Around the Web

Watch: PM Modi’s 2013 speech reveals the real reasons behind launching the high-speed Bullet Train

‘Start a high-speed bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. With that, people will realise the strength of our nation.’


On September 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese President Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for India’s first high-speed “bullet” train running from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. The train, which will cost Rs 1.1 lakh crore, is expected to be completed by 2022, and will cover a distance of 650-km in about two hours – while charging commuters fares nearly equivalent to that of a flight.

The announcement of this high-cost project has led to several questions on social media regarding its necessity, and whether it really helps in building a “New India” and developing the nation, as Modi promises, or whether it is a costly gimmick with little utility outside of rhetoric.

Turns out, Modi himself made his intentions regarding the bullet train rather clear in a 2013 speech, before he became prime minister, at the Indian Merchants’ Chamber Interactive Meeting. In the video (above), starting from 42:25 minutes, he – then the chief minister of Gujarat – speaks of India’s image to the rest of the world. Here is a brief English translation of a part of his speech:

“If we do small things, nothing will happen. We need to think big, we need to think on a large canvas. What we tend to do is, we’ll go ahead by 0.1 percent, 0.2 percent – this will not change anything. We need to think on a massive scale...

One day, while talking to the Prime Minister, I told him, ‘Look, nobody ever talks about China as a whole. It’s not like they show all of China – even they just show off Shanghai to the world.’ So I said even we, as a country, should do some things to show the entire world our power of strength. Why else, on January 26, do we have a show of strength of our military? Is our country only safe if our missiles go through Vijay Chowk? It’s only to show the world that even we have strength. That’s the only reason. And our own people also feel powerful thinking that yes, we have military power. And that is why on January 26 we put on a massive parade to showcase our military strength.

The same way, this is required in the business world as well. So I told the Prime Minister, ‘Do this one small project. Start a high-speed bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. With that, people will realise the strength of our nation. No one is going to come to sit in the train; (but) we are no less, we also have to do these things.”

This is Modi’s idea of the project, as a beacon to the rest of the world about India’s progress, even if it is not terribly practical for people in the country.

In the same speech, Modi also spoke of another large project with little utility. The “Statue of Unity”, double the size of the Statue of Liberty in the US, he referred to has become the model for the statue of Vallabhbhai Patel to be erected in Gujarat. Intended as the world’s tallest and biggest statue at 182 metres, it will cost Rs 2,989 crores to build. “I want to see the world bowing at its feet.” Modi said.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing your parents into the digital fold can be a rewarding experience

Contrary to popular sentiment, being the tech support for your parents might be a great use of your time and theirs.

If you look up ‘Parents vs technology’, you’ll be showered with a barrage of hilariously adorable and relatable memes. Half the hilarity of these memes sprouts from their familiarity as most of us have found ourselves in similar troubleshooting situations. Helping a parent understand and operate technology can be trying. However, as you sit, exasperated, deleting the gazillion empty folders that your mum has accidentally made, you might be losing out on an opportunity to enrich her life.

After the advent of technology in our everyday personal and work lives, parents have tried to embrace the brand-new ways to work and communicate with a bit of help from us, the digital natives. And while they successfully send Whatsapp messages and make video calls, a tremendous amount of unfulfilled potential has fallen through the presumptuous gap that lies between their ambition and our understanding of their technological needs.

When Priyanka Gothi’s mother retired after 35 years of being a teacher, Priyanka decided to create a first of its kind marketplace that would leverage the experience and potential of retirees by providing them with flexible job opportunities. Her Hong Kong based novel venture, Retired, Not Out is reimagining retirement by creating a channel through which the senior generation can continue to contribute to the society.

Our belief is that tech is highly learnable. And learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from school. That is why we have designed specific programmes for seniors to embrace technology to aid their personal and professional goals.

— Priyanka Gothi, Founder & CEO, Retired Not Out

Ideas like Retired Not Out promote inclusiveness and help instil confidence in a generation that has not grown up with technology. A positive change in our parent’s lives can be created if we flip the perspective on the time spent helping them operate a laptop and view it as an exercise in empowerment. For instance, by becoming proficient in Microsoft Excel, a senior with 25 years of experience in finance, could continue to work part time as a Finance Manager. Similarly, parents can run consultation blogs or augment their hobbies and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Advocating the same message, Lenovo’s new web-film captures the void that retirement creates in a person’s life, one that can be filled by, as Lenovo puts it, gifting them a future.


Depending on the role technology plays, it can either leave the senior generation behind or it can enable them to lead an ambitious and productive life. This festive season, give this a thought as you spend time with family.

To make one of Lenovo’s laptops a part of the family, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Lenovo by the marketing team and not by the editorial staff.