The New Leam VIEWPOINT
This is our India. Everything is naked. When do we come out of this collective deception?
Money is the measure of everything
Money, wrote Karl Marx, transforms everything into its opposite. Yes, Mukesh Ambani is rich; his Reliance Empire is gigantic. And in a world that values only the power of money, the likes of Ambani become immensely powerful. Our politicians, top government officials, cricketers, Bollywood stars, media celebrities and even some ‘Bharat Ratna’ move around Mr. Ambani–the all-pervading Brahma of modern times. His wife, we are tod, is a philanthropist; his son is a new avatar, and the nation, as it is said repeatedly, ought to feel proud of the Reliance Empire. In a way, Ambani is the embodiment of what sociologist Max Weber regarded as class, status and power. Or for that matter, with his financial capital he , as it is said, can monoplolize even Pierre Bourdieu’s cultural capital. No wonder, he ought to be an educationist, a visionary, a pedagogue. Possibly, he is better than all other educationists–Rabindranath Tagore, S.Radhakrishnan, Maulana Azad, D.S. Kothari. And hence, if his Empire thinks of starting a university , it must be a an ‘institution of eminence’. There should not be any doubt about it.
In fact, if you doubt his credentials as an educationist, you are bound to cause damage to the nation. Not surprisingly, Reliance Foundation’s proposed jio Institute near Navi Mumbai has been declared by the Government as the ‘Institution of Eminence’. Well, IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and IIS Bangalore proved their worth after so many years of teaching, research and academic achievements. However, for Jio Institute which has not yet started, you need not wait; you can be certain that it is the island of excellence. Can God ever make a mistake? Can there be anything more powerful than the power of money to colonize the lifeworld?
Great, Mr. Javedkar. You are truly a champion of good education in India. You are a visionary. We would advise Mr Ambani to meet our Prime Minister any of these days, and persuade him to honour Mr.Javedkar with the ‘Bharat Ratna’ award for his visionary perspective on education.
Empty stomachs and mobile phones
Feel happy. Live amidst the abundance of mobile phones; keep communicating–the dresses you wear, the fast food you consume, the gifts you buy for the beloved, the You Tube viral that fascinates you… Life is good fun! Don’t bother about lynching and violence. Don’t think of quality education and safe drinking water for all. Don’t think of poverty, unemployment and increasing joblessness. Don’t be ‘negative’–something like a typical ‘Urban Maoist’. Instead, welcome the South Korean business in India–Samsung Electronics in Noida promising to manufacture 120 milloin handsets a year. Technological Miracle. Communication Revolution. Growth Story. Cheer Mr. Modi and Mr.Yogi –their efforts to make you proud of ‘Make in India’ programme. Moreover, Mr. Modi has already assured that 1,000 new jobs will be created. So why do you complain? Feel happy. Let children die in the government hospitals in Mr. Yogi’s UP. Let lynching and mob violence be normalized. Let Mr. Amit Shah advise his disciples to be ‘cyber warriors’. Let ugliness prevail throughout our psychic/cultural landscape. Yet, you have to believe that here is a miracle man who knows the language of ‘progress’. Samsung mobile phones. What else do you want in life? We can live without jobs, without education, without hospitals. But we cannot live without mobile phones. Yes, this is the the priority of the nation. You and I must congratulate our Prime Minister for inviting the Samsung Electronics. Buy the latest mobile, and send a message to the Prime Minister: ‘Who says we are unhappy? We may be hungry and jobless.Yet, mobile phones, like powerful intoxicants, make us forget everything!’
LIVING AMIDST THESE ABSURDITIES SEEMS TO HAVE BECOME OUR DESTINY!