Right now, there is a major debate in the country about when to hold nationwide competitive exams such as NEET and JEE. There are good points on both sides. On the one hand, there are definite risks with holding exams in the time of pandemic. On the other hand, how long can we postpone exams? Should we let young people simply waste one of their most productive years? Striking a balance will involve some difficult choices.
But wait! Someone else wants to get involved in this debate. Someone all the way from a distant European country close to where Santa Claus comes from.
Imagine if you were having an argument with your partner about the family finances. Say about how much to invest in fixed deposits and how much in mutual funds. Both of you make excellent points weighing the risks and the rewards. Obviously, there is no clear winner.
Then suddenly, there is a knock on the door. A complete stranger shows up and says that they are very passionate about supporting one of you. You would be puzzled. You would wonder: Why does this stranger care so much?
So keep aside for a moment which side you support in the exam debate. The question is: Why is Greta Thunberg so passionate about this?
When Greta posted this tweet yesterday, some people welcomed it. Others accused her of being ignorant or patronizing towards India. However, to get to the heart of this, one has to understand who, or rather what, Greta Thunberg is.
Greta Thunberg is not an individual who tweets on whims. She is a billion dollar brand. Her face and name are capable of raising millions of dollars for any venture. A lot of thought from a large, well paid and highly professional team goes into every venture which is backed by the brand.
Think about it: if big oil or big banks were tweeting about postponing exams in India, would you accuse them of being ignorant or patronizing? Not at all. You would be curious how the matter impacts their bottomline.
So the question is: why is a big brand like Greta Thunberg picking up the matter of NEET & JEE exam dates in India? How does it impact their bottomline? That suggests there is big money in the picture here. How did that happen?
Why is big money getting involved in a matter such as this? Probably because big interests want to destabilize India in every possible way. It’s simple really. The exams are highly competitive. A very small fraction will make it through. What if those who fail are made to blame Modi instead of themselves?
This is subversion 101 and it works. The anti-CAA protests spread like a rash across many college campuses. Someone wants to provoke the youth on a large scale and that someone has a lot of money. The same goes for abrogation of Article 370. Never have we seen top global newspapers on such a direct vilification campaign against India. Then, a “riot” at the exact moment when the US President landed in India. It is promptly labelled a pogrom by intellectuals all over the world. In perfect coordination, they all scream : Nazi! Nazi! Nazi!
Then, the Galwan Valley clash happens in mid-June. The next day the New York Times digs up a line from Amit Shah speaking about Article 370 in Aug 2019 and claims that India provoked China. Between Aug 5, 2019 and June 15, 2020, every global media outlet produced reams of reports about Article 370 and Amit Shah but nobody said there was a China angle anywhere. Did they just happen to figure out the China angle on the night of the clash? Or were they ordered (paid) to figure it out that night?
All this began with PM Modi’s second term, right when many would have concluded that BJP rule is here to stay, perhaps indefinitely.
How do we inoculate ourselves against foreign intervention? The key lies in realizing that Greta Thunberg or the New York Times are no different from a for profit corporation. And corporations only care about their bottomline. I am not saying that’s bad. Corporations have done a lot of good in this world. I am just saying that we all know what corporations want. And we protect our interests accordingly. A corporation may want us to drink 10 liters of their fizzy sugary drink per day. We know better. We watch their ads but we also watch out for ourselves. Not everything we see in an advertisement is bad: there are plenty of useful things that are advertised. We just know that we have to be conscious consumers.
The danger is when we don’t realize that something is an ad, or that something is a corporation. Like the New York Times. It’s a corporation. But it doesn’t “feel” that way. We are more inclined to think about the New York Times as a group of people with ideas. Even those who think the New York Times has an anti-India agenda are still ascribing emotion to them. One has to realize that NYT is a corporate machine. It does not feel love, hate or prejudice. It has no biases, only has a bottomline.
Something similar with Greta Thunberg. It is essentially a corporate brand. It has no emotions, no prejudices, no friends and no enemies.
Someone has turned these corporate machines: from the New York Times to Greta Thunberg to churn out stuff that undermines the Govt of India. That someone has a lot of money. We don’t know who it is, but they don’t wish us well. That’s for sure.