Sunday, July 19, 2009

Going ga ga over Nandan Nilekani

Avid newspaper readers might have noticed the unusual hype that is being created in most Delhi-based English papers ever since Nandan Nilekani has assumed charge of the Unique Identification Authority, a union government's project.

Not a day passes without Nilekani's photograph or stories about his style of working. It was understandable in the initial days but weeks after the decision came, Nilekani remains in the spotlight.

Among the other newspapers, Indian Express has clearly gone overboard. Day after day the reports tell the 'laymen' (readers) as if its a revolutionary change and Nilekani will do wonders. Photos of the techie in various moods keep getting published every other day.

It's true that he is an eminent software professional and was CEO of Infosys. But the project appears a fantasy. Anybody who is aware of ground realities knows that in a country where millions are homeless and tens of millions keep changing rented homes apart from nomads and destitute, it's a near impossible task to give unique identity numbers of every citizens.

Our bureaucratic setup makes it almost impossible for the poor and the lower middle class citizen to get his due rights and privileges. However, even if Nilekani is the best man to do such a colossal exercise, shouldn't we let him do work before we keep eulogising him for nothing?

Is it a PR exercise or the newspapers are simply making a fool of themselves by going to absurd lengths to promote and project him. I doubt that a person like him would want to have such publicity (for no reason), as it may also bring expectations that might be difficult to fulfil.


Anitha said...

True. But, for a change, let a techie have his day,instead of a movie star...

Arsh said...

Well we are aware of the media's obsession with the infosys honchos.Its a fact that they do pay the media huge sums of goodwill money to carry their pics and baseless stories.Otherwise also media does not really have any heart to the real issues to be addressed.They have Rakhi Sawant,Dawood Ibrahim,Sex scandals,bollywood affairs and shit.Its very sad to see the media stooping to such low levels of breaking news.

Holds A Sharp Pen said...

There is a documentary by Aaron Russo called America-Freedom To Fascism that talks about among other things the potential repercussions of the national ID system in terms of how you shall lose complete privacy the same way it has become with cell numbers and credit card calls. Not only that, there is a general bias towards the way IT companies are eulogized in India. One should realize that if they were to hire foreigners in France they cannot be employed for more than 35 hrs a week, and here in India these employees end up working more than 60 hrs a week! And what do they get paid in return? Peanuts!!

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