Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Is Bangalore spoilt by "outsiders"?

I normally try to keep this blog mostly technical. But today there was a huge, and I mean huge, mail thread in an internal company mailing list that started with a absolutely horrifying post about somebody being abused at the Bangalore railway station. The forwarded mail looked too incredible to be true, but has been later confirmed that the person who originated the mail did undergo the experience. This blog is not about that mail; I am sure you'll be hearing about it through other channels. What this blog is about is the fact this mail thread degenerated into a big flame war between "locals" and "outsiders".

There appears to be a growing feeling among some Bangaloreans that their beautiful city has been destroyed by marauding invaders. Like all such sentiments, there is a germ of truth in this. Even I, an "outsider", miss the nice and quite city that I first came to about fourteen years back. The city has grown massively, the infrastructure is in shambles and commuting in the city is a nightmare. But is all this due to the massive immigrant population?

Well, the superficial answer is yes. The real answer is that successive Governments have spectacularly failed to address the inadequacies of Bangalore's infrastructure to address the massive immigrant population. Just look at the incredible delay in getting the International Airport project started. The immigrant population pays a lot of money in the form of taxes, probably more than the rest of Karnataka put together. However, this blog is not about the Goverments' failure either.

Several other people who complained about abusive treatment they have had with Auto drivers, Policemen etc just because they didn't know the local language. If that in itself is not appalling enough, certain "educated locals" in the list, actually had the gall to essentially say these people deserve what they get because they don't know the local language. One brilliant individual went one step further and commented that if you didn't like it you can "go back".

I am truly shocked. I do get a general feel of discontent among the general public because of the poor infrastructure, high prices, astronomical propery prices and rents. I can sympathize with them to some extent. But to have your own cubicle neighbours sport an attitude that you are an outsider who has come in and messed up Bangalore! That's a bit hard to digest.

By the way our internal list is not just employees of my company alone. There is a good cross section of people of people from various IT big names in Bangalore. May be I am making a big issue of some comments from a small but vocal bunch of idiots, but I am really so agitated that I had to make this blog. Now that it's out of my system, I can get back to my regular tech oriented blog ;-).


aaditya said...

True, the incident was indeed shocking. But this outsider thing is all over the place. I've felt it in college at REC Calicut (I'm from the north)and I guess my friends from south got it up there.

Sad sad...

Sachin said...

Same here, I remember two months back the railway TT misbehaved with me stating that i can't even speak kannada even though i am here for 2 years. Though all of this started when i refused to pay him 100 Bucks as bribe.
Lately computers have to be booked (As stated by him) if you bring it to bangalore. I was informed on this by my girl friend when she was charged an amount of 216/- The worst part is when i asked the same at Bhopal station they stated that if the total baggage wait is less than 35 I don't need too and that recently there was a change and you don't have to book the computers though other electronic equipments have to be. Imagine when the Railway guys give you all mixed reasons, what would a customer do when he is charged even though he does his best to gather information before boarding. Huh!

Sachin Gopal

Anonymous said...

RTFM please ,


35 KG is indeed allowed.( conditions )

Rejoy said...

i totally agree with the stated points... at one time there was this email circulating round our company encouraging kannadigas to not help outsiders... imagine my surprise when some of my cubcle mates actually supported this idea... i thought we were all human beings first, and then everything else later (indians being one of them)...
but like all things ugly, it melted away after a few days :)