The sleepy garden city is trying hard to be the modern technological hub, that it has always claimed itself to be. Before the sleepy city really grew till 1990, South End Circle was literally what it was. The southern end of Bangalore with a population of 4 Million. Then Narasimha Rao Government allowed for globalisation, the legitimacy of Pepsi. Then came the IBM Mainframes and by 1996 Bangalore with it’s population of 5 Million people was the IT Hub of India. If this wasn’t enough, Bangaloreans were considered so hip and cosmopolitan that the Miss World Pageant of 1996 was held in Bangalore. Ads would say from “Boston to Bangalore”. I would see old men wearing shorts, mind you not the RSS shorts, but those Wrangler or Docker Shorts in Malleswaram, and we would conclude that the son of the old tard lived in the US of A.
The brain drain to the west was anyway on its course. People would curse the ones that crossed the sea to a foreign land and then be jealous of them. But something else happened in parallel. People left all parts of India to reach Bangalore. It was now the home of every other Indian. Bangalore could accommodate anybody, since the Bangalorean was culturally open.
The planners of the city made hay. From 1996 to 2022, we have almost tripled in population to 13 Million. District after district was built on village after village. The Metro has endless phases beginning with Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 2A, 2B, etc. There is the ring road, the outer ring road, the nice road, the peripheral ring road, the outer peripheral ring road… you get my drift.
All this travail of what avail? The city is destroyed. The public parks are not supposed to be used during public hours. There are as many IVF centers on every road as there are tender coconut vendors. There is no way one can go shopping, so there’s an app for everything you think you might need. You can live in a gated community, which they call the smarter life, since it’s your only chance to buffet yourself against the city. So you voluntarily cage yourself, since you cannot handle the madness that the city has become.
The fundamentals aren’t being addressed at any rate. Basic sanitation, water, noise pollution, economic disparity, transport etc are of the least concern. It’s always about how to make the most of the fact that its becoming a megacity. Let’s all jump on that cash cow and milk it till she runs dry. She’s already run dry, you just can’t see it, yet.