Bangalore Assaulted!

“So, your son is moving to Bangalore? But people from Mumbai do not like Bangalore. They find it difficult....” commented one of our neighbourhood friends in Powai to my mother. Another relative of mine who met me at a wedding in Thane after my relocation to Bangalore commented (albeit ominously) “Bangalore...?” and mimed that it is so vital to know how to drive a 2-wheeler or a 4-wheeler in Bangalore.

In 1957, my father shifted to Mumbai from a remote village near Kanyakumari. Now, in 2008, it was the turn of his elder son to move to Bangalore. The wheel was turning a full circle. For a hard core Mumbaikar like me, it took a while to get adjusted to the new place. But at the cost of sounding a bit immodest, I made many friends here - right from travel house car drivers, auto drivers, clerks in post offices, post master generals, priests in temples, the newspaper vendor, the shop owner selling bags, the flower vendors, vegetable vendors, office boys, the boy filling petrol in the petrol pump, the security guard in the school...  One of my colleagues often chides me, “Practically everyone you have interacted with has become your friend? Do you have a magic wand?” I had to smile sheepishly at him.

Do you feel I am talking about a topic that is as arcane and as pedantic as it can get? Now sample some of these instances mentioned in the paras below and you will be horrified that the culture in Bangalore has become rotten beyond imagination. Once a sleepy city and prided as the garden city of India, this city has paid a huge price for earning the tag of “Silicon Valley of India”. Let me hasten to add that the role of outsiders/ migrants in polluting this culture is immense. The vanity resulting out of huge pay packets in the IT industry has spoilt most of the population here.

One of my dear friends, Nishant Agarwal (the branch manager in Andhra Bank) was aghast at the salaries people were earning in Bangalore. He cited one particular instance where the husband was earning some 9 lacs per month, the wife was earning 3 lacs per month and they had come to him for a home loan for building a weekend getaway near Bangalore.  Working couples simply do not know what do with all this money. Result? They engage drivers, cooks, ayahs, tuition teachers. The only activity that they feel compelled to do all by themselves is taking bath and cleaning themselves after their morning ablutions in the toilet.

Now, a few facts....

  1. A middle aged lady is dropping her kids to a school in Bangalore in a swanky car. As she gets out, it appears as if she has emerged directly from her bed. She is in a diaphanous nightie, the length of which is restricted to her thighs. Stylishly she walks to the school gate knowing full well that vegetable vendors, security guards in the school and other passersby are ogling at her.
  2. School children in Bangalore have been increasingly using the “F...” word.
  3. One schoolboy (Class V) wrote on his blackboard, “My class-teacher is a f....g bitch”.
  4. Another boy who is supposedly the grandson of a former politician is so spoilt that teachers are petrified of him. Fed up of their threats yielding no results, the school has now suggested to the parents to take the boy (Class V) for psychiatric counselling at NIMHANS, Bangalore.
  5. Two young girls are molested near M G Road, Bangalore in broad daylight. No one comes to their rescue.
  6. ”Today after 42 years, this is the first time I got up at 5 o’clock in the morning” comments a parent – Samyukta Gowda. She had to get up that early to pack vegetarian sandwiches for her son who was going for a badminton practice session at Jyoti Niwas college. Samyukta proudly declares that she doesn’t remember when was the last time she had entered the kitchen. 
  7. Another boy in Class VIII (who has been brought up under the care of ayahs and maids) has begun smoking. Both his parents {working in Accenture and Infosys} have a crazy schedule. To make matters worse, they have to travel frequently. The parents were shell shocked when they came to know that their son had begun smoking.

Thus, the growth and decadence of Bangalore seems to be an ambivalent statement. Day in and day out the city is being assaulted.

  1. Every second person in Bangalore has a two-wheeler.
  2. On an average, every household has at least two vehicles.
  3. Pollution levels in the city are so high that Bangalore has now earned the tag of “Black City”.
  4. Auto drivers (literally) take you for a ride and display a cavalier attitude even for the elderly and the sick...
  5. The IT population in Bangalore has pampered the flower sellers, fruit sellers, and vegetable vendors so much that anyone who negotiates with these people for a better bargain will invite the choicest of abuses.
  6. Every second street in the city is filled with abattoirs and poultry shops.
  7. There is filth everywhere with people spitting at all odd places, throwing garbage wherever they find a vacant spot.
  8. The narrow lanes of Bangalore are occupied on both sides for free parking of two-wheelers and four-wheelers.
  9. Traffic congestion in the city is turning from bad to worse.
  10. Owners of independent houses merrily park their vehicles on the road and there is no one to question them.
  11. There are no separate zones on the road earmarked for cycles.
  12. Public transportation is pathetic and one is wondering if the metro rail system will ever improve things in the city.

I am sorry for presenting such a morbid picture and such a grim scenario, but that is the way it is. There is no willingness to change and old-timers are pained to watch their favourite garden city turning into a city of vagrants and gold diggers .The floating population in the city has only made people more avaricious and morality has been thrown to the winds. Is there an escape from this? Or are all these events a result of rapid Westernization of our nation? Bangalore is the first victim of this trend! What does the future portend?


More by :  G. Venkatesh

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Views: 3441      Comments: 8

Comment "when crowds laugh and humilate a person.the same crowds will cry and praise that particular person."

06-Sep-2014 13:52 PM

Comment no one comes to learn philosophy from you. try to be what you have to be.Reality is what it strikes a person when he faces it.

06-Sep-2014 13:44 PM

Comment Thanks for this article ... but would you ever imagine the situation of the Local population. I belong to Bangalore i know for sure that all my fore fathers have been in this placed now called Bangalore ... Thanks to first round of industrialization we lost our fertile land .. i don't know if your aware Bangalore as the best soil for horticulture we used to grow one of the best vegetables , Fruits and Flowers in south india which would go up to Metro's like Chennai and Mumbai
During the first wave of industrialization we lost our Land to BEL, HAL , BHEL , HMT etc ... public sector companies and our land was acquired at cheap rates but we had an advantage atleast some of our people were hired
But today we have lost our land to KIADB (Karnatka Industrial Area Development Board) which acts like a real estate agent by paying us 10 Lakhs per hectare of land and once the SEZ is setup its rented out at 4000 per sqft ... and no reservation of jobs for us ...

We lost our lands now to IT parks , ITPL , Devanhalli Airport , Electronics City.. etc... the only people who have become rich in the growth story of Bangalore are politicans and there real estate goons ...
People who belonged to this soil are now forced to move out of the city to Anekal, Hosur etc.. As we believe in our mother earth and want to live a peaceful life with her.

Prashanth Bangalore
06-Feb-2014 04:47 AM

Comment Hi,

I'm staying in Bangalore from past 15 years (Since my school days). Note that I have my family lived in Mumbai, Dehli & Chennai. I just love Bangalore city.

Good features on Bangalore is "Climate", "People Acceptance", "Opportunities"

Comments on "a few facts....".... Every city is having these problems... Why blaming Bangalore?? !!!

Commenting on "Day in and day out the city is being assaulted".... These problems are created by us (Outside Bangaloreans....) ... Just ask anybody(Madarasi, Hydarabadi, Bihari....(any other city)) to go back to their native place because of abocve reason.... (Answer is .... NO).. they want to blame the city & praise their hometown (crocodile tears to wish to go back to their native))...

Feel very sorry for the people to JUST blame & don't think correct it...

Amaresh Bhol
07-Sep-2010 05:03 AM

Comment Hi,
A well written article. I completely agree about the cultural degradation. The education and brought up of children is more towards making a 'big' life (in materialistic aspects) rather than being a good human being, well integrated into the society.
But this is common all across India. Personally I thought, cities like Delhi are more culturally and morally degraded than Bangalore.
About the outsider/immigrant population, yes, they do add to the problem by not integrating with the local culture and as a result feel left out and then blame the city rather than blaming themselves.

07-Sep-2010 03:01 AM

Comment Hi,

While I agree with some points you have made above, I also want to state that though I am a North Indian, I survived Bangalore for 8 years before moving to Pune on May 30 2010. I loved Bangalore for many reasons and hated it at the same time for the reasons mentioned above.......... However, having said this, I also want to bring to light the fact that Bangalore is much safer compared to other metro cities in India and has some amazing places to hang out in. Bangalore is surrounded by one of the best weekend-getaway places so one can enjoy a truly refreshing weekend. Also, certain parts of Bangalore like Jayanagar (where I stayed), Malleshwaram and Majestic still hold that Old Bangalore look. Like every other city, its true that Bangalore is loosing its charm but at the same time I want to say that things will improve as Bangalore's youth population is responsible and socially aware and will never let the spirit of Bangalore die!
Leaving Bangalore was not easy as that was "MY" city for 8 straight years and I miss it every now and then and would love to go back and meet and hang out with my friend's again :)

Reetesh Sharma
05-Sep-2010 13:39 PM

Brilliant Article. Read it out to my hubby who went to Bangalore 17 years ago and loved the place so much that he wanted to settle there. But feedback from his friends who've recently visited Bangalore is in line with what you've said and so it's been quite disappointing to know how this garden city is becoming a garbage city.

~ Always Aparna ~
28-Aug-2010 06:50 AM

Comment tats true that at most of the places when the young mass earns more than there needs they are not aware of ways to invest the money in the right way. they madly run after that money and power sparing their time that their child deserves . all this is due to the lack of inculcation of values in these people.
yes to worsen things it takes only a few moments but to make things better it requires a lot of time ,patience and demands perseverance. people over their should be first upraised of the grim situatoin they are living in. and it will be easier rather when each one will think in the right way and realise his/ her obligations to the society they will definitely start behaving in a more responsible manner. this can change things for better but with time.

27-Aug-2010 22:33 PM

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