Straight Angle™: TATA, Nano, West and everything
Sunday, January 13, 2008
At last, as promised, the Nano is finally here [I thought Nano is a copyrighted word by Apple ;)], and as expected, there are loads of articles, views, counter-views, concerns, delight and a mixture of all emotions all over the Blogosphere. However, most of the opinion pieces seem to be concerned about the climate and pollution related arguments-notice Friedman pointing to the gridlocked cities, pollution and others- but he seldom talks about the safety issue- not to cast aspersions about the safety of Nano- but here, I see a conflict of interest in what Tom wants Indians to do and what he and his countrymen are doing at their backyards!- I see this concern predominantly raising because of the price of Oil and the Western concerns that India and China are not helping their cause by putting more people on road and thus increasing the demand and the price of Oil.
It is indeed ironic that Americans start lecturing about wasting and about mass transit system- if you have waited for a train- New Jersey Transit especially- you would know what I mean- Mumbai trains are far more efficient in their operations than NJT- here the trains are delayed even for a slight rain/snow- I have seen trains in Mumbai run-expect when the entire city is sinking- so much for American Efficiency.
Isn't it exactly because the Oil is getting pricier and that Americans are feeling the pinch of it, they are asking others to cut down on their consumption? I see articles that say, Nano is no more powerful than a Lawn mower- now, do you use such powerful engines to mow your lawns? Friedman also goes on to say, Govt should tax the car like "crazy" untill there is a mass transit system in place- would he bother to mind his own business? Why wouldn't US Govt do the same?
He goes on to say,
Last week, I was driving through downtown Hyderabad and passed the dedication of a new overpass that had taken two years to build.He could have done his bit by taking a bus rather than driving around in Downtown Hyderabad- ofcourse, Mass Transit is still not in place- may be his car rental should have been fixed like crazy- atleast he would have had an opportunity to lead by example. Is there a city in US, with a decent Public Transportation except some really big ones like NYC, Atlanta, etc?
There are lots of western intellectuals that think the entire world in terms of Western definitions of needs, wants, aspirations and situations. They seldom understand or care to understand the local problems and local needs- say for ex, there are a lot of comments being made about the Safety and the quality of Nano- but seldom do they understand that the safety standards applicable to West aren't the ones that are even needed for other cultures and nations. Its high time they understand the context of local developments than trying to fit in everything in a Western Context!
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