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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 Economics
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 NarasimhaRao, 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
Michel Danino, Guest professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Member - Indian Council of Historical Research

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
Professor Saradindu Mukherjee, Member, Indian Council of Historical Research
Ambassador Prabhat Prakash Shukla, Former Ambassador to Russia, High Commissioner to Australia, Distinguished Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi
Professor Sacchidananda Sahai, Professor of Epigraphy and Member, Indian Council of Historical Research
DrMeenakshi Jain, Member - Indian Council of Historical Research
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

Professor Mukul Asher, Professorial Fellow, National University of Singapore

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

SuchetaDalal, Founding Trustee, Money Life

Professor AshishGarg, Indian Institute of Technology,Kanpur

Professor Bharat Lohani, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

Professor DrT.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 NomeshBolia, 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

Professor Nanditha Krishna, Director, CPR Institute of IndologicalReaearch, The C.P. RamaswamiAiyar Foundation

Prathibha Prahalad, Artist, Festival Director - Delhi international Arts Festival

Aditi Banerjee, Esq, New York

Dr Anirban Ganguly, Director, Syama Prasad MookerjeeResearch Foundation
V. Anantha Nageswaran, Fellow, Geo-Economics, Takshashila Institution

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 HeadDepartment 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
DrShanthu 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
Sandipan Deb, Editor Swarajya
N. Subramanian, Editor, NewsInsight, Delhi
KoenraadElst, Historian, Author
Yvette Rosser, PhD from University of Texas, Austin; Author
KalavaiVenkat, Non-resident Senior Fellow of the Global Hindu Institute
Rajiv Malhotra, Founder Infinity Foundation, Author
Sandeep B, Editor, India Facts
DrPremenAddy, Writer and Historian, Calcutta
DrKrishenKak, Indian Administrative Services [Retired], Author
AshwaniPuri, CEO - Puri University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Dr Bharat Gupt, Associate Professor of History, Delhi University [Retired]
ArvindLavakare, Author, Public Intellectual
Dr Manish Pandit, Consultant Physician and Hon. Sr. Clinical Lecturer University of Birmingham
DrShekhar Pant,MD La Femme, Fortis Hospital, Delhi

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
Syed Ata Hasnan, Formerly with the Indian Army
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
Ambassador VK Grover, Indian Foreign Services (Retired)
Shakti Sinha, Indian Administrative Services (Retired), Former Power Secretary, Delhi Government
JaydevRanade, Former Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, Former Member National Security Advisory Board
Sampath Iyengar, Private Equity Fund Manager and Innovation Advisor

Sanjay Anandaram, Investor and Startup Evangelist

Naren Gupta, Venture Capitalists, Nexus Capital‬‬‬‬‬‬

Vinita Gupta, Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist

Khanderao Kand, Founder & President GITPRO‬
Arun Kumar Chakraborty, Principal RekhaChitram, Faculty of Fine Arts and Center for International Modern Art and Embroidery, Kolkata
Professor Deboshruti Roy chowdhry, Ashoka University, Former Professor of Philosophy, Presidency University, Kolkata
Professor Govardhan Bhatt, National Institute of Technology, Raipur
SatyeshSinha, Assistant Professor, CDU, Los Angeles, CA

SankrantSanu, Independent Author Seattle, USA

AmanNath, Chairman Neemrana Group of Hotels, Writerand Architectural Restorer

Prof (Dr) K. L. Chopra (Padamshri), FNA, FASc, FNASc, FNAE, D.Sc.(hc), Former Director, IIT, Kharagpur

Dr Parag Singla, Assistant Professor Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

DrAnand Bulusu, Assistant Professor Indian Institute of Technology,Roorkee

Dr Ram Manohar Singh, Assistant Professor Indian Institute of Technology,Roorkee

DrAnuragTripathi, Assistant Professor Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

Dr S Pradyumna, Assistant Professor Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

Dr Supreet Singh Bahga,Assistant Professor Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

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