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Raze 1,000-acres of farmland to build an automobile factory, and somebody is going to protest. Even in India. The automaker is Tata, and the protesters numbered at least 1,000 strong as they went head-to-head against police in eastern India yesterday at the future manufacturing site of the Tata Nano (rumored to be the world's cheapest car at just $2,380). The protests are rooted deeper than just "open space" issues. In fact, the real tension is between India's ruling party, and the communist-run government in West Bengal where the plant is to be located. The farmers are unwilling to part with their agricultural livelihood, while the government continues to promote industry. After blocking a highway for a few hours, the stick-wielding protesters were dispersed without injuries. Once again, progress wins out over pastures.

[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]

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