Elitism parading as virtue

Ratan Tata unveiling the Nano

That’s Ratan Tata towering over Rs.1 lakh car ($2,500 ) – the Nano – launched yesterday, when the whole world sat up and took notice.  Amidst the ooh’s and ah’s, there were quite a bit of `how could Tata do this’ gripes from the burgeoisie.  Even as management guru C.K.Prahlad marveled at Indian engineering feat and called it a leap into future, the neo-elites were soon to forecast clogging of roads, parking nightmares, pollution etc., etc. Here’s Swaminathan Aiyar giving it back.

“Sanctimonious greens call the Nano disastrous because of its affordability— millions more will now clog roads and consume more fossil fuel. This is elitism parading as virtue. Elite greens own cars, but cannot stand the poorer masses becoming mobile, since the consequent congestion will eat into the time of the elite!”

I would rather this family switch to Nano soon and be safe. They get ported on this Rs.45k ($1,125) motor cycle, just because that guy in the saddle finds a small car costing not less than $7,000 way too expensive.

So, what would you call those who bemoan the Nano…?  Neo-Elitists or Pseudo activists..?  If Nano would cause traffic problem, it’s because the roads are narrow.  Go, widen them.  Add on flyovers.  But don’t halt the Nano.  It offers many a happy family a comfortable, safe ride.  And for people like me, enormous peace of mind when we see them inside the Nano, even as I am held up in a traffic snarl for a few more minutes with Nanos all around… I am ok with that !



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