East India Company -- competed with the local money bags to “lend” them money for their luxurious, and decadent lifestyles. They probably thought they would never have to pay back the loans to the Company. They did, many with their lives, and lost India to the British.

The British built their empire — in which they claimed the sun never set — because of their ability to control the oceans. Whoever controls the digital oceans today, will control the world. This is what Modi is gifting away to the US multinationals such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, all for a few hours of glory in the Indian media.

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