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Friday, October 3, 2008

Nano says - Tata, Bye Bye - to Singur & Mamata

It was sad to see Tata decided to move out of Singur. When I wrote about their rhetoric, last month, I thought that the bad politics will stop for the sake of development of state. Like an average Indian, I expected that good sense prevails and Mamta and her Trinamool brigade will agree to the compromise formula. In the end, it was a loss inflicted by pea brained politicians on this investor unfriendly state of India.

The Chairman of Tata Group, Ratan Tata today announced their exit from Singur. Tata’s said, that the decision was taken with lot of pain. I don’t doubt them, when they said that the well being of their workers is of paramount interest for them. They definitely can not run a plant with police protection.

The West Bengal government washed its hands by blaming Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress as the spoil sports. The government was right in its assessment that the people of Singur are worst effected and will be the real losers. Future Generations of Singur will suffer from the bad politics that created the nuisance over the past few months.

While what is right and what is wrong in the Nano & Singur episode is debatable, I do not completely agree with the argument that Tata’s were given too many sops and too much attention in setting up the Nano project at Singur. Couple of articles on the net listed down the huge monetary gains that Tata’s would get from Singur deal. All these articles ignored the basic premise that Tata’s are in business and business decisions are made with a profit motive. The utopian articles and their writers are definitely waiting for some philanthropists and donors who would come down to Singur to uplift the lives of the locales there. Good luck to them.

Apparently, Singur has few takers. But Tata’s have many takers. Narendra Modi is ready to take them at Mundra in Gujarat. Mundra has a port nearby and is best suited for Nano. Maharashtra and Karnataka are ready with competing offers. Dharwad was another likely choice.

While Tata’s sit down to make a decision on their new location, our leader Mamta Banerjee laments that, “Our agitation was peaceful, then why Tata’s pulling out? Definitely, the pull-out was conspiracy between Tata and Govt”. As Tata’s pack and move out of Singur, Mamta is watching the trucks leaving Singur. Hope, she reads the message written on the back of the trucks:

Buri Nazar Wale Tera Muh Kaala!

(for the un-initiated, that was the famous caption written on the back of most of the Indian trucks. It’s a warning that the truck smoke will blacken the faces of the non vigilant... it also means that, if you wish evil for others, the same happens for you!)

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