[Reader-list] Fwd: Turtles, Tatas and Reva

radhikarajen at vsnl.net radhikarajen at vsnl.net
Wed Apr 23 14:04:20 IST 2008


     Tapas, your thoughts gave me real time to use my grey cells. It also made me aware of the citizens and their perception of the growing Ondia, bursting at seams with population,  and more importantly the cities and their rapid growth with citizens deprived of their earning by farms, agriculture, artisan works, moving to hope with greener pastures of better earning chances of cities.

 To illustrate, I came across a farmer who had about 8 acres of land in the Devanahalii, now taken over by KIADB for the "international airport, at a throw away price, seeking job in Bangalore as construction worker in any job.! When I asked him what did he do with his compensation, the answer was more perplexing and he said, part of it went to his lawyers to fight for his land, part went as bribes to get his efforts to regain land, whatever left was used for marrying his daughters in simple weddings and now with no land and no other skills in life with his village life, he is In Bangalore ready to work any job with any MNCs even as attender for meagre 2000/-, then one MNC has taken him as gardner, providing him food from canteen of MNC and work of gardening in the manicured , landscaped garden.!

  As to Reva, it made me admire at the technology, but with cities suffering from acute power shortage, charging the batteries is big task as my neighbour finds it.! 
  Yours faithfully, purchased a two wheeler Honda activa, but was disgusted at the way the workers at the plant were beaten up in their peaceful protest for better working conditions, by the connivance of the "General manager" of the factory with strong political connections, his father being the CM of the state, it was my conscious that made me opt for humble bicycle with gears at a cost of  4800/-, be happy with it. No doubt the activa was better in mileage and comfort but at what cost to my fellow citizens and farmers who have given up lands for the factories. ?

   It makes me wonder at the barons of industry as to why can they not start their factory away from the cities in undeveloped areas, barren ones and make those areas good for human habitation, give opportunities for the citizens to earn the livelihood with grace and dignity, like the Mitapur which came up with Tata Chemicals, like the Jamshedpur which came up with its own school, colony in earlier generation of the tatas. ? Why this craving for Singur which is the outskirts of Kolkatta. ?

  With farmers gone modern with modern methods of farming wheat in Punjab, now the same farmers using excess of chemical fertilisers have made their lands useless, are willing to sell and migrate to Canada, even illegally.! 
The lopsided policies and lack of vision in the governance has made all inclusive growth only a slogan of exploitation,?

  First it was Garibi hatao, and garib got hataod, not garibi, then it was dalit welfare and quotas and the dalit shifted the base to regional setups,India shined so bright that the real work at ground level was ignored and now it is India burning because of the overshine rubbing friction between divided citizens of India on caste, region and faith. ?

----- Original Message -----
From: Tapas Ray <tapasrayx at gmail.com>
Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 8:03 pm
Subject: [Reader-list] Fwd:  Turtles, Tatas and Reva
To: sarai list <reader-list at sarai.net>

> I had sent this only to Shuddha by clicking 'Reply'. Should have
> clicked 'Reply All'.
> Tapas
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Tapas Ray <tapasrayx at gmail.com>
> Date: 22 Apr 2008 08:35
> Subject: Re: [Reader-list] Turtles, Tatas and Reva
> To: Shuddhabrata Sengupta <shuddha at sarai.net>
> Aman, Sonia, Shuddha, Radhika and others,
> Aman is spot on. An electric car simply shifts the point of pollution
> from the car exhaust to the power plant. It does nothing to reduce our
> dependence on energy. In fact, by looking like a "green alternative",
> it probably encourages well-meaning people to use more energy.
> Interested parties can then make huge profits building and operating
> nuclear and hydrocarbon-based power plants, large river dams, etc.,
> with various environmental consequences, of which we are probably only
> partially aware. And of course, Country A invades Country B to
> "promote democracy", and arms manufacturers have a field day.
> One could argue on these lines for other areas of life, too, such as
> health care. It relies, very profitably for the pharmaceuticals
> industry, on an unimaginably large and rapidly expanding variety of
> complex drugs, each with its own set of negative consequences ("side
> effects"), which have to be dealt with through the use of other drugs,
> which in turn have their own side effects, and so on. And then there
> are the space-age technologies being used in diagnostics and treatment
> - again very profitably for their manufacturers and with some negative
> consequences for the patient's health. Apart from other things, this
> approach to health care puts it beyond the reach of the vast majority
> of people in these times of market-driven life.
> The same goes for agriculture. As Vandana Shiva has shown, the
> technology and profit-driven Green Revolution led to various extremely
> negative consequences and in fact contributed to the bloodbath we saw
> for several years in Punjab not so long ago.
> The answer probably has to be "low-tech". In transport, as Aman
> points out, it means bicycles, rickshaws, etc., and good old walking.
> Also public transport that relies on renewable and non-polluting
> energy sources. But changes like these entail deep-going changes in
> other areas. As Shuddha notes, it means a different kind of plan for
> cities. In the USA, for instance, the growth of spread-out suburbia
> and exurbia has to do with the car industry.
> Therefore, such changes would mean reversing the developmentalism we
> have bought into so enthusiastically, and confronting corporate
> interests. The trouble is, the force that once claimed such
> confrontations as its raison d'etre - the Left - is as much enamoured
> of this developmentalism, and has bought such a comfortable peace with
> these corporate interests, that there is no force of any consequence
> willing or able to work for the changes we need. It's probably 
> upto us
> to create such a force.
> Just my two-bit.
> Tapas
> Shuddhabrata Sengupta wrote:
> > Dear Aman,
> >
> > You wrote - "Our utopian city should not be one full of REVAs, 
> and it  should not
> > be one full of Nanos either .. it should ideally be full of 
> bicycles  and public transport ..and roads designed for cyclists 
> and rickshaw  pullers rather than automobile users - perhaps the 
> ideal vehicle  could be a cross between the Nano and Reva - small, 
> cheap and non- polluting.We could call it the Never"
> >
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