Ratan Tata and his team at TATA motors had made India proud with the "World's Cheapest Car" - a disruptive innovation that has the potential to change the face of Global automotive industry. But Indian environmentalists like Sunita Narain are calling the government to tax the car "like crazy" and make sure that the car becomes economically nonviable. [Read the news here]. My first reaction to these news snippets is to question the Indianess of these environmentalists. Can't they see that TATA motors is giving wings to dreams of hundreds of Indians who want to own a car in their lifetime?. Can't see that Cars symbolizes an additional form of mobility and freedom to a lot of Indians. Yeah! Environmentalists have a point in raising the issue of lack of proper mass transit system in most cities in India. But Can't they see that the various benefits of TATA Nano like placing TATA & India in the global automotive map, its export potential, etc. outweighs the costs?
In an rediff article, Mritiunjoy Mohanty, Assistant Professor of IIM Calcutta has come in support of TATA Motors and explains(correctly) why criticizing Rs. 1 lakh car is wrong?
Disclaimer: I have never been a great supporter of Environmental concerns. Rather than supporting environmental issues blindly, I prefer a "Cost-Benefit Analysis" approach to issues raised by environmentalists.