(this may initially seem like a history lesson, but bear with me, the intro is needed)
Over 200 years ago, the British, French, Portuguse and just about every European tom, dick and harry came and occupied every nook and corner of our beloved motherland. They stuck on like leeches and sucked out every ooze of our nation's natural resources, manpower and dignity. What allowed this to happen? How was it possible for just a handful of Europeans to control (so successfully) a nation of so many, a nation with with so much tradition, culture and virtually limitless knowledge?
Many people may cite several reasons for it such as the lack of unity at the time, the cultural erosion that had taken place over generations, lack of strong rulers, etc. But I firmly believe that the most fundamental reason was the technological superiority that the occupants had over us. Nobody questioned their motives or actions purely out of fear of getting their heads blown off at the pull of a trigger. And so they slowly but surely spread their rule, like an incurable cancer....
Despite this superiority, they did eventually have to let go because of the countless sacrifices and relentless struggles made by our forefathers. It is due to their heroics that we enjoy the one thing that is most underrated in modern India, Freedom. The might of the people did finally overcome the brute force of gunpowder....
Fast-forward 63 years, the year 2010, (so called) modern India. Everyone is proud of the leaps and bounds made by the country; We are a part of the largest democracy in the world, our economy is growing at a smashing rate, Production & sales are off the scale, Infrastructure has never seen such levels of investment, our IT industry is considered the best and so on.....
But lets take a closer look; despite all these so called achievements, how much of the technology is developed in India? Most of our weapons are still imported and the ones that are made locally are all based on technical know-how that belongs in the previous century. All our appliances are designed abroad, all our electronic equipment is made abroad, basically just about everything that is available to us is not designed in India; maybe manufactured but definitely not designed.
Bottom line, WHAT MADE US WEAK AND VULNERABLE OVER 200 YEARS AGO IS STILL OUR WEAK POINT.
In fact, if it was the Germans that had ruled over us instead of the British, we probably still would be an occupied country (atleast the Brits. had some sense of humanity, which is why Gandhiji's non-cooperation movements worked). And before anyone says that the Germans were defeated eventually, lets not forget that it was the combined might of all the other developed countries and their latest technologies that was needed to quell the German blitzkrieg...It was the technologically path-breaking (although horrific) nuclear bomb that silenced the Japanese imperialistic ideologies. In other words, it was superior technology that was needed to defeat superior technology.
It was during the time of war that the Europeans kept coming out with the most brilliant of inventions, most of which are still used today (the radar, the rocket, the jet engine..). Despite all the pressure they were under, they brought out the best of inventions and innovations. And look at us; we have had all the time in the world to do great things, but what do we have to show after 63 years of independence? Our LCA Tejas which has been under development for over 20 years? Or the fact that we still buy all major military hardware from Russia? Our that we are celebrating sporting excellence in the form of the CWG, for which the public money is being openly squandered while the people responsible go scott free? ridiculuous.....
It is here that I wish to start on my real topic. If I am not proud to be an Indian, I am equally ashamed to call myself an Indian automobile engineer.
Why? for the same basic reasons above; our contribution to global automotive technology is ZERO (surprising, since that is considered our greatest contribution to the world of mathematics). What is my contribution in bringing my nation to the top? What AM i doing to take my country forward? nothing.
And its not just me to blame, none of the automotive companies have really done anything over the past 60 years to do us proud. Not a single vehicle or engine sold in India can be called an Indian designed or engineered vehicle. Even today, every single engine made in India in one form or another is in some way directly or indirectly a copy of some foreign engine.
People may say its no longer true, and the latest in automotive technology is now available on Indian cars; BULLSHIT. name the technology and it has been BOUGHT from foreign companies; the only thing that has changed is our buying capacity. We still don't know how to develop anything related to anything. All that we get is a cheap and compromised package. The only worthwhile cars that come on the roads are not Indian in any sense of the word.
I mean seriously, step back and take a look at the big picture, which vehicle is truly Indian? not even the humble mopeds are an Indian design, they are Japanese vehicles from the 1950's. And the only truly Indian company (in a manner of speaking) is TATA, and you will find that most of their vehicles have technology that comes from abroad; the indica is designed in italy, the dicor engine has been designed by a foreign company, the same story goes for their ABS ad ESPs, even Bajaj's famous Dts-i technology is not Indian. Let any company claim anything, if you dig out the secrets, you will find the original blueprints are always always from some European or Japanese design. (probably the only exception I can think of is the Nano, and even that is too little too late).
All that is happening is that the foreigners are getting rich selling us technology and exploiting our weakness, just as they always have.While we automobile engineers are happy getting paid to make a 3-d model of some foreign engine and then Indianize it.
Where is the passion to invent something new? to create something great? To be a somebody?
The worst bit is, even after reading this, the concerned people will just close this (they probably won't even read this far) and go back to making copies. Why? because we are like this only. the dog's tail can never be straightened. For god's sake, W A K E U P !!!!!
Ashamed I am.....