By Neeraj Nanda
MELBOURNE, 26 January: Former advisor on Technology Missions to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, entrepreneur and telecom inventor, Sam Pitroda today lashed out at the current regime in New Delhi saying “the idea of India is being challenged”.
Sam was addressing a crowd of Congress supporters and others at a reception organized by the Indian Overseas Congress, Australia.
Sam who recently helped the Congress in the Gujarat elections minced no words in admitting that the Congress Party has seen “ups and downs” and today it is “not in the best of best times”.
“But what comes down, comes up and what goes up, comes down”, he said.
Explaining about his Australia visit, Sam said, “Our aim is to build momentum for the party in India and with its friends overseas.”
“India got independence and we had a clear idea of what we want. It was not just democracy but inclusion also. The idea to rebuild a strong diverse, inclusive and democratic nation. This is being challenged now,” Sam said.
Sam rubbished the view being propagated that no development took place in the last 60 years of Congress rule and detailed the strides made by India in scientific, educational and agriculture fields in those years. This propaganda “is a lie”, he says.
Sam nostalgically described the humble beginnings of his life in a tribal village in Orissa and his journey through education to America where he became a businessman and subsequently helped usher in India’s telecom revolution in the 80s.
Mr. Pitroda who established several companies in the US, holding around 20 Honorary Ph.D.’s, close to 100 worldwide patents and published five books remains passionate about India and says, “my journey is the journey of India”.
A Q-A session at the end of his talk further revealed his passion to revolutionize India’s development philosophies and policies focussing on access to technology as was done when he helped spread public telephones all over India. The event was also addressed among others by Mr. Manoj Sheoran, National President, Indian Overseas Congress, Australia.
He with David Chanoff published his autobiography ‘Dreaming Big – My Journey to Connect India’ in 2015 and believes his destiny was shaped by his parent’s decision to send him to Gujarat for education which instilled Gandhian values in him.