17 October 2006

Equal Rights for all ?

I got this from a friend of mine who drives around bangalore in his Royal Enfield Thunderbird. About a week ago, he was on his way to work in Bagmane Tech Park in C.V.Raman Nagar. Without going much into too much details, i shall just mention here that there is a narrow and almost always flouted one-way road.
So one fine morning on his way to office he sees a Santro driving on the wrong side of the road with full headlights on. Being a highway traveller himself, he flashes his lights and continues on happily, advancing menacingly towards the santro. The santro brakes just a few feet ahead of him and out emerges a 30 something male, hurtling choiciest abuses at my friend. My friend undoubtedly shocked, parks his bike just before the santro, removes his helmet and gives back the expletives in equal measure.

However, as he told me later, what puzzled him was what the santro driver said in chaste kannada "We are the original settlers of this place. Before you s/w guys came here, we were freely driving around in this road. You have come and spoilt this place. I live in this place and only if you live here you will understand how hard it is for me to take a 1km detour just to come and go out of my house. I will not respect this one-way." Most importantly this gentleman was not even the chauffeur of the santro. He was the owner !

As we were later discussing, if such educated guys have this kind of feeling, how long will it take for the daily wage labourers and other people to get this kind of feeling ? What would it lead to ? I am not even talking about the concept of foreign people and that kind of hostility. This is plain anger against a section of the population.

I don't know the situation in other cities. Why, i don't have the faintest idea of how the situation is in my own motherland-Madras. But what i do know is that the Gentleman in santro is not an isolated one. Circa 2004 when i took Bangalore BMTC buses to travel from Indian Institute of Science to Domlur where i used to work, i have seen lots of people grumbling whenever empty buses with "Infosys" logo go past them and they are crammed and jammed into one bus that takes ages to come to the bus stop. Who is to blame for this ? Who is to take action to rectify this mess ? And more precisely, what can we as ordinary individuals do ?

Has such a situation arisen in bangalore because all it had prior to this software mess was public behemoths like NAL, HAL and others and a few government banks ? Or is this the price to pay for rapid and haphazard urbanization ? Disturbing questions that seem to have no convincing answer.
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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:29 PM


  1. Blogger Soccer Mania posted at Wednesday, October 18, 2006 at 4:03:00 PM GMT+5:30  
    I think u can allow some anonymous comments for this post to get some interesting responses!!!!
  2. Blogger sureshkumar posted at Saturday, October 21, 2006 at 5:02:00 AM GMT+5:30  
    I can think of one major reason - government of Karnataka (the perennial and default reason!!).
    Not only the government of Karnataka, almost the central and all state governments fail to plan for the future.

    Nobody has a vision! When all the software companies flocked Bangalore, the government was happily reaping the benefits (read: enjoying the inflow of money). I am still not sure, what they are doing with that money.

    Anybody with the faintest idea of planning would have redirected the profits of one industry, to other industries to develop them.

    Well, this country is 60 years old and still planning and a vision are eluding us!! Have you seen any successful 5-year plan?

    Bangalore is a ready-to-erupt volcano. One day, the locals will rebel (haven't they started already?) or the corporates will start leaving the place (Many are already thinking about it!!).
  3. Blogger K.Shyam posted at Thursday, October 26, 2006 at 9:53:00 AM GMT+5:30  
    soccer (akku is it or rman ??) : no. no more anonymous comments encouraging ball-less (you do know what i am going to say to complete the sentence ;-)

    suresh : well i quite agree with your observations. but unfortunately not may will. trust me

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