Rahul Gandhi has deep understanding of technology, says entrepreneur who hosted him in Silicon Valley

PTI, Jun 4, 2023, 8:53 AM IST

Visiting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has a deep and humane understanding of technology and connects it directly with the impact it would have on common man and jobs, said the young Indian-American who hosted him for a meeting with Silicon Valley startup entrepreneurs working in the field of Artificial Intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.

”He never claims that he knows everything. …but he is always curious. (During the meeting) he expressed his kind of limitation on different subjects, but he always shows his appetite for the technology,” said Shan Sankaran, founder of FixNix, a Silicon Valley-based startup that provides a cloud-based platform for simplifying GRC-related (governance, risk, compliance) decision-making.

Sankaran helped organise ”AI and Human Development: A Chat with Rahul Gandhi” at the Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley incubator for startups, on Wednesday. During the event, Gandhi told the audience he tries to emulate his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on adoption of technology in various sectors including banking, according to Sankaran. ”He (Rahul Gandhi) is seeing how innovation can further fuel (growth and development) in case he becomes prime minister of India (through) his vision,” said Sankaran, who was given the rare O1 visa by the US meant for individuals of extraordinary capabilities.

Sankaran said Gandhi also indicated he is in favour of regulating technologies rather than banning them. ”Technology needs a lot of regulation, not banning. Right now, what’s happening in India, TikTok, you don’t like it, Ban it. ..The US has not banned TikTok or drones. They kind of regulate. They (United States) have an issue, they made the CEO of TikTok to come talk to the all the member of the Congress. They have a house inquiry, what they call. So those kinds of interactions always happen with even the so-called technology companies and ourselves. They never ban. Drones, they regulate. You cannot fly your drone on top of the Golden Gate,” Sankaran said.

Referring to the conversations Gandhi had on the Pegasus spyware at the meeting, Sankaran said the technology invented by the Silicon Valley and Israels of the world has helped many tyrants and is being used to silence discussed, press, judiciary, opposition and independent institutions of the world, including Rahul Gandhi.

”But Rahul cannot be silenced, because he has no baggage. All the other opposition in India can be silenced. They may have some baggages. They are worried. But Rahul doesn’t have any baggage. Today in fact, he said, hello to Modi. He will be listening, is what he said. It’s in a comical way, but that’s what it is,” he said.

Sankaran said the time he spent with the Congress leader tells him that Gandhi ”has a human heart” and is very empathetic. ”He is a human being. In fact, I will call him Buddha….I will call him Buddha. He’s a living Buddha. So, I think he’s not behind any of this fancy designations. He could have become prime minister when they had that majority. He could have become prime minister twice. In fact, he never became the prime minister. Not a single soul in the Congress would’ve objected in case he wanted to become prime minister. He never choose to,” he said.

”I think, he’s a guy personally I see as a role model for the future generations to adopt. In fact, when he’s now thrown out of his home which he had as a member of parliament, he doesn’t have a single iota of hatred against Modi,” he said.

”He is a great Buddha and he follows Dhamma for that matter. In many private interactions, what I found is he has very deep knowledge in many subjects not just technology,” he said. Sankaran has 17 provisional patents in his name. ”I moved here to build my future dreams, continue to innovate more, see how my innovation can help society,” he said.

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