Gujarat’s tech-savvy CM Narendra Modi went a step further on social media, being the first Indian politician to host a live Google+ Hang Out.
In a face-to-face programme, “Strong & Glorious India long cherished by Swami Vivekananda!” hosted by Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan, Modi responded to pre-screened questions.
On a question on defining secularism, posed by a certain Trivedi from London, Modi said: “Everyone has their own definition, I also have one, mine is India first. If everyone has this in their heart, it is a great thing for this country,” he said.
“But politicians try to serve their interest in the name of secularism. In India, it (secularism) has lost its meaning due to vote bank politics.”
Talking about black money, CM said: “I’m going to bring in a new law on black money. Nobody will be able to contest an election in Gujarat unless he gives a declaration that he has no investments and money stacked away abroad.”
In response to a question posed by Mani Bhushan from Bangalore, on why India's youth hesitate to join politics, Modi responded saying that unfortunately India has not been able to incorporate youth in main stream politics. He urged youth to join politics.
Modi further said that the country needs to focus on primary education and infrastructure. “If you ask parents what their main priority is, they answer education.”
Asked about ways to stop brain drain, Modi disagreed with the notion of brain drain. “Have all the intelligent people left? We want Indian knowledge to spread across the world. There is a lot of resource in our country, we need not worry.”
More than 5,000 questions were posed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Modi's own site, reaffirming his popularity in the world of social media.
Among other world leaders who have hosted a Google Hang out in the past are US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.