Ramu Ramanathan: Nine tasks for print to reap benefits in spite of Covid crisis

The second wave of the Coronavirus is here. With India’s official death toll now at m ore than 1,65,000, the five-fold strategy (testing, tracing, treatment, Covid- appropriate behaviour and vaccination) is an effective way to fight the global pandemic. Meanwhile, the print industry is worried about its future. My nine-step plan for print in 2021 (with apologies to one and all):

17 May 2021 | By PrintWeek Team

Ramanathan: We are no longer human beings in our current status. All of us have become a battery; either positive or negative

1. Introduce a print vaccine that makes you immune to the Deadly Digital Disease (DDD). Make it compulsory through a print app. Totally 10 billion devices are interconnected around the world. Ensure 10 billion print apps are downloaded. Save the planet from DDD.

2. Introduce a print passport. Anyone who wants to travel (as and when we can) to a country should know about one master printer from that country. So, Gutenberg if you travel to Germany; Caxton if you travel to the UK; Kodak scientists if you travel to the US where the team discovered the world’s first colour scanner for film; and Alois Senefelder if you travel to Munich.

3. Request an AI scientist to create a superior form of intelligence software that verifies fake news and false views. Every time a human being opens its human mouth, and lies and indulges in falsehood, that human has to compulsorily print a four-colour book that prints the truth. Imagine the amount of money the print industry can make from trolls, bots and spammers! Trillions!

4. Start a Print IPL. Request president of BCCI to inaugurate the tournament. We can have AIFMP XI, AIPIMA XI, IPMA XI, IPAMA XI, INS XI, ICCMA XI, MCMA XI, and so on. That way our ink- on-everything industry will be united, finally.

5. Initiate a Bureau of Print Names. Since there is a paucity of names on our planet, print CEOs can provide these services. Future children can have names such as Drip Off, Moire, Grain Direction; twins can be called Softcover and Hardcover.

6. Like Netflix... start Printflix. Instead of mafia films and cuckolded husbands, the most popular blockbuster will be a cutting-edge web series – The World According to a Dot. Or a crime thriller – Mystery of the Missing Pixel; or a health show – How to Get Your Grey Balance Test, Today.

7. As per FSSAI guidelines, the eCommerce brown boxes that deliver all our items should have a message printed on the empty patches. Messages such as: “If something is free, you’re not the customer; you’re the product. And Google knows more about what you’re thinking of than your wife!”

8. One day, all the computers around the world will fail – all at once. Will print be the planet’s Plan B?

9. And finally, hire Prashant Kishore to campaign for print. Point #1 on his manifesto: instead of CSR, he should make it CPR (Corporate Print Responsibility).

Please note: This editorial has been jotted down in good humour. If you are offended, I apologise to all the halftones in your body.