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Modi’s Maruti Moment

17 2 0

It was an ill-fated project conceived by an ill-fated man. But the mother was determined to see it through. And thereby revolutionized the auto industry in India.

Just as Nehru the space industry, or Rajiv Gandhi computers, or Vajpayee roads. The incumbent hasn’t had much to show for it in his nearly three and a half years in power. Demonetization has been a flop. So too Swachh Bharat. Make in India seems like empty sloganeering.

But with the bullet train, he finally seems to be on to something. All those years as Gujarat CM, when the West used to treat him like a pariah, he would satisfy his travel bug by going east — to Japan and China. When he said that he would build a bullet train in India, people scoffed.

Not enough money to feed the poor, and you want to make them fly in style. They laughed at Indira too when she built flyovers for the Asiad. Today every town in India has one. So why is this bullet train thing a good idea?

First, India runs on the train. Both people and freight. Second, India’s basic rail infrastructure is where........

© The Times of India