You-Know-Who Photos Tickets – The New Indian Express
It spoke a lot about the concept of government democracy when a journalist was accused of sedition for criticizing the government’s policy against Covid. The Supreme Court had to tell the government that journalists have the right to criticize, even harshly, government policies.
The judgment expressed it in words which must always be remembered by all, the elected authorities and the public and the journalists themselves. As the judge said: Gone are the days when mere criticism of governments was enough to constitute sedition. The right to make honest and reasonable criticisms is a source of strength for the community, rather than a weakness.
This is all the more true when we go through a phase of history fraught with unpredictability. Old values are no longer being respected and new values change depending on who uses them and when. Leaders are no longer guided by concepts of the public good; private and personal interests carry more weight. Sometimes things lead to funny situations.
In the very modern state of Kerala, a new rule has come into effect: wedding receptions must be limited to a guest list of 20. If only 20 people can attend, it makes no sense to print invitation cards. You can just write notes by hand and send them instead of printed invitations. But 20 or 200 you need wedding sarees and wedding shirts with the luster of silk etc. To buy wedding clothes, you need to show merchants wedding invitations. What riddle is it? Print invitations not to send to people, but to buy clothes with them!
Okay, you can’t fight with the government, so you decide to print invitation cards. Suddenly you realize that it is containment and that all printing plants are closed. This is what Churchill called a riddle shrouded in mystery within a riddle. No printing press, so no invitation card, so no purchase of basic necessities.
These are unheard of problems that create unheard of situations. Thus, the words take on unsuspected meanings. “Mask” was a word associated with the theater. The Covid epidemic has made masks a habit. In India, even TV presenters do their jobs with masks that go close to the eyes, making it difficult for viewers to understand what they are saying. Wearing a mask has become such a universal habit that some countries have made the headlines saying that they have become “maskless”. Israel canceled the mandatory outdoor mask wearing in April. This was after completing one of the fastest vaccine deployments in the world. New Zealand has made masks compulsory only on public transport, including flights. Bhutan, having vaccinated more than 90% of its adult population in just two weeks, went without a mask.
Masks became unnecessary when a new political concept was announced by the Modi government. In an incredible wave of thought, they created what is called The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd. The company quickly shortlisted Adani and eight other companies to submit proposals to develop the Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, popularly known as VT (for Victoria Terminus).
The British used to build railway stations as magnificent architectural pieces. VT was perhaps the best example of this. Imagine Adani redoing this terminus complex. In the name of making Thiruvananthapuram Airport more efficient, Adani has increased charges on planes that land there. In the end, the passenger, in other words the citizen, will end up paying the price for “modernization”.
The VT station, spread over 2.8 hectares, is an architectural masterpiece. It has been an iconic landmark of Mumbai “With deep verandas for ventilation, a mixture of polychrome masonry and elaborate sculptural ornamentation, crowned by an imposing masonry dome intended to dominate the skyline”.
What proposal would Adani submit to the Railway Stations Development Corporation? To get an idea of the direction in which the wind can blow, we have to remember a recent report titled “Under the rule Modi, Ambani, Adani doubled their wealth”. Next, look at the Covid-19 vaccination certificate issued by the Indian government. Each certificate bears a photo of Narendra Modi with a message. The effort to give Narendra Modi credit for all the good stuff is pretty straightforward.
It is not difficult to imagine reforms in the railways after Adani’s takeover. Each compartment will carry a photograph of the Prime Minister with an edifying message. Each ticket will of course bear its photo. Every traveler will have the chance to know they are traveling thanks to the courtesy of the caring Prime Minister. Other innovations will follow because, after all, those who have doubled their wealth must triple it.