By Brendan Moore
TATA says that continued violent protests at the East Indian factory that is scheduled to start churning out the $2500 Nano may force the company to move the plant elsewhere in India. The protests are not new as Tata has been bearing the brunt of the locals’ anger in the area for sometime now. The dispute centers around the farmland gobbled up by Tata for the production facility. India still has a tremendous population of rural poor people who make a meager living from the land, and these people are unhappy that private farmland was simply taken over by the government and then transferred to Tata for the plant. The government offered what was considered by most observers to be fair compensation, but the farmers displaced by the land grab are still very unhappy and some of them have refused the compensation offered by the government. Tata states that their primary concern is the safety of Tata personnel, and that opponents of the factory are sorely mistaken if they believe that Tata won’t abandon their investment in the factory in order to move the factory somewhere else where their employees would be safe. Of course, anything along that course of action would have to delay the launch of the Nano, which is extremely important to Tata, so it remains to be seen if Tata is bluffing in this regard.