AFP reports that India’s Tata Group, its largest conglomerate, is set not only to buy out Ford’s Land Rover and Jaguar divisions, but also to produce the world’s cheapest car, which at $2,500 “could revolutionise car costs worldwide.”
Two points should be made here.
The New York Times piece on the same subject,mentions the Jaguar buyout and Tata’s CEO’s taste for luxury goods, but nothing about the inexpensive car. What this says about the priorities and interests of the American press is an exercise left to the reader.
Second, it heralds the growing Indianization of world business and culture. Everyone and his brother-in-law is talking about China, but in my view, the growth of India might be a more important global development. In terms of culture and business, Indian firms are better run and managed, and with 350 million English speakers, India stands to be a generator of content for the rest of the English-speaking world. This is particularly so because of India’s well-developed entertainment industry. Bollywood might soon take over Hollywood.
We assume that the growth of India means that it will be become more “westernized” or “Americanized.” but as Tata’s purchase suggests, perhaps the shoe is on the other foot, and we will become more Indianized. I don’t know precisely what that will mean, but at the very least, it should make biryanis easier to get. And not a moment too soon!