“Affordable,” you will put it? “Yeah, cute,” others might say! “Wow,” girls would gaze. Common man, however, has to still dream about it.
When Tata Motors unveiled Nano at the 9th Auto Expo in New Delhi, journalists, onlookers and Tata fans were there. In fact, television channels in Europe and the UK telecast the event live. Needless to add that Indian TV channels’ self-claimed auto experts made it a near-stampede launch. Watch Unveiling of the Car.
I was, however, not amused… thinking of the farmers of Singur. The Tatas have built the Nano car factory on the farmers’ land at Singur in India’s eastern state of West Bengal. It is painful.
Soon, there would be hundreds of thousands of these small cars on the roads. But, not even one such car owner would be told stories of Singur, with the car factory having been set up on farmers’ blood. Read About Singur.
Let Ratan Tata, heading the tea-to-steel group, compare Nano as a landmark in the history of transportation. But I have some serious questions which deserve honest answers –
“Whether Nano is a step forward for Indian middle class or a step back in reducing global carbon emissions? Is Nano a small revolution or more pollution? Will Nano change the Indian auto industry in the coming days? Will customers get Nano at the promised price when it is launched in the festive period later in 2008? Will the Indian streets be the same again? Will the small car be used in the highway, as it only has a 623 cc engine? Is the Nano really a car or an auto rickshaw with the engine at the back? Is Nano capable enough to overtake any vehicle on road except cycle or loaded commercial vehicles?”