Friday, January 11, 2008

Egg on your face-blah!

The noos channels and dailies are flooded with noos of the much awaited Tata eklakhiya car. The car, I must say looks very impressive, specially if you consider the price it's being rolled out for. Being somebody who's always taken a keen interest in tech-talks and one who aspires to be a part of the tech world in a couple of years, I cannot but feel the excitement at the Tatas having done something that is worth every bit of the attention. Specifically because this lives up to the motto of technology, and science in general, of bringing the privileges of a handful to the millions.

But, I also see, and foresee, a muted, almost furtive propaganda by segments of the media and political/business honchos of making this success(strictly technological) look like a win over the activists who had been rallying against the land acquisitions in Singur. There will be attempts to make the protesting people look like asses with no foresight whatsoever and egg on their faces.

And here, I have a couple of points to make.
One. The Tata eklakhiya car project is absolutely brilliant. Hats off to their perseverance!
Two. The Singur land acquisitions were illegal and inhuman. The Marxist mask turned transparent as the ruthless, power-lusty reality shone through.

The Singur incident could have involved any other company. It's only incidental that the Tata eklakhiya car factory was to come up there. What happened in the name of land acquisition was a classic example of putting the cart before the horse, with absolutely no planning whatsoever on the part of the government. People were rendered homeless, jobless.

There must be a million papers on how integrally paddy cultivation is related to the life and society of the farmers in India. Making car factory labourers out of farmers cannot be made to look any better than it is. It's plain pathetic. I doubt there might be any Bengalis here who hasn't read Mohesh (Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay). The story basically talks about how Gofur is converted from a farmer to a human resource, a labourer to an industrial world. The implications of such a conversion are not only economic. And I am sure most people out there, taking decisions, know this a lot better than I do. And there in lies the grotesque tragedy.

Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with the Tatas! Or the car project. It would be stupid to look at the car as a victory against the evil forces of Bhoomiuchhed Rokkha Committee, or Mamata Banerjee, or the anti-SEZ activists. It means so much more than that, really.


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  2. yes, like more pollution, more road blocks, traffic jam and soaring tempers on the streets of the city...

    sorry for the cynicism, but i cannot see what's so wonderful about a car that costs as much as bikes...not when the traffic control system of this three hundred years old city (with hardly any new roads to speak of) is facing a complete and chaotic collapse