How the world’s biggest two-wheeler market collapsed26 September 2019.This is the first edition of Things Change, The Morning Context’s weekly newsletter. Things Change will land in your inbox every Thursday with sharp, original insight on subjects making the news, but which must be understood better. It will be written by the best writers and subject experts, both in-house and external. Let’s cut to […]
Pradip K. Saha
Manesar and the anatomy of a slowdownManesar1 October 2019.You should have led with the king of spades and not saved it for later,” Nanku tells Chauhan. “Have you forgotten how to play?”
Chauhan smiles sheepishly while shuffling the cards, a half-lit bidi perched between his lips.
Chauhan deals. Nanku falls short again. He is livid. Only one man, Sawant Singh, who’s in the lead, seems to be enjoying this banter.
It’s past noon in Aliyar, a village near Maruti Suzuki India’s manufacturing plant in Manesar, and men are concentrating hard on the game at hand. They’re playing Call Bridge, a four-player card game popular in these parts.
Behind the men lies the village market. Fresh produce is stacked alongside the limp and rotting stock from before. There are no buyers. Vendors take turns to play cards.
“There is no work. Thousands of our customers have been fired from jobs. What are we supposed to do?” asks Nanku.
Villagers are still in shock. They don’t know what triggered such massive layoffs at companies. Or when the migrant workers will return, if at all they do.
It’s like a game of Call Bridge—the industry and the government have made calls and fallen short.