well, there is a lot more to the story, of course.
indians used to make the finest steel in the world, called wootz, which was known to european crusaders as damascene, the steel for the mohammedans' very fine swords.
we *lost* the technology during the semitic invasions.
i am not averse to steel, but i'd prefer it if the steel production were done in third countries by indian companies. for instance, in third-world backwaters like britain. they can supply the brawn, indians can ship the iron ore there, use their coal, and make value added products to be sold around the world.
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From a talk given by LK Advani:
Britisher, who offered to eat Indian steel, had to eat his words!
Here I am particularly struck by the case of Tata Steel.
When Jamsetji Tata was dreaming of setting up a steel plant in India in the closing years of the 19th century and early years of the 20th century , he was encouraged by many patriotic Indians, including someone like Swami Vivekananda, who was far removed from the world of business. But Jamsetji's dream was also sneered and scorned at by the British, who thought that Indians were incapable of anything hi-tech. Steel-making, let's remember, was certainly hi-tech those days.
The chief commissioner of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway those days was Sir Frederick Upcott, a British gentleman. When he heard of the Tatas' plan to make steel in India and supply it to the Railways, which was then busy laying new lines in different parts of the country, he said, "Impossible. They just won't be able to do it. And if they do, I promise to eat every pound of steel rail the Tatas succeed in making."
Needless to say, history has kept no record of how many pounds of Indian steel this British gentleman ate after the Tatas' steel plant commenced production in 1912. But, surely, he would have turned in his grave after the media reported recently that Ratan Tata, the illustrious inheritor of the legacy of Jamsetji and JRD Tata, has made a bid to acquire Corus, the famous British steel company.
Let's hope we see more of this kind of activity.