When tweeting was done by birds and Amazon was a jungle: Modi recalls 1997 at Davos summit

Harry Potter was an unheard name, tweeting was done only by birds and Amazon referred to dense forests in 1997, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday to stress upon the changes the world has seen in the past 20 years.

Addressing the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, Modi said he is the first Indian Prime Minister to come here since H D Deve Gowda in 1997. The Indian economy has changed significantly since then and so has the rest of the world, he noted.

Speaking mostly in Hindi, Modi thanked WEF and the Swiss government for the reception accorded to him.

He also made a comparison between World Economic Forum meeting in 1997 and 2018.

“In 1997, India’s Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda attended the WEF meeting in Davos. That forum’s vision was about building of network society. Then there was no Euro; very few people knew about Osama bin Laden; Google was not invented, if someone would search Amazon on Internet then search results would throw information about rivers and forests. Tweeting was the work of birds,” Prime Minister Modi said.

He also recalled that when Deve Gowda came here in 1997, the theme of the WEF summit was building a networked society. That theme now looks centuries-old as the world today is about big data and so many other new developments, the prime minister said.

“Today, data is a real wealth and it is being said that whoever acquires and controls the data will have hegemony in the future. The global flow of data is creating big opportunities as well as challenges,” Prime Minister Modi said.

He added that technology-driven transformation has been deeply affecting people’s way of thinking, working, international groups, politics, and economy.

He made this remark while underlining the importance of technology in today’s era.


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