Make in India: Bonfire of our vanities?

The impact of the fire for those present at the venue, and for those watching it at home cannot be underestimated.

Written by Shailaja Bajpai | New Delhi | Updated: February 15, 2016 3:29 pm
mumbai fire 759 Fire at Make in India venue: A showpiece event to attract foreign investment catches fire.

On Saturday, all the newspapers carried bright and beautiful advertisements of the Make in India Week to be inaugurated that evening by the Prime Minister in Mumbai. ‘India is Open for Business’ proclaimed one proudly, heralding the gigantic PR exercise for Modi’s pet economic project. Over 2,500 foreign delegates, including a few prime ministers – the Swedish PM, for instance – and up to 10,000 Indian delegates including the glitterati
of Indian industry were invitees. Amitabh Bachchan was there. Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif were there too.

On Sunday evening, the only bright sparks at the function came from the flames that engulfed the grand stage by the sea at Girgaum Chowpatty and suddenly, the great Modi dream seemed to have gone up smoke. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis who was present at the grounds when the stage caught fire during a dance performance to celebrate Maharashtra night, was left red-faced. Literally.

Modi had given a rousing speech on Saturday, inviting all comers to invest, make in India. On Sunday evening, the world saw what we are made of as news channels interrupted regular programming to bring viewers footage of incident: it spread life wildfire across the screen. On Monday morning it was the lead picture on most newspapers. Had it not been so sad, it would have been a beautiful spectacle — the orange yellow flames swaying against the backdrop of black sky.

The impact of the fire for those present at the venue, and for those watching it at home cannot be underestimated. A showpiece event to attract foreign investment catches fire, raising questions immediately about the quality of the workmanship, the materials used – and infrastructure – for the event, the very things the Prime Minister is trying to promote.

The fire showed us up for what we are: a nation of makeshifts – jugaad is the best way to describe it – where professionalism and excellence are often absent as we simply muddle along. If you cannot make a stage properly, what will you make good?

The fire on Sunday at Girgaum Chowpatty showed the world why not to Make in India.

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    indian
    Feb 15, 2016 at 1:59 pm
    A fire can happen anywhere. Does this fire mean Mr Modi should stop his make in India initiative and generate jobs?
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    1. Haradhan Mandal
      Feb 15, 2016 at 12:33 pm
      Make in India is a ruse for to help FEW (favoritism) favored Indian Private companies to get a slice of the LUCRATIVE DEFENCE deals that goes into 100 Billion dollars every year and to do that Govt is trying to force the BIG and POWERFUL ARMS and MILITARY INDUSTRY companies of USA, UK, UK, France, Italy etc. But these companies are politically strong in their own country and it is not easy to 'force' them into anything to get the deal. It is a facade for ENTRY of 'commission and agency service companies' from favorite PVT companies/houses/families.
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        arc
        Feb 15, 2016 at 11:39 am
        So the show is over? THE END for the modi balloon. Fadnavis was the first to flee. Yet his PR machine is going about how he managed the "rescue" etc. These sanghis are congenital liars.
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          Ashok Kumar
          Feb 15, 2016 at 6:49 pm
          "Jis ko na apne desh au' nij jaati ka abhimaan hai, wah nar nahin hai, pashu nira hai aur mritak saman hai." I am afraid most worthies of English medium schools, particularly convent schools, may not have read the above, and many of them, in their exalted and liberated minds, have little sentiment for the nation.
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            Ashok Kumar
            Feb 15, 2016 at 7:08 pm
            "The fire on Sunday at Girgaum Chowpatty showed the world why not to Make in India." If this is the inspiration the author wants the world to derive from the mishap (if it was not sabotage, which cannot be ruled out) then probably she is inspired by some compeor of India (e.g. China) or some other country which can only be envious of India's progress (e.g. stan).
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