Dear Mr Tuli,
We are pained to see all the negativity around Aakash 2, the magic tablet which has been variously described as the single most important tool that will bridge the digital divide in India. For many months now, we have been eagerly waiting. Hence this letter.
We wanted to write to you that you should just stop talking about it and start shipping those amazingly cheap tablets. But that would be rude and perhaps “sensationalist.” So lets just say that we will be grateful to you if you could start shipping the $20 (or $35, whichever that ships) tablets to India as soon as possible.
As you already know, our education system, which happens to be one of the largest in the world, can barely wait to have thousands of those shiny new tablets, to start working. Never mind the severe shortage of good teachers or the surprising teaching standards. We are told that Ethiopian children learned to hack the Motorola Xoom on their own. And they didn’t even know English. Without doubt, our children can do the same.
Like you have pointed out, the Aakash 2 uses the All winner A13 chip, which has become the standard among low cost tablets. We want our children to be all winners too, so we can supply some more low cost labor to big multi national corporations. Like our honorable ministers, we can’t wait to end the digital divide either. We just can’t wait for a “billion Indians,” many of them who are supposed to be living under Rs 32 a day, to wake up and smell the filter coffee.
If you seriously believe that those “allegations are a desperate attempt sabotage the image of India,” we wish that you would remain unfazed by the allegations levelled at your firm by a certain newspaper and start shipping now. Be sure to get rid of those “misleading” labels. Never mind that subsequently, another reporter dug out documents showing that about 12,000 devices designed by AllWinner Tech of China were procured by your company Datawind weeks before the launch date on November 11. For all you know, it could be Chinese propaganda.
Most of us know that Datawind is a London headquartered company and that you and your brother Mr Raja, haven’t lived in India for many years. But that doesn’t make you any less Indian in our mind. So its okay if our external affairs ministry tries to pass off “Aakash 2 as an Indian innovation” at the United Nations. After all, we still gush with pride because hundreds of years ago one of us invented zero, even if its origin has never been conclusively traced to India.
We could go on. But, assuming that you caught our drift, we’d like to end here. After all, your time is too precious to be wasted on open letters on the Internet.
PS: We’d be grateful if you could send us replies to the questions we sent to you last week.