The Tata Group is used to handling badly performing companies, either by turning them around or through new acquisitions, using its cash-rich baby named TCS. Corus and Jaguar-Land Rover are shining examples of how the Group has managed seemingly impossible tasks in the past. Currently, a Déjà vu-like situation is developing where the Tatas will show if they can make an elephant dance. Yes, the Air India sale is what we are talking about! And as usual, the highly placed unreliable sources of the Bonnet Bots have discovered that the government is desperate to give back to the Tata Group, what it calls its ‘unmanageable baby.’
For the benefit of millennials who weren’t born earlier, we would like to tell them that the Air India airline, which the Indian Government is out to de-nationalize, was originally called Tata Airlines, and later became Air India, which later was suddenly ‘nationalized’, in ‘national interest’.
A government official, who refused to be identified for fear of being named on the site1.bonnetbots.com website, stated to the Bonnet Bots, “We are doing this in national interest, just as the then government had snatched it from the Tata’s in ‘national interest’ more than half a century back.”
But the Tata Group is unaware that they have won the bid, as per the conclusion from the meeting in which Ratan Tata, yes, the man himself, was unable to speak to the Bonnet Bots because such a meeting could not be arranged at all.
“Well, they will learn about it eventually —just as JRD Tata had found out that he is no longer Air India’s chairman – through the newspaper!”, said the government official who was desparately trying to save the airline and the exchequer a lot of trouble.
While the government was preparing to claim credit for giving Air India into safe hands which had run the airline profitably in the past, some opposition politicians were jubilant too, already planning a boycott of the government for handing over the ‘valuable jewel of the government’ to ‘capitalists’.
At the time of going to press, some well-wishers of the Tata Group were hoping that they would also get back New India Assurance (yes, that’s another nationalized ex-Tata company, operating in 11 countries outside India at the time of nationalization), and the smart staff at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (ex-TIFR). But their hopes were dispelled when they realized that these ‘snatched babies’ were not in the ‘unmanageable’ category and would probably remain ‘snatched’ till eternity or mismanagement, whichever comes earlier.
Cover Image: Featured here is the majestic Air India Boeing 747 named AGRA, coming in to land in Mumbai, Photographed by Swapnil Agaskar ~ PPSA, GPU CR2, AFIP www.swapnilagaskar.com. Cartoon Illustration by Vishakha Nale Raut