Senior BJP leader L K Advani believes Internet connectivity should be given as much importance as the expansion of electricity connections to propel India to newer heights.
Literacy used to be considered as the foremost programme to propel India to the forefront in 21st century. But literacy now has to be more than learning alphabets. In fact,Internet is emerging as the new basic. The Internet penetration needs to be expanded in the same way as electricity connections. Whichever government or group will undertake expanding Internet in the same vigour as that for providing electricity will be able to take the country to the forefront, Advani said at a function on Tuesday where former President A P J Abdul Kalam released Music of the Spinning Wheel: Mahatma Gandhis Manifesto for the Internet Age,written by BJPs Sudheendra Kulkarni.
Speaking on the occasion,former Union minister Arun Shourie said the book explains why Gandhi would have welcomed the Internet and induces us to look beyond the cliches like Mahatma Gandhi being anti-technology.
Shekhar Gupta,Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express, described the book as a powerful counter to the perception of Mahatma being anti-technology. Gupta reminded the audience about the development of the next day after the famous and oft-repeated instance where Gandhi was forced to alight from a first class railway compartment during a journey in South Africa in 1893. The next morning Gandhi created a commotion about the treatment meted out to him and sent a telegram to his sponsors to take it up forcing the railways managers to accommodate him in the same train the next day in a first class compartment for his remaining journey,Gupta pointed out.
It was like posting his status message,getting followers and then getting people to act. Gandhi used the best medium available to him then. Gandhi had a powerful instinct to resist and reach out to whoever can make a difference through the best medium available, Gupta said in an apparent parallel to the new medium of social networking sites on the Internet to drive home the point that Mahatma would have been at ease in this Internet era and used it for his laudable purposes.