Hiding communal propaganda under the guise of development did well to BJP, delivering it a mammoth-like victory in 2014. This victory followed a new political recipe, which can put even Sanjeev Kapoor to shame.
As the elections approach, start talking about development. This view is in contrast to the traditional idea of steering talks to the usual religion, caste and class as polls stride closer. Perhaps an evident sign that masses have finally recognized the dogmatic pattern. But, oh, how cunning our politicians are! Just when you thought you found the key, they changed the lock! And this time, hidden under the bulk phrases like GDP, employment, and CPI, it’s even trickier to spot their hatred shenanigans.
But wait, why do I talk about this now? Because the latest development demands it!
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A New Council formed for Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The PMO has set up a separate Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) that is to advise Mr. Modi on all matters related to, well, as the name suggests, science, technology, and innovation.
We all know how big of a science geek our PM is. When thousands of children are still dying across the country due to faltering healthcare infrastructure, let’s not forget his Independence Day speech where he announced that India will launch its first manned space mission by 2022. Yes, less than 4 years from now—the same span in which we can’t evenbuild a functioning underground metro infrastructure in the country. It’s only baffling that such a geek has never been invited to NASA before. But no more now!
Who are in the council (and who aren’t)
The new and personal council of Science, Technology, and Innovation is all set up for Mr. Modi just a few months ahead of General Election 2018. Studded with many recognized faces spanning across spectrums, right from mathematicians to major generals, the 21-members committee will be headed the principal scientific advisor to the government of India, K. Vijay Raghavan. Among many responsibilities, it will ensure the schemes of PM Modi is well implemented, and that his ideas and visions follow scientific suite.
It could have been a better idea for PMO, though, to ring BJP lawmakers and undertake their advice before stamping on this council. Or, at least, include few of them in the committee.The likes of Shankharbhai Vegad, an MP from Gujarat, would have been an ideal fit. He’s the fellow who believes “cow dung and urine can cure cancer”. Or wait, they could have included another gem that is Vasudev Devnani, the Education Minister in Rajasthan, who believes “cows exhale oxygen”. (Yes, please, read that again!)
But hey, who am I to suggest anything. Besides, quite expectedly. Mr. Modi will fill gaps in the committee that could have been for these ministers, who himself believes that back in the days it was some surgeons that who planted an elephant head on the body of a human. This marked the origin of Lord Ganesha, and plastic surgery that we know today.
“We worship Lord Ganesha. There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant’s head on the body of the human being and began the practice of plastic surgery.”— Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.
A foolery ahead of Elections
One could only think now what role will PM-STIAC play now as Mr. Modi nears the end of his term. Or, for that matter, what good is now the Ministry of Science and Technology—was it really ineffective all this time that Mr. Modi felt the need to have his own battalion of experts in this niche?
As Rekha Dixit on TheWeek.in notes, “PM’s vision has encompassed research on the benefits of cow urine”— is this council will now focus on piss and dunks? What new science, tech, and innovative policies has the government brought since formation that this committee is to ensure the implementation of?
The scope of this development is still a blur. At least for the sane heads. For the rest, in the Godi Media, it’s all-hail to the visionary that is Mr. Modi for this incredible formulation. It could have been fairly better though had the PM vision-ed the need for this personal advisory right at the beginning of his term. Nonetheless.
Regardless how effective this move turns up to be, one thing is for sure— PM-STIAC will now end up to décor the election campaigns of the Prime Minister and the BJP peeps in the runner-up to the elections in 2019. Setting up this committee alone would add to his portfolio in the science and tech sheet, which will add another layer of shine in his development agendas that is basically a thin blanket to his acrimony and the idea of divided India.
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