Copying from the Copycat!

Will the world’s two most populous countries ever do anything original?

China typically copies every meaningful innovation that the West comes up with.

India is now beginning to explore how best it can imitate China. This is evident from fundamentalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instructions to transport officials in his country to get details on China’s recent contraption called the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB), also referred to as the Straddling Bus.


This is what the world’s two most populous countries are capable of delivering – stealing concepts unabashedly with a blind indigenous fan base. Producing people and distributing them to the world in wild numbers is the only original thing they do best!

Aping the Copycat, that’s India!

The Straddling Bus, invented to help tackle traffic woes, is an eyesore of a product that blends the functions of a train, tram and bus. It will run on rails, just as trams do.

The difference is that with the TEB the seating will be on an elevated platform, allowing other vehicles on the road to ply underneath. A weird concept?

The idea is said to have originated in the U.S. in 1969 when a similar-shaped elevated bus, called the Landliner, was conceptualised to run between Boston and New York. But it was abandoned as it came to be seen as impractical.

Perhaps the two copycat nations will try to make it practical. If that goes mainstream, there will be lessons for the world to learn, either positive or negative!

G Joslin Vethakumar

China’s ‘straddling bus’ trial catches PM’s eye


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