Village youth came to the cities and targetted symbols of wealth.
Haryana is recovering from the unprecedented violence that lasted ten days and left 20 people dead and 200 injured. What began as an agitation by Jats for reservations in public jobs soon took the shape of clashes between communities.
In Jhajjar town, the agitators targeted shops owned by Sainis and Punjabis while sparing those owned by Jats. The next day, in retaliatory attacks, the Chhotu Ram Dharamshala, a Jat resthouse, was set on fire in Jhajjar. Hours later, a mob descended on Chhavni Colony, predominantly home to Sainis, and two men of the community were killed.
In Rohtak city, which has thrice the population of Jhajjar town, the prime target of the mob was Model Town market, which holds several branded showrooms. In this market too, shops and small restaurants belonging to Sainis and Punjabis were singled out. But the larger target appeared to be branded showrooms and malls. The agitators carrying axes, rods, petrol bombs — also called a poor man's grenade — broke into showrooms and eateries, including a McDonalds outlet, ransacking them and setting them on fire.
In both places, urban youth were part of the mobs, but the large majority of attackers were young men from nearby villages who rode to the cities on motorcycles and tractor trolleys.
While the agitation was along caste lines, in the destruction, a class dimension is apparent too.
In Rohtak, five expensive private schools, or “international schools” as they are called in the area, were targeted on the outskirts of the city. The glass facade of the school buildings was broken, a portion of the buildings was set on fire, as were school buses. There was no loss of life, fortunately, as the buildings were empty and the students were away.
On the state highway from Rohtak to Sonipat, and on the national highway from Sonipat to Delhi, several glass highrises were targeted irrespective of their ownership. A little outside Rohtak, the agitators set fire to more than 200 cars in a Chervolet showroom, and broke the gate of a religious convention center across the road.
In Murthal, they burnt down Jurassic Park, a massive amusement park, which charges a one-time entry ticket of Rs 800. Farmers in the nearby Kurad village noted that was the amount they spent on their weekly food supplies.
Haryana has lived through its worst inter-community riot in recent history. It is also witnessing a violent fallout of the deep economic crisis in its villages.
What to look for when buying your first car in India
Hint: It doesn’t have to be a small car.
When it comes to buying their first car, more Indians are making unconventional choices. Indian car buyers in 2016 are looking for an automobile that is a symbol of their aspirations and sets them apart from the herd. Here are a few things you should consider when buying your first car:
Look beyond small cars
According to the JD Power India Escaped Study (2015), the percentage of new-vehicle shoppers who considered a small car reduced by 20% over three years—from 65% to 45%. Buyers are now looking at bigger, affordable cars and luckily for them, there are more choices available. Known as compact sedans, these cars offer the features of a sedan, are larger than hatchbacks and contain a boot. These sedans offer the comfort and features that once only belonged to expensive luxury cars but at a price that’s within the reach of a first-time car buyer.
Design and styling is important but don’t forget utility.
It’s a good idea to have a car that has been designed over the past three years and doesn’t look outdated. Features like alloy wheels and dual beam headlamps add to the style quotient of your vehicle so consider those. Additionally, look for a car with a sturdy build quality since Indian urban conditions may not always be kind to your car and may furnish it with scrapes and dents along the way.
Does it test-drive well?
In 2014, 35% of new-vehicle buyers researched vehicles when they were buying but by 2015, this number had risen to nearly 41% according to the JD Power study. While the internet is the primary source of research in India, the best source of information about a car is always a test drive. Listen to the sales person and read all online reviews, but test every feature to your satisfaction.
Where do you plan to drive?
Look for a car that’s spacious and comfortable while being easy to drive or park on our crowded city roads. Compact sedans are perfectly suited for Indian driving conditions. Some of them come with parking assistance and rear view cameras, rain sensors and front fog lights with static cornering that are excellent driving aids. If you plan to use the car for long drives, compact sedans that provide cruise control, a tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel and a front centre armrest would be perfect. On road trips with family members who usually pack more than necessary, extra elbow room inside and good boot-space is a blessing.
Is the model about to be discontinued?
Never buy a model that is going to be discontinued because it could result in difficulty finding spare parts. Buying an old model will also affect your resale value later. In 2015, according to the same report, 10% of shoppers considered newly launched car models as against 7% in 2013—a strong indication that newer models are being preferred to old ones.
Diesel or petrol?
Diesel and petrol cars have different advantages, and it’s best to take a decision based on the distance you plan to drive on a regular basis. While petrol cars are usually priced lower and are more cost effective when it comes to service and maintenance, diesel cars typically have better mileage due to higher efficiency and provide a smoother drive due to higher torque. Additionally, diesel is the cheaper fuel. So it makes more economic sense to buy a diesel car if you are driving long distances every day.
Most importantly, safety always comes first.
Look for a car that is built sturdy and pays extra attention to safety features like Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS), side impact bars and dual front airbags. Safety is also a function of the design and features such as a galvanized steel body add to the strength of the build. It’s important to remember not to make trade-offs on safety for less important features when choosing variants.
Buying your first car is an important milestone in life. And the new Volkswagen Ameo has been designed with several first-in-segment features to cater to all the needs of a first-time car buyer in India. Its bold design and elegant styling along with state-of-the-art features like cruise control, reverse parking camera and sensors, and intelligent rain sensors set it apart from other cars in its class. Its safety features are also a notch above, with dual front airbags that are standard in every variant and side impact bars. A sturdy galvanized steel body and laser welded roof cocoon its passengers from harm, and its modern ABS, that is also standard in all variants, prevents the wheels from locking when you brake hard. A six-year perforation warranty and a three-year paint warranty ensure that the car body is protected from scratches and dents. The Ameo comes in both petrol and diesel variants. Check out all the features of the Ameo here. Also hear the experience of two first time car buyers in the video below.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Volkswagen and not by the Scroll editorial team.