Pro Ramdev is an Ex-servicemen and veteran from the auto industry who is also one of the founding members of ARPRO Academy. Here is a recollection by him about the Tatra Brand. Your articles can also be published on http://www.autoretailpro.com if approved. Mail your articles to publish@autoretailpro.com


The year 1983, I got married in Bangalore during the same time I got selected to do my Armament Artificer coarse at EME School Baroda this was my second Diploma in service, the first one I had done in Apprentice Training School EME Bhopal between late 1968 to mid 1971(It was cut short due to Ops Cactus Lily – Bangladesh Liberation war).

We were 16 selected SNCO’s in the batch and also one more addition to this batch was Sgt Moses from Botswana Army. We were a batch consisting of technically well qualified people. Who have made for this course facing a stiff screening, However some batch mates were from rural background of UP, Haryana and Punjab, to them the course content which was in English was somewhat uncomfortable. This made me as most sought after and popular in the batch. Sgt Moses used to find difficulty in following the accent of some of the JCO instructors. Hence he was attached with one of our batch mate Havildar Natarajan (who later on after some time got commissioned into Officer Cadre). This Natarajan was from Tamilnadu, well built and his complexion and built was nicely getting camouflaged with Moses, Natarajan was a hard working and studious fellow, but during the entire course he could not beat me in any phase or capsule. This he is to attribute to the reason of lot of his time being spent with Moses to make him cope up with the subjects covered during class of the day, as a result very little time for his self studies and he suffered in his performance. Which was never accepted by me and many of my batch mates, reason being as he was helping Moses he had advantage of not being assigned for any other administrative work or night duties, this as a background my batch mates used to rubbish that his reason of time spent with Moses is an excuse for his poor performance (that partly because they all needed me for their assistance as well !!!).

The course contained apart from the routine subjects many subjects of familiarisation related to latest vehicles inducted in Indian Army and some which were in the process of induction to the Armed Forces.

The Heavy Recovery Vehicle MAN (popularly known as HRDV MAN) which was in the process of induction to Armed Forces and the TATRA which was then present in selected elite Artillery Units were part of the curriculum.

Now TATRA is in big time news for wrong reasons. This prickled my memory hence this recollections.

Both the above mentioned vehicles were on display at this prestigious Institute and there is to be very special attention always bestowed on them. They were parked inside specially decked hangers with lot of attractive demo materials and literature surrounding them. A tour of this place for all the visiting VIP’s was a must. These tours were very carefully chartered and meticulously conducted at all times. Each of such visits used to be a big event in Army parlance. During such tour preparation responsible people toiled to work extra hours, sometimes late into nights and dawn of next day, every one used to be extra careful telling each other “Kal ka visit mein Kuch Bhi tukai nahi hona chaaye”.

I am not sure of present deployment of TATRA in forces, however during early 80’s as far as my knowledge goes it was used for howling Artillery Guns and to carry required Ammunitions and Men.

Every Individual going to EME School Auto Wing was thrilled and to eagerly look forward for his turn to have a glimpse of these specialised equipment. Incidentally then there were two Czechoslovakian Engineers stationed along with this displayed TATRA for extending the briefing and to conduct the familiarisation, imagine the proceedings which might have happened when our batch got the turn to have a feel of TATRA. Normal Indian Spoken English was Chinese to some of our batch mates and above this we were blessed with Moses an African and Czech Engineers conducting the class. An unforgettable life time experience, most of the class got conducted in an language which emerged out of this mix of people instantly, many times it used to be signals and sign language which came to our rescue. Most of the things we learnt were by exploring ourselves and by going through the pages of manuals.

Now this experience was a boon to me when I started my career after shedding my uniform during early 90’s. I was fortunate to be selected by a then upcoming TATA Dealership (Prerana Motors) at Bangalore. Estates and Sierra’s from TATA stables were premium products during that period (in many instances people used wait and take delivery of these booked car’s). These cars were equipped with OE fitment Power Steering sourced from Rana Power Steering. That was a later technology at that point of time in our context of car industry. The exposure I had during 1983 on TATRA which was equipped with power steering proved very useful and came handy in resolving many teething problem at this point of time. Once again to some extent I was sought after man. It was a nice feeling.

Finally, The muddle into which TATRA has got into currently pains me a lot, however I do not know the reasons for such feelings……as we all felt it was great vehicle, technical high end at that point of time.

Is this is what we call as a Relationship?.

By Pro Ramdev


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