The virtuous out, the virtual in
Columns, Point of View

The virtuous out, the virtual in

August 25, 2020

By T.J.S. George

Consider the emerging India that is Bharat. Consider a clutch of latest developments and their implications. Consider what is said and what is unsaid, what is done and what is undone. A few moments of such considerations cannot leave us elated or even modestly satisfied with what is happening to our land and our civilisation. Yet we have no choice but to consider them.

Item. The Supreme Court takes suo moto action against a lawyer who posted two Tweets critical of the judiciary. That the lawyer involved is Prashant Bhushan, a wellknown activist, explains the story.  According to the Court, the Tweets contained scurrilous allegations of a malicious nature. According to Bhushan, criticism of the Top Judge does not scandalise the Court. He declared that he was only exercising his freedom of speech. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, he said he would not apologise for his Tweets and would cheerfully accept whatever punishment was given by the Court.

It is important that a group of informed people went public with their support of the lawyer.  While the Court found Bhushan guilty of contempt, the supporting group that defended him questioned the assumptions behind the contempt law itself.  That a significant section of legal opinion criticised the rule of the Court reflected badly on the judiciary.  Another group came up in support of the Court. This looked like a contrived tit for tat.

Item. BCCI, the all-powerful cricket authority, wants to introduce a bunch of amendments to its constitution removing the ban on office-bearers continuing after two terms.  This change will enable Jay Shah, son of BJP President Amit Shah, to continue as Secretary of the Board for the third year in “public and national interests.”

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It is true that Jay Shah, after getting a B.Tech from Nirma University, took a cricket training course in Ahmedabad and was considered “a decent enough batsman.” Our cricket-mad country is filled with decent enough batsmen and bowlers.  They don’t come into any Board.

Item. The Supreme Court decided against ordering the transfer of PM-CARES Fund contributions to the National Disaster Response Fund.  Transparency campaigners and opposition leaders said this was a “body blow to the transparency and accountability of the Government.”  One critic said the judgement went against the need to tell those in power that they were not monarchs of the land, but servants of the people. We live in an age when servants are monarchs.

Item. The PM-CARES Fund meanwhile chose to respond to a question.  In 2019-20, Rs. 3,076.62 crore was collected in addition to Rs. 39.68 lakh in foreign currency in the first five days after its formation, the response said. The generosity and the speed of the donations were unprecedented. This showed that the country was full of either rich people waiting for a moment to give their money to the people, or rich people who know who they must give their money to and when. The Prime Minister’s Office showed its appreciation by repeatedly denying Right To Information (RTI) requests for details about the donors. Reason given: The Fund is not a public authority under the Act.  It is clear that public authorities under various Acts know that the right to information are confined to the givers of information, not the receivers.

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Item. Under the Constitution, education is in the concurrent list. That is, each State has the power to decide basic policies pertaining to education. But the new education policy announced by the Central Government is on the basis of the Centre being the ultimate authority on education policy.  As a result of this decision, all authority will now rest with a Council consisting of the Prime Minister, some Chief Ministers he nominates and some Central Government Officers, also nominated by him.  Not much imagination is required to guess the composition and policies of such a Council; it will implement the ruling party’s ideals and purposes across the country.  Are we seeing the beginnings of a new one history, one culture, one language, one religion approach to nation building?  What nation such a policy will build is clear. Only that it won’t be the nation we love and the world admires for its unity-in-diversity.  It will be a new unity-or-else nation led by a party’s policy enforcers.

We have more than 800 Universities in India today.  A new phase of corporatisation has begun; the Ambani-led Jio has been given the permissions needed to start India’s first Virtual University. The virtuous are things of past. The future belongs to the virtual.

9 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The virtuous out, the virtual in”

  1. SK says:

    The author seems to use the same language and thinking of urban naxals.
    PMCARES Got donations from people from all walks of life and author seems to be irritated with the folks who donated. We donate for a honest cause and to a honest personality or organisation whom we trust. It is none of your business. I have donated multiple times and my money is seven times washed white, the IT Dept knows it. If you feel enthu about the cause, you can also open a trust in the name of your favourite dynasty and collect money.
    Does the author have any comments on why a prev govt fund had a political party nominee as part of its decision making. Have not seen the author being concerned about it.
    As regards to it being audited, why should it be considered special? If somebody thinks it is a fraud and illegitimate trust lodge a police complaint and law will take its course.
    Supreme Court decides on matters as per law and provides verdict, it is not necessary that Prashanth Bhushan, George or any other UN likes it.
    Suggestion to the author – Being neutral and liberal earns u respect, one sided commentary will not.

  2. Sam says:

    Here are some facts about PM relief fund and PM cares fund.
    Prime Minister’s Relief Fund was established by Jawaharlal Nehru and a clause was put in its clause that this fund can be used only with the consent and signature of all the committee members.
    At the same time, surprisingly, Nehru also put the Congress Party President as a committee member in the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.Never imagined that his party would become a dismal minority and an icon of corruption! That is the reason why many did not want to contribute to PM relief fund as it would be like indirectly financing Vadra
    Now think when it is a government fund then why was the president of any political party made trustee of that fund?
    And even today, Modi government cannot spend money from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund even for genuine causes , without the signature or consent of Sonia Gandhi. It is such a frightening truth that in this Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, only a special political party president will be the member. Also indirectly congress president and PM from congress can operate it and transfer the money to a private fund like Rajiv Gandhi Fund! PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia transferred hundreds of crores without anybody questioning it . If somebody has to point out inappropriate dealing, that should be considered as the one which is immoral, corrupt and unethical dealing.
    Imagine if Modi or Amit shaw made himself a signatory to PM relief fund without whose permission and signature government cant use a fund even when they become a dismal minority? That is the present situation with PM relief fund!
    That is why Modi created a new fund to remove this fund from the clutches of Congress President i.e. Sonia Gandhi named “PM Care Fund” and all the trustees in this new fund are all government people.
    No political party president or member is involved in this. There is a Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Defense Minister and Home Minister among the trustees of PM Care, and even if the government changes in the future, then the government will be able to use this fund without any political interference.
    No matter how anti-Modi you are personally, but you have to believe that when it comes to the interest of the country, Modi ji works above party politics. Otherwise, they could have made the BJP president its member but they did not do it
    As far is Bhushan, he has defended all terrorists and anti-India forces . He has abused all judges, if the judgement is not to his liking, he hurls corruption charges and their private lives against them to intimidate them! What he is practicing is not freedom of speech but freedom to abuse.
    In my opinion, Bhushan should be asked to present a reliable proof for his charges! if he can not, his bar license should be cancelled! That is what happens to junior lawyers if they caught lying in the court and do not apologize!
    As far as George, he has made a career abusing and demonizing Hindus, India and his admiration to China and the liberals is indisputable! and he cant betray Congress as well!

  3. Sridhar says:

    @SK
    “Suggestion to the author – Being neutral and liberal earns u respect, one sided commentary will not’
    ‘Earning respect? .. for this writer?..you must be kidding.. Too late… that ship has sailed long long time ago!!! Like 5 decades ago!! Then only thing respectable that is left with is his age!

  4. Howdy Modi! says:

    George is a cerebral author. To understand his analysis requires sufficient brain cell count!

  5. Sridhar says:

    @Howdy Modi! – You mentally retarded old fart of an Asshole. If you could understand, even a donkey can understand! At least learn to shut up!

  6. Sunil says:

    @Howdy Modi! You are just an arrogant piece of human excreta with absolutely no brains or shame! You are such a disgrace to humanity that you know that already and have the necessity to hide under a fake name! I would jot say, get a life because It may be too late for you!

  7. Howdy Modi! says:

    @Sridhar and @ Sunil. My point is proved. You have no capacity to understand a well analysed article. George is an internationally acclaimed journalist, unlike the 2 unknowns like you.
    You 2 have very low brain cells count, and hence resort to foul language, and abuse. Your parents, who brought you 2 into this world should be ashamed of you.
    The SOM editor: Please do not allow these foul-mouthed posters to sully your otherwise good publication.

  8. Hello, hello! says:

    @Howdy Modi!
    Those 2 posters who use unacceptable abusive language, are well known for their intolerance and abusive cyber behaviour. It is not difficult to get their IP addresses in this age of technology, and report them to the Police Commissioner, Mysuru. They are a disgrace.
    Yes, the editor of this publication should have a zero tolerance policy towards such nasty characters.

  9. Howdy, Modi! says:

    @Hello, hello!
    I suspect at least one of [email protected] lives in the US, which makes you wonder what kind of person to have in that country of freedom, and tolerance. I will try to draw attention to his cyber abuse: I have a record of his past reply posts where he used abusive language, to the Homeland Security, who do not like US residents to resort to Cyber abuse. I reported him to the police authorities in Mysuru too.
    The SOM who employ George as a columnist do so ,because, he is a well known syndicated columnist, respected for his incisive analysis, and is often referenced. Let us give credit to Vikram the current SOM editor and his father Ganapathy for their continued use of George.

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