nano ki amma

I guess, there may be other incentives/subsidies/dole-outs to make the "cheapest" car of the world - but I am not aware of those...
i'm over forty and i've a dirty memory:

back in the good old days, when you wanted to build a factory that made cars you had to stick to the strictest regulations. for instance, check regulation 00.00.01: the promoter should be the prime minister's son. and if you wanted to find land for the factory, no rules were bent for you. the chief minister of state x would himself look into the whole issue and personally deliver all papers and land to amma's office (i.e., your back office) within 7 working days (or six of your fun filled nights). back in the good old days, babus (and amma's chamchas) really worked.

compensation and rehabilitation used to be such clean, transparent arrangements: all points of contention so thoroughly discussed, deliberated and resolved by all parties concerned (you, your amma and amma's best chamcha, the chief minister) that the media could walk right past the process and see nothing. and neither could the people being compensated and rehabilitated (nor could you, actually, because nothing came out of your pocket). it used to be such a pleasure developing people in those days.

and finances weren't so easily available as they are now: the government was much more vigilant, the capital market more tightly regulated and the banks much more cautious. so you had to wait a long 24 or 48 hours after you'd identified your plot of land for the bankers to turn up, pitch their tents right inside your plot and gingerly fish out the millions you will one day not have to account for. your friendly, neighbourhood rbi governor did all the adding up later.

just because you were the only person in the country who could build a people's car didn't mean you'd get some special treatment from the government as the only person in the country who could build a people's car. you were treated just as normally as any other only person in the country who could build a people's car. but still people weren't prepared to wait (for a mere half a decade after they'd lent you money) for you to build the car. did the banias who'd lent shah jehan money to build the people's tomb for his wife pester him to return their deposits? no. they waited twenty two years for it to materialize and turn into the biggest tourist moneyspinner in the country (a couple of hundred years later). but some people couldn't wait for a mere half a decade ( and a decade)- could you honestly accuse amma of trying her best to help her son build the biggest, small people's tomb...er.. car? but some people did (good that amma retained some of the good governance practices from shah jehan's age to deal with such disgruntled people).

everything was done according to the letter of the law and nothing was disclosed even to the top brass (who knows? they might've wanted to play favourites considering you were the only person in the country who could build a people's car) in the government- that's how you build the people's confidence in industry, government and the whole process of development: by keeping everything confidential.

but the media still sniffed up foul play. what can you expect of some folks who do not understand the difference between business and government? business exploits, government takes care to see that no one is exploited. you'd exploit, even if you were the only person in the country who could build a people's car, so the government takes every care to see that your amma herself heads the government. if the government can't do business, it's best that its family and friends do it. that way, you can stand up straight if anyone ever accuses you of foul play and send them to jail. that's socialism folks, where no one's exploited and everyone shares the fruits of development equally- whether you're the only person in the country who can build a people's car or his amma or her best chamchas. and you don't even have to wait for any people's cars to be built for that to happen.


Anonymous said...

nice rant, Kufr!
but what is your point???nvkxgnc

Anonymous said...

are you trying to prove that if this kind of illegality/ corruption was Ok in "socialist" era, then it is also quite Ok for the "capitalists" in the conemporary India?... I mean, we can give a waiver to today's corruption, simply because we gave a waiver to corruption 2 decades back??

kuffir said...

anon 1,

i'm sorry that you don't see the point/s.

anon 2,

corruption isn't the whole point- it is only a minor part of it.

who could've stopped sanjay gandhi's car? no one but sanjay gandhi himself. now, the people of singur (and not even all of them) have managed to stop the nano project. what does that mean? it means the process has more democratic now: the people of singur (or any other village) do have a say, however tenuous and minor, in the making of decisions that affect their lives.

who made the decisions about sanjay gandhi's dream project? a small part, a clique, of the government in delhi. and who made most of the decisions about the nano project? mostly, the west bengal government in kolkata. the process has been decentralized to more than a minor extent but still it hasn't reached singur (the villge). so the current agitation/movement in singur represents an articulation of the people's desire to regain control over their lives, broadly.

development, that has democratic acceptance is always cheaper.

Anonymous said...

but then... why this "brahmanized angst" as a label?
are you trying to say something more?...
or have you removed something from the post?
- anon2

kuffir said...

anon 2,

why 'brahminized angst'? you could perhaps read other posts in the category to understand why. i am thinking of doing a post on it. thanks for your comments.

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