As I received the news of young Greta getting booked under Sections 120B and 153-A of the Indian Penal Code (OPC) for her faux pas of forwarding without reading, my legal and academic bone were tickled more than my liberal one, as the Greta that I was made to know of is not a young human child but a manufactured, curated and well-positioned brand sold as a child, that too with Asperger’s syndrome.
As Indian law obviously doesn’t permit minors to be booked under the above sections, and as I know that Indian police knows its assigned job well enough, my first reaction was to check for the age of this child prodigy.
Lo and behold! The Delhi police have got it spot on, as on the 4rth January this year, the real Greta has earned the honor of being a subject of law in both India as well as Sweden (one of the few nations we have extradition arrangements, and not a treaty, with)
As a pragmatic man, I don’t have any interest in the real Greta and her opinion, and as a brown third-world citizen, in the legal possibility of her get hauled up and put before an Indian court under the extradition arrangement, but as an academic interested in large man-made systems, the Brand-Greta is obviously a great success story and a marketing phenomenon that I am keenly looking out for.
Brand-Greta is surely not a mediocre brand manager’s half-thought product, as she has far too many boxes ticked just right for a human being to manage naturally and that can be sustained without grooming and careful management. So, in all probabilities she is picked up and placed on the world stage by some really smart marketing person/s, but it is clear that from the 4rth of this year onwards, they have a really interesting problem at hand.
The school girl Greta that was placed in the headlines across the world was a innocent little child. We the adults obviously saw her to be a cute naïve little girl who didn’t understand the bad-bad world of us crooked and selfish adults as she expressed her innocent wish of having a clean climate.
We were sold out because she spoke her mind out and also did what children do when angry. She threw tantrums and reprimanded us in just and justified anger by screaming “How dare you?”. She won our hearts by being a child and we all know, even our laws know that a child can have no motive or an agenda.
So, the Brand-Greta was all about a child, and as it happens with most child artists and prodigies, it is a risky brand strategy as it comes with an expiry date that has come in case of our little girl on 3rd January this year.
It may not get apparent immediately, but Brand-Greta will start having problems as we have seen in case of the faux pas of the uploading of the toolkit. The toolkit episode may be turned as an advantage by the managers of Brand-Greta at this point but soon it will be hard to pull the child brand through, more so when the real adult will start breaking out and offer unadulterated opinions that keep the media managers mopping after her constantly.
As my sympathies are with the managers of Brand-Greta, I have a selfish personal idea for them to ponder over, and that is to now bring forth the other subluminal feature they were using but only as a byline, and that is the Asperger’s syndrome she is diagnosed with.
I have always felt a great need to bring forth this brain-state that may be far more prevalent than diagnosed, especially because it may have contributed hugely to the advancement the humanity without getting due recognition and consideration.
People with Asperger’s syndrome technically belong to autism spectrum but they often come with really high intelligence that becomes even more intense and critical because, due to having autistic brains,
Aspies, being autists, are not really world-wise as they can’t innately understand humans like “normal” humans. This often results in Aspies to be highly informed and logical and also inconsiderate about how humans feel as depicted in case of Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory sitcom.
Aspies are thus an asset when it comes to observing a phenomenon unemotionally and having an honest agenda-free opinion. When it comes to scientific subjects, Aspies have an upper hand because of the very nature of their brain and hence it is now seriously considered that great scientists like Newton and Einstein “suffered” from this mental “problem”.
As Greta is diagnosed with Asperger’s, the Brand-Greta manager have a great to gain in focusing on Asperger’s to reposition her, as an Aspie is also just as child-like and agenda-free.
Though an aging Brand-Greta will not be able to sustain the same charm that a young cute school girl has, she can still continue her climate-crusade, and also become a much-needed mascot for Asperger’s.
While the real climate change needs to be reversed by humanity, there is also a equally great need of a climate change in how we look at differently-brained humans too.
We now know that autism is branded negatively because of our lack of understanding and it needs to be reversed for the sake of millions (if not billions) of humans. The aging Greta can be a great brand ambassador for this equally grand purpose.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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