Why Atlas shrugged

The untold story of how Atlas Cycles, once India’s most beloved bicycle brand, undid itself

On the nape of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, where India’s capital cedes to the state of Uttar Pradesh, stands the five-star Radisson Blu hotel, whose board reads “Happily ever after begins here”. Beyond this board lies the industrial belt of Sahibabad, where banquet halls named Grand Jashn and Hollywood Dreams take indifferent stock of cratered roads, open sewage and thousands of lost jobs.

How quantifiable the unemployment crisis is here is a function of political alignment: up to 25,000 is the number claimed by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, backed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist); but the deputy …


Roshni P. Nair

Roshni is a features writer and former editor of The Morning Context's Chaos team. Her career spans The Ken, Reuters, the Hindustan Times and DNA. She is a recipient of the UNFPA Laadli award and was shortlisted for the RedInk Awards 2016 for her story on Mumbai’s leprosy colonies. Her far-flung ideas would sometimes drive our editor-in-chief Ashish up the wall, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way (even if he didn’t admit it).