Hawaii-born Congresswoman TULSI GABBARD is one of the first two combat veterans and the first ever Hindu to ever serve as a member of the US Congress. She also serves on the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, considered to drive India-US bilateral relationships. On a three-week visit to India, Gabbard talks to Anita Babu on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India and threats of cyber terrorism. Edited excerpts:
How do you find the entrepreneurial climate in India?
During my short visit, I have met a lot of long-time entrepreneurs, as well as some younger ones. It is very exciting to see the energy and passion to solve problems, especially in Bengaluru. As we all have seen, technology can be used for both good and bad purposes. I go to the practice of Karma Yoga, dedicating our actions in a way that positively affects others. In technology entrepreneurship, there is a great opportunity for talented people to devote those talents in a way that best serves the community. Going forward, I think, there are many opportunities where entrepreneurial talents from both India and the US could be used to solve day-to-day challenges in sectors like health care and education.
My meeting with Modi and his Cabinet colleagues was very productive. I am grateful for the warm welcome he gave me. I am taking back many topics of shared interests, such as defence and fight against terrorism. One area we discussed in detail was the fight against Islamic extremists’ terrorism, a threat to the whole world. This is a significant area of discussion for leaders from both countries.
How can countries tackle the threat of cyber terrorism? Especially, given that getting all technology giants like Facebook and Twitter to cooperate is a huge task…
Cyber terrorism opens a big opportunity for our governments to work together and prevent the various types of cyber attacks threatening our people, economies and infrastructure. There is a great opportunity for the private sector, particularly the technology one to collaborate. I think awareness has been raised around the issue. And the need for greater partnerships will create more opportunities — for large companies, as well as the smaller ones — because this is a shared concern.