Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nano or No No!

The vision of Ratan Tata was driven with a pure business point of view-to identify a potential market segment and then to cash on the opportunity. I don’t think they can package it as a 'Social vision' for too long. I appreciate the effort and the dynamism with which the product was designed and manufactured with 34 patents to its credit. Kudos to Ratan Tata and his team.
In the wake of ever increasing pollution and carbon emissions doing irreparable damage to the atmosphere and the Antarctic circle, with temperatures recording an all time high and the well balanced eco systems now in grave danger of their sustainability we cant go ahead with manufacturing products that will jeopardize all efforts to save the environment and add to the ever increasing space crunch.
What would have earned more patents to the Tata Team (and their energies better spent) would have been designing better systems of public transport and coming up with technology which uses non fossil fuels. This is what Dr. Rajendra Pachauri meant when he said that we have all the technology right now to start using it to circumvent the climate change. It’s about time we started doing that.

Yes people are the centre of the problem and thus the mind set that sees owning cars as a status symbol and traveling by public transport as a shameful activity. Yes I agree that has got a lot to with the shape in which the public transport is right now, but that’s where the opportunity lies-To revive and revamp and replace it with healthier systems. That’s where the market is.

Every one needs to and is legitimate in dreaming and aspiring to rise above their current life styles. But I don’t think it can be done at the cost of the environment. This is the only planet we have got. If we mess it up no amount of our aspiring will get us anywhere. Healthy societies are not built on short term gains and narrow vision.

With “Singur” from its very inception to environmental and infrastructural concerns that Nano has brought up, I think we have got very little to cheer about. Well, we can congratulate Tata’s for their technological and design feat and marvelous marketing, but we can no longer afford isolate design from the larger picture of healthier sustenance and environmental restoration.

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