In the normal circumstance a car manufacturer setting-up a plant in a particular state is no big deal. And in this age of liberalisation, countries and states aggressively woo investments by offering all sorts of incentives to investors. In that sense the Tatas choosing Gujarat need not have hit headlines. But Ratan Tata choosing Gujarat after a wasted, controversial and disappointing experience in West Bengal has created history.
Tatas is not like any other corporate house in the country. It is truly the pride of India. It has built a reputation unique for itself over many decades and it is widely acknowledged as the benchmark of corporate ethics. The Tatas has grown to occupy its position as the most-reputed corporate national entity and Indian multinational company by upholding character, professionalism, grit and vision. It was with this ?lan and business acumen that Tatas chose Gujarat. It is rather homecoming.
Equally significant is the context and the host. When Tatas went to West Bengal to set up its dream project it was really ground-breaking and adventurous. Marxists are not known to be entrepreneur savvy. In three decades the Left has ensured that the state became a graveyard of industries. From being the number one industrial state in the country West Bengal under the Marxists decayed to an abyss of poverty, illiteracy, backwardness and flight of talent. They ruined the state. Buddhadeb tried to change the format in a crude, arrogant, top-down-type Chinese way. But that Tatas decided to go to Singur immensely raised the Marxist Chief Minister'sstock and perhaps it played a major part in his unprecedented victory in the last assembly election. Buddhadeb became at least temporarily a dream merchant. Mamata Banerjee'sobstinacy and the CPI (M)'sobduracy demolished it all. Tatas lost a whopping sum of Rs.1500 crore and two years in this archaic political brinkmanship of the Trinamool and the Left.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is the winner in the bargain. It is a big endorsement of his repeated claim that Gujarat is the most attractive investment destination. Unlike the Congress Chief Ministers who are wooing industry without developing infrastructure, Modi has transformed the state and the system before trying to entice investment. Modi is a doer. He has the courage, character and commitment to walk his talk. That marks him apart from the rest of Indian political class. That Ratan Tata told the media that he could have moved in a day if only he could transport the machinery that fast speaks volumes about the excellent infrastructure Modi has built. From Red Bengal to Saffron Gujarat the Tatas has made the world see the difference the BJP could make in India'smarch to modernity.