The official website of Shri Narendra Modi, the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat will today be launched in Hindi and Sanskrit in the presence of Vishwa Hindu Parishad President Shri Ashok Singhalji, head of the Sat Kaival Sampradya Acharya Shri Avichaldasji Maharaj and Sanskrit scholar Shri Dayabhai Shashtri. The launch in these two languages will help connect the masses, especially the younger generation, which is tech savvy and more likely to respond via the web medium, directly with Gujarat’s much loved leader. It has constantly been Shri Modi’s endeavour to reach out to an ever wider range of people as he firmly believes in this truism from the Rig Veda “Let great ideas come from all sides”. He hopes that this site will encourage people from all strands of Indian society to participate in the growth of the nation, so that they too feel that they are a part of its future prosperity, through the sharing and contribution of ideas and thoughts on a variety of subjects.
Many people might deem it strange that one of the languages that the Chief Minister’s website can be viewed in is Sanskrit, which is today spoken by a very small number of people. However, the very aim of the site is to help diffuse this sacred language, which was used for scholarly discourse in ancient India. The Chief Minister believes that Sanskrit texts carry the fundamental underlying ideas of humanity at the highest level, and is of great relevance to us even today, as we cannot build a prosperous future without understanding our roots. Echoing the views of three of the greatest Indian revolutionaries – Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, and Acharya Vinoba Bhave – that Sanskrit is the best way to integrate and revitalise India, the Chief Minister is determined to make Sanskrit the language of every Indian a reality.
In only 7 months, the Gujarati and English websites have already attracted hundreds of thousands of hits and have nearly 24,000 registered users. And for those who've visited this well-designed website, this shouldn't come as any surprise. Easy on the eye, the website not only attracts the visitor but invites you to browse through it further, and suggest feedback in order to improve it, as well as offer constructive suggestions to help in the development of Gujarat such as improving public administration and delivery mechanisms, education opportunities via the net, etc. And for Namo’s fans it contains many treats. Downloadable ringtones, screensavers, videos and audios of his trademark fiery speeches, audio e-greetings, free mobile updates, contests and even an opportunity to invite the CM to grace a function!
This swanky website has various interactive features such as Share Ideas, Ask a Question to the CM or Ask him for an Appointment and with hundreds of ideas, questions and requests for appointments pouring in daily these features appear to have been very well received. And lest one think that none of these suggestions reach the CM, it's seen to, that every idea received, if constructive, sees the light of day. Each proposal is first screened and if deemed feasible, is forwarded to the desk of Mr. Modi. He then goes through the suggestion, pens his remarks and forwards it to the appropriate team for evaluation, and in due course, is implemented. Indeed, the department on climate change was created due to the large number of emails received concerning global warming. The astounding popularity of this website can also be measured by the voluntary efforts of hundreds of Modi fans from shores as far as Australia, Canada and the United States. Infact it is thanks to the efforts of these dedicated volunteers that the websites in Sanskrit, Gujarati and Hindi were created.
For the technologically adept, this site offers many pleasures as well. It is the first website of any Indian leader to offer podcasts which can easily be downloaded onto one’s ipod or mobile to hear whenever one pleases. This feature is especially popular amongst the youth. To download these podcasts just log onto www.narendramodi.in/speech_feed Fans can register for free mobile updates on Gujarat’s leader through the Google sms channel ‘Garvi Gujarat’. Many social networking tools and social bookmarking sites such as twitter, get widget, RSS feeds etc have also been incorporated into this innovative site. Another novel treat on the site is the audio e-greetings section (http://narendramodi.in/egreetings) wherein one can send snippets of Mr. Modi’s unequalled oratory to engross family and friends and further customize the cards with Mr. Modi’s inspirational quotations and pictures.
To help make the site more exciting, contests are held wherein users are invited to participate. Currently, two competitions are open to the public. The first tests your creativity by coming up with short sms’s which highlight the spirit of Gujarat and the second is your favourite Narendra Modi quote contest in which as the name suggests, you simply submit your favourite quote and if luck’s on your side, you might just win an exclusive gift.
The Share and Grow section is one of the most exciting and inspirational parts of the site. Anybody is welcome to post stories concerning Gujarat and India, in the hope that upbeat stories will spread positive vibes amongst people and help create a more benign and optimistic environment and that negative reports can be conveyed directly to the top so that those concerns can be immediately addressed.
The website appears well organised, easy to navigate as well as extremely comprehensive about the aims and vision of the Modi government. It is informative both about projects already under way and future initiatives and policies and allows Modi fans from all over India to follow his remarkable journey so far as well as his achievements in the years to come. It also gives us, the citizens, a real feeling of empowerment, being one of the few genuinely democratic platforms available to the citizen to be heard.