Shri Gopinath Munde at the launch of
in Mumbai on Saturday, July 31, 1999
Shri Nanaji Chudasama, Shri Prakashji Javadekar and Mr. Raj
Purohit, Sisters and Brothers, I am delighted to see you here as I
prepare myself to be a part of the cyberspace. Most of you are
netizens already. You may not perhaps understand why I am so
thrilled this evening at this launch. For you, web sites and surfing
is only a routine. But please try to realise this: I am basically a
simple farmer from a little village, Nathra, in Marathwada's Beed
district. Like my visionary leader Atalji, I had not used a computer
in my life. Using Internet and setting up my own web site was not
part of my dreams until recently. And here I am presenting to you my
web site. This sudden and speedy change brings me the happiness and
gladdens me to note that you have spared your precious time to share
my joy. I need not tell you that we in Bharatiya Janata Party are
anxious to learn and practise what is in the interest of the people
and the nation. You will remember that the BJP was the first
political party in India to set up its web site, much before others
imitated us. Not only that, unlike the web sites of other parties,
the BJP's site is updated regularly to interact with the people
across the globe.
The government under the leadership of Shri Atal Behari
Vajpayee was the first to think of Information Technology as a
powerful tool for development. Last year, Shri Atalji set up a
National Task Force on Information Technology and Software
Development. The government did not waste time in initiating
measures recommended by the task force to usher in the Internet
culture in the country. We in the BJP-Shiv Sena government in
Maharashtra too acted quickly and appointed a Task Force under the
able leadership of Shri. Prakash Javadekar. At the IT conference in
Bangalore last year, Shri Atalji had said: For us in India,
information technology does not have only an economic significance.
It is a civilisational necessity for us. This is because it is going
to re-establish India as materially prosperous and culturally
resurgent nation in the coming centuries.
This vision of Atalji and my interaction with wise people
like you have convinced me that Information Technology alone can
bring about a transparent government. Mr. Bill Gates tells us in his
famous book, Business @ The Speed of Thought, how electronic
governance can cut red tape and bring people and government closer
for the common good.
am positive that the e-governance will help us face the challenges
of the coming times and resolve the issues that adversely affect the
therefore decided to adopt the new tools of the Information
Technology in our efforts to bring about the desired change in
Maharashtra. The web site is the beginning. The interaction with the
IT people and particularly with our Web team has made me realise to
be more open. I believe in Charity Begins At Home.
Thus, when you access my site, you will notice that I have
spoken about my family, my childhood, my likes and dislikes. This I
have never done before. I had avoided speaking on these matters in
the past. The Internet has transformed me to this extent.
am confident that this site will give me an opportunity to reach out
to the unseen people across the globe. It will serve as a very
useful platform to exchange information and ideas, suggestions &
complaints and dreams and visions. I invite every one at this site
for a dialogue that will lead to a better tomorrow for my state,
Maharashtra, and my country, India.
Let me assure you that I will be happy to receive both,
bouquets and brickbats from you. I strongly believe that these
bouquets and brickbats will help me understand if I am on the right
track to fulfil my goal of serving the people.
You may send me an e-mail or join in for a chat from time to
time. I believe that that the e-mail can be a modern version of
ghanta that used to be hung outside the courtroom of Samrat Akbar.
Anybody anywhere can ring this electronic bell to draw the attention
of the government or me in person, to an injustice. One can use it
to make a constructive suggestion for the industrial development of
present to the netizens in Maharashtra and outside, my humble
attempt to fulfil the vision of the Prime Minister for a better
tomorrow. I appeal to everyone on the Information Highway to extend
a helping hand through this site to achieve the objective of
e-governance in Maharashtra. We would appreciate if you contribute
your own way to achieve these objectives. It would not be out of
place to make a brief reference to what the BJP-Sena government has
resolved to do in the state during the current year, which is being
observed as Information Technology year.
We have decided to network networking offices in all the
villages in the vicinity to other regions of the State, as in the
Warananagar experiment. We have already undertaken the programme to
computerise the government departments with very high public contact
such as sales tax, revenue, health, education, irrigation, PWD, etc.
We want to use I.T. for better monitoring of government
programmes for speedy implementation of projects. We are very keen
to make it obligatory to use e-mail between State Headquarters and
to taluka offices by 1st January 2000.
am happy that IT professionals have already come forward to help the
government. Only this month, the state government signed a
memorandum of association with WorldTel, to develop the concept of
Internet Service Provision within Maharashtra and the establishment
of Community Internet Centres.
am sure such measures can eliminate people's needless hassles that
consume time. It pains me to see millions of parents and their
children spending time only to obtain application forms for
admission to schools and colleges. The jobless have to move from
pillar to post just to locate information on employment
opportunities and to file applications.
Can we not do away with such hassles and use their time for
productive purpose? Why should we not create online facilities for
government transactions? Can we do something to take quick action in
times of disaster and natural calamities? It's time that we adopt
the electronic commerce in India to be a part of the global
scenario. I am confident that the e-commerce will be a legal reality
in the country at the earliest and Maharashtra will be able to
benefit from this mode of business.
understand that e-commerce transactions in India are projected at
Rs. 300 crore in 1999-2000 from Rs. 132 crore in 1998-99 and this is
expected to grow in leaps and bounds in first few years of 21st
century. Let us in Maharashtra try to exploit the new opportunities
available through Information Technology.
Let me conclude my speech by asserting that Maharashtra will
lead the country in Information Technology in the years to come.
Thanks to the dynamic and pragmatic policies of the BJP and Shiv
Sena, Maharashtra will be the Silicon Valley of India. There will be
no need for our talented boys and girls to look to the West for
jobs. They can work in our cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nashik or
Nagpur and try their talents in software and information technology.
They can make a meaningful career and contribute to the glory of our
Before I end, I must thank Shri Nanaji Chudasama, Shri
Prakashji Javadekar and Mr. Raj Purohit for sparing their time to be
with us here this evening. I am grateful to Mr. Devavrat Bapat of
the WaveFront Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Shrimati Poorva Keskar and
their team for creating such a useful and beautiful site for me.
And Thank You All. Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra