Revive the Iconic Amby (Ambassador) sign now

While we are supporting the "Make in India" campaign and urging foreign companies to come, Make in India. It is equally important to revive some of our own forgotten icons.

The quintessential and the pioneer Indian car brand, Ambassador, fondly known as Amby, is now part of history! Hindustan Motors, has now closed its production facility at Hind Motor, in Uttarpara, West Bengal. For almost the last six decades, precisely since the year 1957, this unit was producing the iconic brand Ambassador. The Premier Padmini or Maruti 800 of 1970s and 80s could not withhold its ‘importance’!

The erstwhile Zamindars, the Ministers, the higher Government functionaries, the Babus, the corporate honchos, the intellectual and cultural heavy weights, the Taxiwallahs and of course the underworld dons all loved the car. It was an unsaid power symbol of the ‘achievers’, for almost six decades!

Hindustan Motors (HM) was started before India’s Independence at Okha in Gujarat. It was moved to Uttarpara in Bengal, in 1948, where the company began the production of the Ambassador cars. The car was mainly based on the Morris Oxford, a popular British car of that time. It was the first and only integrated automobile plant in India. Even a railway station named after the Company shows, how the HM had changed the economy of the area and helped thousands of rural and urban bread earners to earn a respectable salary and obvious pride. Being a Hind Motor worker often gave them a newfound respect in the society and future for their children.

Originally published by Deep Basu in June 2014, click on the below link for the full article:

After the meeting with the HM’s top management, the Labour Minister has said that his Ministry would seek legal advice. “Whatever be the appropriate forum — the labour tribunal, the industrial tribunal, the high court — we will have to move it, if necessary,” he said. With a pending salary for last six months, the workers come to the factory gate and meet the Trade Union leaders for some hope. But there is hardly any assurance. There are workers who have who has worked for 20 or more years in the Assembly Unit of the plant but suddenly got out of a job. The defenseless lot doesn’t know how they will run their families, whether they can provide further education to their sons and daughters! Without salary for last six months, they are virtually deep in debt and after they lost their jobs; the creditors have now refused to loan them any money. Many of the workers, after serving the company for so many years, are too old to find a new job elsewhere. It’s a piquant situation: the ever rising inflation, lack of job opportunity and facing the sudden loss of income. Some of the women of the household have taken up odd jobs like sewing or part time teaching to keep the wolf at bay. But that is hardly substituted for a regular job. Those who are fortunate, are thinking of going back to their villages after so many years, to start work as a cultivator again. But not many are that fortunate.

The dejected workers are still hoping for a miracle! They are earnestly hoping that the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee will ultimately force the HM management to restart production. The much awaited tripartite talks between the Government, the Trade Unions and the HM Management is no panacea. It’s surely a death foretold! Death of an enterprise, death of a hope and the ultimate death of many dreams.

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