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Dr Subramanian Swamy Says It's Time For India To Have 'swadeshi' Internet Platforms Like China Does. Here's His View

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:


  • BJP MP Dr Subramanian Swamy has called for a Twitter-like Swadeshi Samvad in India
  • He has drawn an analogy to similar Internet products and services in China
  • The idea has drawn a lot of responses

BJP MP Dr Subramanian Swamy has opined that it is time for India to have a 'swadeshi' social platform along the lines of those existing in China.

Taking to Twitter, where he currently has 7.36 million followers, the Rajya Sabha MP has called for India to have a 'Swadeshi Samvad' similar to the micro-blogging network just like how China has 'Baidu'.

Baidu, apart from being a highly-valued technology company based in Beijing, is also the name of the flagship Chinese-language search engine which was launched in 2000 and holds a majority share in China's search market. Google, which offers a dominant search engine that is prevalent worldwide is currently blocked in China, as are YouTube and a number of other Google services, as well as the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

As per Baidu, here is the origin for its name: 

"Our name was inspired by a poem written more than 800 years ago during China's Song Dynasty. The poem compares the search for a retreating beauty amid chaotic glamour with the search for one's dreams while confronted by life's many obstacles. “…Hundreds and thousands of times, for her I searched in chaos / Suddenly, I turned by chance, to where the lights were waning, and there she stood." Baidu, whose literal meaning is “hundreds of times,” represents a persistent search for the ideal."

China has, amid criticism over censorship of the Internet, managed to build a thriving indigenous web, with products and services that are essentially analogous to popular ones in the mainstream Internet. Many of these companies are now influential tech-titans in their own right. Here's a list of popular Chinese services and their global analogues:

  • WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger: WeChat by Tencent
  • Facebook: RenRen
  • Twitter: Weibo, where PM Modi also has a very well-followed account
  • Youku Tudou: Similar to YouTube
  • Alibaba and Didi Chuxing: Chinese analogues to Amazon and Uber, though the latter two companies weren't blocked in China.

Here are some responses to Dr Subramanian Swamy's tweet:

An exchange over GST: