Kolkata, Oct 6: An outsized model of Nano, the ultra-cheap car from Tata Motors, is pulling crowds of thousands at the Durga Pooja festival here, after its factory was abandoned by the automaker due to farmers' protests.
Tata Motors Ltd said on Friday, Oct 3 it would move its Nano car plant, hailed as the world's cheapest car, out of West Bengal state after violent protests by farmers led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. The company's decision dismayed many in the state. On Saturday, Oct 4 around 500 people, including farmers and workers from construction and auto supplier companies, held a rally in Singur, to protest Tata's decision to pull out.
Tata's move came just before a four-day festival of the Hindu goddess Durga, which celebrates the killing of a demon by the ten-armed deity. The festival is celebrated all over the country and in Kolkata in particular. More than 2,000 marquees were set up, showcasing diverse themes and craftsmanship by West Bengal artisans and famous idol makers.
The yellow ten-foot-long replica of Nano was one of several models representing contemporary themes set up by community groups in central Kolkata. The Nano was depicted parked against the backdrop of a giant padlocked factory. "This car model is a big crowd-puller. But we created the model to draw attention to the need of industrialisation in West Bengal," said Pradip Ghosh, a community leader.
"We wanted Nano to roll out of West Bengal. We also want to draw attention to the closure of 50,000 industrial units in the past decades by creating a padlocked factory as a model," he said. Last year, a community group replicated the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy depicted in J K Rowling's Harry Potter series.
Inside the marquee in central Kolkata, a clay idol of the 10-armed goddess sitting on a lion and stabbing a demon emerging from a buffalo, dominated the set. There has been strict security his year for the festival in the wake of serial bombings over the past few months.