13 May 2007

It's Dangerous - They are still there

TATA group is coming up with a cheap car. Cheap means - just one lakh Indian Rupee for a car. It will hit the market in 2008.

This news is a little old, but I came to know about it very recently. My first response was WOW!, that's cool. Cheap cars sound like a nice thing. More people can afford; the ones who always had dreams of owning a car can fulfill their dreams; The economy will boom more.

It was shocking to know that there are some people who think this low-cost car is not good for India. Actually, the reasons are quite nice. Let's have an analysis.

  1. The motor cycle industry will take a hit

  2. Does the argument look similar to this? - When computers were introduced to the market, many people were worrying about the people who would lose their jobs. Should we have let computers enter Indian business/market/life.

    The point is, the product which is needed/wanted by more people will survive the market. Let's change things - Good movies are not supposed to be released because it will make the bad ones run in loss. No good books should be sold more than 10,000 copies because we do not want those lousy writers to be bankrupt.

  3. Traffic on the roads will increase

  4. There will be HUGE parking problems

  5. If increase in the number of cars is a problem, why do not we simply stop selling *any* car? Let us wait till the government builds up enough roads and other infrastructure.

    I do not understand. How long will we wait? It is when more vehicles come on roads and there are problems, then only the government will open its eyes. We cannot wait on someone to wake up. Let's go ahead and do things, that has to get the government to wake up.

    There would be problems. But problems are to be solved. We cannot avoid them.

    Otherwise, stop selling cars/trucks everything. Let's wait... wait indefinitely.

  6. Crude oil consumption will go up

  7. Wonderful. What is wrong with that? Why do we actually have crude oil? To use or to save? It is to be used.

    The real issue I can think of is pollution/Global Warming. Yes, that is a valid point. In that case too, we would have to stop doing anything which creat pollution. Why only against the one lakh car? Even here we'll have to stop selling other cars, setting up industries and all. The solution would be to have much more strict restrictions and controls and of course to IMPLEMENT them.

There were two other points which are against the one lakh cars.

First one was this: The companies are bothered only about making profits : What else should be they doing? Should all the companies turn into charity institutions? If Narayana Murthi was doing charity instead of Infosys(for profit), he could not have done this much to the country. It is his personal motive which turned out to be good for millions. Companies aim for profit, which turns the society and makes competition in the market, which in turn makes better products, which will benefit the society. Or else, let's start advising the companies to stop thinking about profit. Let them run in loss and get out of the market - so that we do not have anything to use. The best thing we could do is to make sure that they do not do any evil in their pursuit to make money.

Another point was this: There would be people who cannot buy a *real* car, but this one-lakh car would be almost in their reach. They end up buying the car with the help of loans and finally will struggle in life because of their debts.

I have three questions regarding this.

  1. Is it the car manufacturer's fault that somebody was not smart enough to manage his funds? If someone is investing on something which he cannot afford, he ought to suffer. He has to think before doing it. Nobody can help him. It could be a one lakh car, or else he will always find something else which he cannot afford. It is his problem, only he has to solve.

  2. In the other case, if we are really planning to help, why not we help the ones who cannot afford the two-lakh car but planning to buy it? - of course with the help of loans, which would make him struggle in future. This new car would be a real relief for him. This comes completely in his reach, so this car would be saving him. Would it not be?

  3. Or should we put it like this? - do not let anyone reduce the price of computer (for example). There would be people who cannot afford it, but would go and purchase one because it is almost in his reach; but would suffer later. Let's keep the price of computers high so that the poor wont get trapped in it.

Now coming back to the un-touched part - Global warming. My question is only this - No other cars do anything on this issue, only one lakh cars contribute to it? [True, introducing this car would see a sudden rise in the number of cars which would be not so much otherwise. Still, while planning to stop this new car, we should think about other cars/trucks/companies/AC/Refrigerators too and stop manufacturing them]

Machines, including cars are made to help man. As time goes by, we see better and cheaper products. They make life easier. If they would create some problems along with making the lives of millions easier, let's solve those problems. The action should not be to ban them. Problems are not avoided, they are solved.

Now, the dangerous thing : There are people out there who think that I am crazy/stupid, they think that man is below society. He is made to serve the society. That actually scares me, the thought is dangerous. Let me tell you, without man there is not society, but man can survive even without society.

The funniest thing is that they would be thinking too that people like me are dangerous.

The only drawback is that their thoughts are not completely based on logic! The fundamental theorem is wrong!

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: Am I eleigible enough to write this? I guess yes, because I was once one among them.
PS1: Today the whole thing I discussed is against the ideas of two people, whom I respect a lot. I feel a little uneasy about it.
PS2: What has to be said, has to be said.
PS3: Why the Rs 1-lakh car is not good for India - the trigger.


Black is beautiful said...

let the car roll out first... :D

Black is beautiful said...

btw.. reasons are correct and analysis is good...
but y is that blog is becoming like a magazine or journal ? ..
that too very often....frequency of personal posts has reduced

Dinil said...

This won't satisfy you; but, it does answer most of your queries, albeit indirectly - http://pramode-ce.livejournal.com/61084.html (I am trying to save some time :D)

Another important point is, it is easy to suggest solutions .. but implementing it, is certainly not.

Sandeep Sadanandan said...

@beautiful black
No specific reason for less personal stuff. I always want to write some special moments in my life.... in daily life.. somehow the act of writing never occurs.

:) Definitely will go through the link. (tight day, meeting with prof)

Yes, I do agree with the point. At least trying to give solutions is better than avoiding it altogether. Implementation has to follow... and we have to make sure it's getting done.


Anonymous said...

Sandeep, nobody is against legitimate profits acquired by companies.The trouble is with big,*greedy* corporations who have enough money and power to influence the destiny of nations - many oil/energy companies, drug manufacturing companies, media (TV,newspaper) companies, construction/real estate companies, even IT companies have grown so obscenely big and corrupt that they can gang together with local governments and administration to implement policies which increase their `profit' but does untold harm to the local population. Who sponsors/benefits from the US occupation
of Iraq? Who pays the price for the cola companies profits ( http://www.killercoke.org/ )? Who keeps AIDS drugs out of the reach of needy patients by enforcing so-called `intellectual property' and `patent protection' mechanisms? You have to understand that *huge* corporations (especially monopolies) don't have to play by the rules - they make their own rules.And this is exactly what threatens us the most.


Anonymous said...

An interesting link:



Anonymous said...

Sorry - the previous link didn't come out properly - just do a google search on

"who killed the electric car"

and follow the second link.


Sandeep Sadanandan said...

@Sir (Pramode)

Yes sir, I get the point. That is why even in the post I had said that "dont let them do any evil". If we can make sure (rather we must make sure) that this is taken care of.

My point is only this much: You cannot crucify just this new car. When you do, you have to do it against everything. Or else leave the car in peace. Let the poor thing's fate be decided by the people.

I had actually read the electric car article. I am not sure that electric cars will be a reality in the near future.. not because of politics... because of technology.
The following paragraph says it.

There were 5,000 people who expressed interest in an EV1, but when GM called them back and explained that the car cost $299-plus a month to lease, went between 60 and 80 miles on a full charge, and took between 45 minutes and 15 hours to re-charge, very few would commit to leasing one (not too surprising, is it?).


Black is beautiful said...

@pramode sir

now if there is no monetary benefit for AIDS drug discoverer, why should he/she find the drug ? what is the incentive for him to find the drug ?

A classic case of atlas shrugged....

Dinil said...

@Black is beautiful:

Thanks for informing that its a class case of `Atlas shrugged'. I can save my time not reading such misleading books !

Karthik, there are still many people who do not work with the sole objective of making profit; believe me!

Black is beautiful said...


perfectly acceptable.. but if the guy who finds the drug works for money, the government should give him the money and distribute it... (u cant force him to give it for free)
and im quite happy if someone doesnt work for money :D

Sandeep Sadanandan said...

As far as I can think of, everyone lives for personal benefits.

The reason for a saint to be a saint should be the peace of mind he gets.

The motive for a social worker to help others would be the satisfaction HE gets from it...

it all roots from personal motive....

for some it's money.. for some others it's something else..

to have the extreme example... a mother feeds a child because she loves the child and cannot see the child suffering with hunger..

the happiness of the child which in turn makes her happy.. that is her motive...

when she is indifferent to the child's feeling... she wont do anything...

yeah... there are pros and cons for seeing everything materialistically. But facts are facts... gotta agree.

the person who found the drug.. if he wants recognition/money/fame/whatever... he deserves it.. because HE DID IT. And he cannot be blamed too..


Dinil said...

Going by your thoughts, when a personal benefit results in social benefits, it makes a difference to the people.

When a person is motivated by personal benefits, that are not concerned about the lifes and conditions of other people, then there is some trouble.

The world is moved by the former.

Sandeep Sadanandan said...

@dinil's last comment

This is what I told towards the end of the post... from my point of view, your fundamental theorem is wrong...

You would say that I am wrong..

and we will never reach a consensus.

And according to Indian philosophy, "self" is to be considered above everything...

I had read that piece of thing from Gita... sometime... let me do a search - whether I can find it out.

And in case you have read pancha-thanthra - the book which teaches you the basic 5 principles of life, you'd remember to consider "self" as the most important thing.


Anonymous said...

“To devote your life to the good of all and to the happiness of all is religion. Whatever you do for your own sake is not religion”

“If money help a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.”

“The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.”

The above statements were made by a person who knows the Gita better than all of us - Swami Vivekananda.


Sandeep Sadanandan said...


I never said "not to do good". I said, self is above everything. What you have written is not saying anything against it. Does it?

I had even said "dont do evil".

I have never read Gita, but I am sure krishna would have advised arjuna to consider his "ego" as the thing of primary importance.

I can quote from panchathantram, I've read it and I do remember it... "If you have to choose between your country and your village, choose your village. Between your village and family, choose your family and finally when you have to choose between your family and yourself, choose yourrself - there is nothing important that that" [okay, this is not a word to word translation... but more or less similar]

And I guess, the problem could be that we are talking about two different things.

You say that "one should help others".

What I am saying is that if he indeed helps others, it is actually what he wants. So, primarily his want is getting satisfied; it is through helping others.


PS: It's nice to argue.. Especially about "meta-thoughts" :)

PS2: Something I didn't address is "religion". Having no religion also is a religion.. isn't it? :)

Anonymous said...

You said that everything you do, you do it for your own happiness. That's obviously true. No one would do anything that would hurt oneself. But what you do to make yourself happy can be classified into three categories-
1. Those which hurt other people.
2. Those which do not affect others in any manner.
3. Those which make others happy as well.

You can call the first one "evil", and is obviously undesirable.

The last one is what touches lives, and what you call "goodness", or "nanma" in Malayalam. And this is the one which gives you the truest happiness.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavanthu.

There is nothing wrong with the second one, but if you think a bit, most of the actions of most of us fall into this category and doesn't do anyone any good, and there are millions of people out there who need help. So every one of us should consciously try to do as many things as we can, which falls in the third category. If all of us remain self-centred and indifferent, this world is not going to survive much longer.

When you realize that on a broader level, instead of just people, the whole earth- trees, birds, butterflies, rivers, everything- that's when you truly become "alive" in every sense of the word. That's when you become a part of this wonderful Universe. Everything's connected, you know! Nothing can exist by itself.

( I'm a cousin of Pramode. I've heard a lot about you, from Ramuettan. Just felt I should write this! :) )

Sandeep Sadanandan said...


Thanks for dropping by.. :)

I guess, whatever you do which does not fall in the category 1, i.e, anything we do without hurting others are fine I guess.

It it becomes good for others, well! Otherwise too it's fine..