Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is wrapping up a whirlwind tour of Silicon Valley, where he met tech CEOs, gave a speech before a roaring crowd of more than 17,000 at San Jose’s SAP Center and inked a deal with Google to provide free WiFi at 400 Indian railway stations.
But his most memorable moment? Crying at Facebook.
Modi’s emotional moment came during a question-and-answer Town Hall session with Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday in response to a question from Zuckerberg about family. (Zuckerberg’s own parents were in the audience.)
"When I was young, to raise us she worked in neighbors' homes cleaning dishes, filling water," he said. "There are [thousands] of mothers who have given up their whole lives for the dreams of their children. ... A mother never cares what you become. She cares who you become."
Family has always been a touchy subject for Modi, 65. He left his home town while still a young man to devote his life to working for the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and didn’t return for two decades, according to Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, the author of the book “Narendra Modi: The Man, the Times.” The author says he has never found any evidence to support the claim that Modi’s mother was a domestic worker.
Modi also left behind a wife, Jashodaben, to whom he was married as a child and has never divorced. She told The Post in January that she has had little contact with her husband and is still waiting for him to come back for her.
Modi now lives a rather solitary existence in the sprawling prime minister’s bungalow, at 7 Race Course Road, in the capital New Delhi.
Not surprisingly, commenters on Twitter had a bit of fun with Modi’s emotional moment:
#ModiAtFacebook Modi cries at Facebook HQ. California's drought problems are finally over
— Bodhisattva Sen Roy (@insenroy) September 27, 2015
#ModiCries Oscar winning performance
— Geekology (@academic_dud) September 27, 2015