Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bangalore bleeding from many more wounds

After 32 years in Bangalore I moved 2 years ago when a job came calling. My new station was just a few hours away. I've therefore managed a visit every month with reasonable regularity.

Some time back, I'd posted on this blog in support of the Big Bangalore Protest against the ban on live bands and other entertainment. I strongly support the movement as it infringes on my fundamental rights, but I've started to see things in a different light after my visit to the city last weekend.

First on my list of things to do in Bangalore was to join the 'Protest March' slated for August 15. On my arrival I discovered that the Protest was out of town on vacation. It was a 3 day weekend, and even a fight for one's rights needs a break. I guess that sounds reasonable.

First priority being out of town, I moved on to the others and around the city. And was quite aghast by what I saw. Potholes, ravaged roads, garbage dumped anywhere and everywhere, dividers overgrown with weed, sidewalks that are less walk and more trip 'n' fall, streets with no lights, a CMH road that's been run over by the Metro Rail project, a Koramangala that's lost its trees and everything residential about it... The city is rotting, and nobody seems to give a damn. Not the Government. Not the people. Think about it. There's a serious problem when malls come up overnight and a public utility takes years; when people fight for better drinking conditions rather than better living conditions.

Burn me at the stake for saying it if you want, but I do find the Big Bangalore Protest rather trivial considering the other wounds Bangalore bleeds from. I can't understand people taking to the streets to fight for their right to drink, dance and listen to live music under one roof, when the city's infrastructure resembles a scrap dump. Ironically they do believe that they are fighting to save Bangalore. Even worse, the protest congregates at the Mahatma's statue on MG Road.

I think the Big Bangalore Protest must rewrite its vision statement. There's more to our fundamental rights than the freedom to drink, dance and sing beyond 11pm.


Dilip Muralidaran said...

manoj, the essence of bangalore is its night life. the reason why the city has managed to build so much and grow is purely because of the night life that welcomes all the upscale highly paid skilled workforce from across the nation. taking it away means taking tax money away, people will move.

i agree bangalore roads being shitty, however having fun is equally important, which is wht makes bangalore such an awesome place. if not for the night life, who gives a damn what brigade road, cubbon park and commercial street is about. we have shit loads of those kinds of places everywhere in every city. our very own pondy bazaar and panagal park will beat the shit out of cheap shopping on commercial street.

bangalore will pay a heavy price. people are already moving out cuz of the traffic chaos. if the "Fun" part of bangalore (which is what every IT employer offers as a perk) is taken away... bangalore is not bangalore anymore...

Anonymous said...

The question you pose in your blog - is exactly the question you must pose to the authorities. Considering the state of Bangalore how come they have the focus, energy and professionalism to take on people's lifestyles - and to think of solutions instead. Especially, when they say the people indulging in pubs and dance are just a small minority - but for some reason behind all the crimes and problems of Bangalore?