Global tech giants pushing own agenda: Jaishankar

Jaishankar reiterated India’s stand on the Ukraine war, saying India stands for dialogue and diplomacy and that the era of war is over, as was stated by Prime Minister  Narendra Modi…reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday said there should be awareness about the power of big technology companies because “we are increasingly seeing that some of them have interests, agendas and views.”

The minister was responding to a question at the HT Leadership Summit about the challenges posed by the firms and platforms that have become huge enough to control and manipulate information as well as shape opinions.

“There should be awareness today that you have private players whose size, in terms of market cap, are bigger than the GDP of many countries,” Jaishankar said.

“It’s not just a matter of size. We are now increasingly seeing they have interests, agenda and views,” he added.

The minister expressed serious concern about the fact that “there are people around the world, with economic interests and ideological viewpoints, who believe that it is their right to certify, de-certify, criticise, support, legitimise, and de-legitimise. This is an issue.”

“Speak today about democracy but I point out to you that when democracy gives a result, which sometimes does not suit an elite in some part of the world, immediately you start attaching adjectives and caveats. Now this is completely ideological. It’s like saying ‘I didn’t like the way this match produced a result so I’ll now question the match. I will say there’s something wrong with the pitch’.”

He said that such statements should not be taken as an objective evaluation as they fall in the realm of “pure politics.”

One thing that globalisation has done is that it “has globalised politics,” he quipped.

Without naming anyone, the minister further stated, “When you cannot win inside a country, you export the debate outside. When you cannot get voices inside the country you will call back up from outside. These are all challenges in today’s politics.”

In an interview to Hindustan Times Editor-in-Chief Sukumar Ranganathan, the minister spoke on a whole range of issues including ties with Pakistan, the Russia-Ukraine war and the India-China standoff in Ladakh.

He said, “The people of India want good neighbourly relations with Pakistan, as does the Government of India. However, good neighbours do not carry out or condone terrorist activities.”

He reiterated India’s stand on the Ukraine war, saying India stands for dialogue and diplomacy and that the era of war is over, as was stated by Prime Minister  Narendra Modi.

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