I had, to take a dig at the Luddite leftists and tongue firmly in cheek, drafted the following press release the day the announcement of the Nano plant to Gujarat happened.
REACTION OF SECULAR FORCES ON NANO IN GUJARAT
We, the self-appointed upholders of the secular fabric of India, strongly condemn the decision of Tata Motors to shift the Nano plant to Gujarat. This is nothing but a victory for communal forces in the country. It is shocking that industrialist Ratan Tata who is a member of a minority community - perhaps the smallest minority community in India - has decided to shake hands with Narendra Modi, that unrepentant butcher of minorities. Ratan Tata's ancestors may have hailed from Gujarat but that is no mitigating excuse.
This action of Ratan Tata is doubly damned because it came after he spurned the abject pleadings of a communist government and preferred to go along with a communal government instead. He also did not seriously consider the offer from a relatively secular Maharashtra government, which is the state where Tata Motors head office is located.
It also puts a greater burden on all secular socialist forces to fight this evil combination of capitalism and communalism. We will not be found wanting in this fight. Our failure to get Modi out of Gujarat will not dampen our spirits. We got Tata out of Bengal, we can drive him out of Gujarat too.
To continue our struggle, we allocate the following work to the following persons - Medha Patkar to sit on dharna at the Tata site, with her ragtag bunch; Arundhati Roy to write a cover story in Outlook on the capitalist-communal conspiracy, Teesta Setalvad to devote an entire issue of Communalism Combat to ranting about this unholy, oops sorry, un-comradely nexus, and Tehelka to reveal previously undisclosed footage on Modi, Tata and Mamata planning a grand conspiracy to keep Bengal in a de-industrialised state.
When I wrote this, I had stopped watching the news, so didn't see Sitaram Yechury's reaction, when he said it was sad that Tata had shifted to a BJP-ruled state! So I was bang on, as it turned out.
Would it have been better for Bengal if Tata had chosen a site in a non-BJP state? Yechury's reaction is understandable; he is in politics and politicizing development is second nature for our politicians.
But how does one account for journalists writing about the Nano plant shifting to Gujarat giving credibility to Narendra Modi? When I had emailed the above press release to some friends, one of them wrote implying that I was trying to convert people into a Modi fan!! After that there have been edit page articles bemoaning how Modi will use this to his advantage.
I have a few questions to all these people.
# Must business decisions be based on politics? Shouldn't business environment and infrastructure be the guiding principles?
# Assuming that politics must be a factor, then, if industrialists should shun Gujarat because of Modi's inaction during the 2002 riots, should any industry go at all to China, where state-sponsored genocide in Tibet is no secret? Why shouldn't all countries boycott China and snap all economic ties with it? And why should new businesses be set up in Delhi, where hundreds of Sikhs were butchered in 1984, and which now has had a Congress government for 10 years?