News reports in the Indian press regarding cars are not very relevant from the point of view of the common man.
We read all about the fleet of cars that prominent Bollywood personalities like Amitabh Bachchan own. We are told all the details about their three Mercedes benzes. We also get to read that each tire of the Lexus that is also in the fleet, costs 2.5 lakhs.
We read about scams involving high- profile people in which cars are involved. Mr. Ashok Malhotra, a Delhi Assembly canteen vendor was arrested a couple of years ago. He was in possession of 17 luxury cars and six motorcycles with VIP number plates. He insisted that he was fond of collecting luxury cars and VIP number plates, and that this was not a crime.
After being used to reading about vulgar display of wealth through luxury cars, it was heartening to read about the launch of ‘the affordable car’- the Nano, yesterday.
The event comes six years after group Chairman Ratan N Tata promised Indian consumers an affordable, all-weather vehicle.It has not been an easy journey for the Nano.
Originally the Nano project was to be located at Singur, in West Bengal, but had to pull out because of the continued agitation spearheaded by Trinamool Congress Chief, Mamata Banerjee.
Election politics being what it is in India, “The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is hoping to cash in on what it calls resentment among people, at the Tatas being forced to wind up the project here in Hooghly district, due to sustained protests by farmers, allied to the Trinamool Congress.”
Mr Tata said: “I feel a great sense of fulfilment today. From the drawing board to its commercial launch, the concept, development and production of the car has overcome several challenges. I hope it will provide safe, affordable, four-wheel transportation to families who till now have not been able to own a car.”
But for Tata Motor’s Nano, Singur is in the past, left behind.Until the factory at Sanand, in Gujarat, is completed, the Nano cars will be manufactured at the Tatas’ factory at Pantnagar.
“A Promise is a promise.“said Ratan Tata while unveiling the People’s Car, Tata Nano, at its commercial launch in Mumbai yesterday.
By enabling those who could not have previously afforded a car, to own one,the Nano is expected “to redefine personal transportation in India.“