Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday slammed company board member Marc Andreessen's tweet that seemed to suggest that colonialism was good for India.
Andreessen, a venture capitalist and the founder of VC firm Andreessen-Horowitz, later he deleted the tweet, following it up with an apology.
Zuckerberg added that "India has been always an important place for me and the company. I have found spiritual and inspirational values while travelling in the country". He added that "Facebook has always stood for connecting people across the world but we need to understand the past of a country before shaping the future. I've gained a deeper appreciation for the need to understand India's history and culture". Zuckerberg had last visited India in September 2015 where he held a town hall with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Recently, India's telecom regulatory authority TRAI announced that no telecom operator will be allowed to have differentially priced tariff plans. Telcos must not discriminate any content on the internet. This decision meant that ambitious zero rated plans like Facebook's Free Basics was prohibited.
Andreessen had a long conversation on Twitter where he made the 'anti-colonialism' comment about India. His colleague and tech blogger Benedict Evans also added fuel to the fire alleging that the government policies in India has hampered overall growth.
A lot of people from media, start-up world and the Internet were shocked and offended by Andreessen's comments. They asked him to withdraw the comment as those were ill-opinionated. Yesterday he said: "I apologize for any offense caused by my earlier tweet".
I apologize for any offense caused by my earlier tweet about Indian history and politics. I admire India and the Indian people enormously. 😀— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) February 10, 2016
This morning, in a series of tweets, he admitted that his earlier posts were ill-informed and ill-advised.
1/Last night on Twitter, I made an ill-informed and ill-advised comment about Indian politics and economics.— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) February 11, 2016
2/To be clear, I am 100% opposed to colonialism, and 100% in favor of independence and freedom, in every country, including India.— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) February 11, 2016
3/I am a huge admirer of the nation of India and the Indian people, who have been nothing but kind and generous to me for many years.— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) February 11, 2016
4/I apologize for any offense my comment caused, and withdraw it in full and without reservation.— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) February 11, 2016