More than 18,000 people packed the SAP Center in San Jose Sunday evening to hear him speak, reports the Mercury News, and he praised Indian Americans for increasing the profile and positive image of India.
“You have forced the world to change the way they look at India,” he said. “It is the magic of your fingers — you have played and juggled with the computer — and you’ve created a new identity for India.”
He called the Indian diaspora to help build a future where California and India are united by interests in democratic values and technology.
Earlier in the day he met with leaders at Facebook, Google, Apple, Uber and Tesla, just to name a few.
Clearly, these leaders see India as a market they’d liked to tap into and Modi welcomes them.
“Over the next year, half a billion Indians will go online,” said Delhi-born Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University. “That is the largest single market for an American company in the world. And it is an open market, unlike China. That is why you have Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and others meeting him and rolling out the red carpet.”
Modi, however, continues to live under the shadow of the Gujarat riots in 2002 which resulted in the deaths of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus. Modi, who was chief minister at the time, was accused of not doing enough to stop those riots. Until his election as Prime Minister, he was banned from entering the United States. Several hundred people protested outside the SAP Center, including many Sikhs and other religious minorities.
You can read about his stops at Google and Facebook in the Mercury News and the clip below from ABC7.