**UPDATE: Tata Releases Nano to India!**
With the world's second largest population, India also has one of world's largest populations in poverty, no thanks to Mamata Banerjee and her anti-business politics.
As a an Indian MP, and member of Trinamool Congress Party, Banerjee was a leader in the violent protests against Tata Motors and the building of their Nano plant in Singur. See "Tata Motors Says "Tata" to Singur" for more information.
If that wasn't bad enough for the economically depressed city of Singur, now Banerjee announced that she would lead anti-industrial protests across Communist-led West Bengal. Further, some of her ilk would like to see her take this campaign industrial suicide nation-wide.
According to The Wall Street Journal, on 05 Nov 2008,:
"...she (Banerjee) voiced her opposition to land acquisition for a power plant, a shipbuilding yard and a technology park in the state... She said she intends to keep up pressure on Tata and wants it to return any loans it got on favorable terms from the state."
Is this what India needs? Fewer manufacturing jobs, less technology, and more subsistence farmers? These companies and opportunities will help West Bengal improve the standard of living for all who live there. Infrastructure will have to be improved, which is one of Banerjee's complaints. New jobs and job training benefits the entire population. However, Banerjee, who is wed to foolish notion that subsistence farming is somehow more virtuous than working in industry, and is willing to exploit for political gain, is deserving of great contempt.
Every country in the world that has transitioned away from primarily agrarian economy to an industrial economy has felt this type of pain. It is not easy, but is best for the well-being of the country as a whole. It is a matter of efficiency. Farming on a large scale is more efficient and requires fewer workers. Those workers could be trained to take higher paying industrial or technology jobs. Higher wealth creates a higher standard of living and demands for better services from the government, such as clean water, power, and environment. Has Trinamool Congress Party of the Communist done that for Kolkata or Singur?? I think not.
India, don't let Banerjee and her brand of populism stop your country from being its best. Men like Ratan Tata have the right idea to improve the country. Industrial growth, while not perfect, offers a better life for the poor and their families. Don't be slaves to populist politics or subsitence farming, but be free to explore the possibilities of an improved economy.