My mom called a couple of days ago and asked me how the situation was in Kolkata. Was about to brief her on the developments since last week, when she cut me short with, “I heard some people created trouble at the Tata showroom.”
I don’t blame the news editors of the Kannada paper my mom read. It wasn’t their fault that the national media and the English-language newspapers in Kolkata did a good job of mellowing down the Singur protest. They were only rivalled by a very impotent Congress in their phenomenal ignoring of the issue. Delhi, after all, is the bigger picture/pocket.
By last Monday, most of the media here were quite sure that the gift was ready to be delivered, wrapped with shiny barbed wire and all.
Never mind that fear-stricken farmers were fleeing their home and their land. Never mind that even as I key this in, Section 144 still remains clamped on ‘normal’ Singur. Also, never mind that Medha Patkar was prevented from entering Presidency College to address a gathering of students day before yesterday, forget Singur and the farmers yaar.
Oh, and by the way there was no mention at all in the TOI/The Telegraph/The Statesman of the huge rally that Patkar addressed in Haldia. Don’t know about the rest.
All for cars. Cars for all? I wonder if the Rs 1 lakh cars made this way will be distributed via the PDS. Because, I hear, on each car Tata will make a loss of Rs 16,000.
And yes, please pick up a copy of this week’s Business World if you can. I excerpt the last two paragraphs from a column a guy writes under a pseudo name Emcee. He’s usually good, but this week, he’s even better:
OK, for those of you who are really dull and have no regard for Marxist theory, here’s a simple reason why we want to locate the Tata plant in Singur: the local MLA is from the Opposition, so it doesn’t really matter if we lose votes there.
And of course, we want industries to come and set up shop in the state. Why would you want a communist party for that? You have a point there, so let me tell you a secret — we will soon change our party’s name to the Capitalist Party of India (Miltonfriedmanist). But don’t worry — it will still be the CPI(M).
Lal salaam to Comrade Tata