Apropos of Barkha Dutt’s article India driving (January 12), Tata’s small car will undoubtedly create a huge demand among the Indian middle-class, as it is safer than transporting the whole family on a two-wheeler. While it is a compliment to engineering skills and inventive minds, the Tatas may not be able to meet the demand the car is likely to have, even during the first five years of its commercial production. And the company may be forced to increase prices within the first year of production.
Ved Guliani, Hissar
I agree with Barkha Dutt’s question: “Is the resistance to the Nano in fact a resistance to the democratisation of resources that once separated the rich from the poor?” The privileged India of yore faces a new challenge from the teeming masses it was once comfortable lording over. Small towns, big dreams and the beginning of the end of India shaped only by the privileged few, that is the real story of Nano.
M Sampathkumar, via e-mail
Criticism for the sake of criticism is uncalled for. Let us assemble on one stage and say, yes, Tata has made it, instead of calling it a ‘peon’s car’, which implies all middle-class people are peons in the eyes of the upper-class.
GK Arora, Delhi
The cute Nano is an excellent example of idea, commitment, and innovation. Every success has to bear some criticism, but taken in the form of a challenge, the results are always fruitful. The condition of our roads and traffic is also man-made and with genuine effort we can make them better.
Harish Benjwal, Delhi
The unveiling of Nano was a proud moment not only for Ratan Tata but also for many Indians. The Nano will definitely bring about a revolution not just in India, but across the world, redefining social landscapes like never before. Organisations could start staggering work hours to improve road usage which is packed only for 4-5 hours a day. This could lead to business districts spread away from city centres. Nano may just be the right catalyst for such changes.
Chandru Badrinarayanan, Mumbai
Honour the honourable
Sagarika Ghose in Jewel thieves (January 18) rightly asserts that entitlement rather than achievement governs the Indian awards system. Most recipients awarded on Teachers’ Day are principals who rarely step into a classroom. But she goes overboard while batting for a Bharat Ratna for Sachin Tendulkar. While he may be appropriate to be considered for the Bharat Ratna, it is not the only award the State confers on distinguished citizens outside politics.
JM Manchanda, via e-mail
It is a shame that someone like the master blaster has failed to receive the Bharat Ratna, an honour he deserves. He has worked harder than most MPs in Parliament.
Maanya Gupta, Delhi
The names of several politicians are being proposed for the Bharat Ratna everyday by political parties. It should only be given to citizens who have done India proud. Since it recognises the highest degree of national service, which includes scientific, artistic and literary achievements, people like A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Narayana Murthy, Ratan Tata and E. Sreedharan should be considered.
Sanjay Arora, Delhi
The dragon’s breath
The editorial Chinese toys (January 16) correctly points out that although India should continue to develop its economic ties with China, it would be naive to expect the Chinese to really become bhai-bhai. It will be a grave mistake to become emotional about the slogan Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai. We must remember that China has supported Pakistan for the last 40 years.
Vivek Priyadarshan, Allahabad
Badges of honour
India’s armed forces have grappled with a shortage of officers for more than ten years. The NDA has more than one-third seats vacant, and it is twice that at the IMA. The government must acknowledge how little it has done for those who have given their lives for the country and how the services are pushed down the protocol ladder. Pay, perks and promotions alone won’t enthuse many young officers who could save us from another Kargil.
Raghubir Singh, Pune
There is no scarcity of young people aspiring for a career in the defence forces, as the number of youngsters appearing in the NDA and CDS exams show. The problem lies in the system and its Services Selection Board and medical examinations. Without state-of-the-art medical examination techniques, very few finalists are selected. Sainik schools, military schools and RIMC churn out thousands of worthy officer-like students every year, but they are ignored after medical examinations.
Gaurav Shukla, via e-mail