The real challenge for the organisers is to shortlist 18,000 people that SAP can accommodate while registration requests for the event shot to 45,000 plus!
So, it’s only two weeks before the Bharatiya Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the Silicon Valley! The situation is a little different now from what it was one year back on his reception at the Madison Square Garden in the New York City. The last one year brought new dimensions. From the euphoria of the jubilant crowd at his winning the elections with a majority, the world holding its breath at the outcome – how is he going to deal with the country of 1.2 billion people – whether he will be able to guide India to the right direction in terms of policies, or how the world’s largest democracy will rise to support him – it’s all very clear now. That Narendra Modi has the ability to deliver. And, he gets brownie points for winning people’s hearts worldwide.
The preparation to his reception in the Silicon Valley is reflective of that. The excitement is gaining momentum leaps and bounds not just in the community of Indian diaspora but mainstream Americans from all walks of life are lining up to welcome him! That includes diplomats, Senators, thought leaders, academics, faith leaders from the Inter-faith Council, CEOs, celebrities, etc to mention a few. Eminent chemist and Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt said, “I am so excited about this event. As a fan of so many aspects of Bharatiya life and culture, it will be a distinct pleasure to hear Prime Minister Mr. Modi’s address. Extending my own experiences in discovering something significant through research, I would say that problem solving starts with inquisitive mind, selection of problem, intuition, and hard work. I am sure Mr. Modi is up to this challenge. I wish him the very best”.
And then, the social media went berserk over Mark Zuckerberg, founding CEO of Facebook when he announced that Modi has accepted his invitation to hold a Town hall style question and answer session with the Facebook community at the office premises. The excitement poured to recent Q and A sessions with Mark at quawithmark.com that was attended by thousands.
Google and Tesla are known to have followed suites and are keen on hosting Modi at their corporate headquarters. The Bharatiya-American technocrats are buzzing about his community reception, lunch and dinner that are arranged for conversations towards fostering growth, entrepreneurship, start-up environs in Bharat and making Digital India initiative a success. It is reported that 700 Google employees signed up to attend Modi’s community reception at SAP. 200 prominent Press and Media staff have registered already. Eminent academic, Chancellor of UC San Diego, Professor Pradeep Khosla confirmed his attendance as well. On an interview, he shared some of his perspectives on Bharatiya education and how the system can be revised and reformed in order to build the next generation leadership.
The community reception for Shri Modi is scheduled to take place in the SAP center, San Jose on September 27 at 5 pm PST. Now, the real challenge for the organisers has been to short list 18,000 people that SAP can accommodate while registration requests for the event shot to 45, 000 plus! Back in the meeting rooms of Indo-American Community of West Coast (IACWC) – the organisation that was formed by the community to spearhead the event – hundreds of volunteers are working night and day to ensure smooth operations. Chandramohan Nayak and Nihar who are overseeing the social media outreach for the event, mentioned that the team has been consistently reaching 120,000 views every week for 3 weeks now. It is worthwhile to mention that the appointed Convener of IACWC, Khanderao Kand is found very much in control and in high spirits even though his mammoth team is reverberating in the vicinity with astronomical details around the event 24/7.
Dr Mihir Meghani, Founder of Hindu American Foundation and co-chair IACWC iterated, “The demand to attend went beyond the Indian community. India is on the world stage and is being looked at more positively. Every time there is event of this magnitude it sends ripples and waves that transcend the country. People take notice that not only Indian community is active but also this is the country to work with.”
Indeed, with all the happenings around Bay Area, bill boards rising up, TV and radio shows airing nonstop, the vendors, the dancers, the elite and the proletariat all joining hands, the Valley no doubt is going to witness the greatest event of the year!
On mentioning if all is really well in the Western front, pointing to the proposed protests by some ethnic Indian groups who are discerned to be backed by the Pakistani ISI, Chandru Bhambra, past President of OFBJP and Co-Chair of the event said, “India is a democracy and the diaspora is free to voice their opinion and grievances. Our focus is to work on the positive aspects of Modiji’s visit and contribute to the growth model that he envisions”.
On that note, the Silicon Valley is all set to welcome the Bharatiya Prime Minister with open arms, buoyant minds and soaring spirits.
Somanjana Chatterjee from Silicon Valley (The writer is Regional Editor of Silicon Valley of Indian American Times and is a volunteer for the Modi event)