India & Around, Living, Personal

Insider or Outsider?

This is inspired by the responses I got to the post about roads, which somehow got into a discussion about insiders and outsiders.

First let me say that I really think that I reserve the right to ‘crib’ on my own space. I think that as far as Bangalore goes, I have been a great champion of the city and have taken to it like a fish takes to water.

My friends in Mumbai are amazed that I turned ‘Bangalorean’ faster than I ever turned a Mumbaiite (even after 5 years there, I didn’t really feel like one). So when Shub writes about “her city” and how she cannot take a word against it, I must say that I gave this some thought.

Why can’t we take the facts? Just because it is ‘our’ city, should we be oblivious to the realities that exist? Should we as concerned citizens remain mute bystanders and just take anything that comes our way? I think without people who protest, raise dharnas, fight for their rights as a citizen, we would be still in the dark ages.

I think if you’ve been following my blog, I’ve been a champion of living in the city and the opportunities that exist here and harped quite a lot on the positive side. But I have to call a spade a spade once in a while. It is a known fact that infrastructure is crumbling and that the city is no longer able to cope with it. I am sure solutions will emerge in a few years. But are we to keep totally silent till then? And the sad part is that the government saw this development coming and still has not been able to do much about it. An editorial in The Hindu said that it’s not a problem of money, but of poor governance.

Maybe, things will improve over the years, but we all have our limits of patience and I think Bangaloreans are being tested to their limits already.

I object even more about being called an ‘outsider’. Not only have I settled into my life in this city, I am proud of it and what it offers.

And what is “my city” anyway? I have never lived in one for more than 5 years in my adult life. If I decide that this is the city I want to live in, earn a living and settle down, why should I be called an outsider and asked to leave? It is but a city in my own country, isn’t it? Why should I then be discriminated against? Just because I was not born here?

I live here, pay my taxes to this government, what else should I do to qualify as an insider? I strongly object to this and I think that only narrow minded people can still stick to the ideology that their state is for them alone. What happens to Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta if they decide to throw out all the so called “outsiders”?

Some truly narrow minds still exist as displayed through anonymous comments and it’s rather shameful that they exist in today’s times, when what we should be thinking about is how to progress as a nation and not as individuals stuck in some pre-historic time zone clinging to concept of “my state, and my city” where everyone else qualifies as “outsiders”.

And what if all the countries filled with Indian immigrants like the UK and the United States decides to do this one day? We will cry out loud saying it’s racism and discrimination and yet it is as insidious in our own country, as is apparent by this particularly offensive comment, “The kannadiga anger is near the brim and one day when it would explode all of you would know.” What a crying shame.

I am a huge supporter of being a global citizen. People should be able to live and work anywhere in their country and the world, without being called outsiders and being told to “go back”. And go back where, I ask? I for one wouldn’t know where. I have lived all over the country – in Shillong, Guwahati, Pune, Sydney, Mumbai and now in Bangalore. So where do I really belong and where do I go “back” to?

Usha writes in this post, about how hurt she was after being called an outsider after 26 years of living in the city. “Happened to me when someone asked me if I was a kannadiga or an “outsider”in Bangalore. The categorisation seemed very clear. It did not matter that I had lived in this city for 26 years, considered it my home, spoke kannada better than some for whom it was the mother tongue and above all, loved the city. I own property and I have voting rights here. And yet, to be called an outsider in your home?! Now, that hurt, very very deeply. I did not know where I belonged anymore.”

And I totally understand how she would feel. Why are some people still stuck in these parochial worlds?

(Comments now closed on this post).

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21 Comments

  1. Don’t bother about comments by Anonymous losers. The very fact that he/she wants to remain anonymous proves that they are not convinced about their words or ideas. They are probably ashamed and hence hide behind their anonymity. There fundamentalist, racist people will keep screaming. Ignore them. Ignore the petty politicians that crave for attention. It is only a matter of time before these losers will find another issue to scream about.

  2. A few years ago, only politicians spoke like this – of course we all understand it when such crap comes from them. It is such a disappointment when such nonsense comes from the elite( an english speaking, blog reader/ commenter obviously belongs to the top 5% bracket). It is clearly a sign of a disease – let us not ignore it and allow it to spread. Let us counter it as and when we meet it.

  3. Pranjal says

    Glad you made that post. It’s a shame we still have such ignorant fools in a city that brags about being cosmopolitan.

  4. I read your manufactured anguish about being called an outsider. I was more than amused by it. Why did you move out of mumbai after 5 years ? You didnt feel for that place anyway. You are just yet another person thinking about your interests and not for any larger ideology/concept/people. You just want better roads so that you can live in peace.

    But you masquerade as some holier than thou.. This is the infoscion culture. Have a twist to your interest so that others will work towards satisfying your interest.

    Afterall you only talk of bangalore and your global citizen ideas. What about those living outside bangalore (literally and figuratively) ? dont they deserve any better ? How come you dont talk about them ? If kannada is enforced all over the place, would you still live here ? If you were in chennai would you still be talking the same things ? Well you can make these questions rhetoric for which we all know the answer or you can actually start soul searching.

    Bad roads bother you, dieing people doesent. There lies the superficiality of your approach. People like you dont even vote. The uneducated biharis have the responsibility to travel all the way just to vote. You dont.

    I have lived in delhi and know how non-hindi people are discriminated. That includes many of my friends from the nort east (calling them chinkis and calling tamil folks LTTE). Why is it that you dont have the same treatment out here in bangalore ? and wherever you may be working, take a look at how many kannadigas are there. Take a stock, start from there and let me know how IT has benifited Kannadigas. The people whos home are routinely stolen in the name of IT, developement and GDP.

    I think your tears are crockodilian.

    Why should kannada not be forcibly enforced in bangalore to benifit kannadigas when the same is done in delhi where hindi is enforced, the same in cal where bengali is enforced ? or in tamland where tamil is enforced. Whats wrong with this model apart from shock and unnaceptability and being on the receiving end. Have you ever tried to grapple with this matter and find out what happens to the kannadiga common man ?

    Britain, EU, USA are all asking the same question today. Whom has this cosmopolitanism benifited. I am sure you would have visited the trendiest spots in bangalore. That is your view of bangalore. Ever gone beyond that ?

    Japan is purely japanese and almost everything is owned by japanese because of the insularity of that society. I think they have better adapted to a changing world than those who had opened themselves to liberalisation.

    @suman – IT doesent matter that I am anonymous. What matters is my ideas. Please dont be under the impression that blog world is the real world.

    @usha – You said it. Top 5 % educated elite. A french philosopher said education should liberate your mind and fight against elitism. I donot quiet agree that the top 5% elite can be called educated.

    @Pranjal – Cosmopolitanism is no virtue.

    Irrespective of weather i am anonymous or not, I would still say what I have to say and anita, its still your blog. I am just a commenter trying to prick through the bubble you live in. I cant tolerate elitist comments and no-dont-question-me attitude. That bird lives in africa and is called ostrich. Between being the ostrich and a loser (as suman loftily quoted), I chose the later and why not ?

  5. Mr Loser is fighting a losing battle. We should carry on with our lives without paying any heed to the crap he talks. No amount of justification can convince our dear friend.

    Anita carry on the good work. Keep inspiring. We all love Bangalore!!! Do update about the next bloggers meet 🙂

  6. paavai says

    I am not sure, if we should totally ignore the comments made by mannina magaa . Personally I would like to introspect and dwell deeper into some of the statistics presented, even though I am NEVER going to concur with the extreme view points presented.

  7. Sameer says

    “I have lived in delhi and know how non-hindi people are discriminated” : So Mr Magaa – Are you trying to do the same now here in Bangalore? Is it your revenge that’s directing you? Instead I suppose you should try harder to see to it that Bangalore treats all it’s citizens at par and set an example for other cities to follow. India is one, we all are one! Let’s respect our people and our unity in diversity!

  8. My is – has the IT industry benifitted the local citizens of Bangalore more in aspects of employment and bridging the gap between the rich and poor or is it otherwise?

    I believe any industry that comes into a place should first work towards emplyoying the people of the place and benefit the locals. I am unsure as to how IT has helped those guys on whose agritultural land it builds its IT Parks.. And how many immediate locals does the IT in bangalore employ, afterall if the people of the place don’t benefit then who should?

    Do tell me, as my knowledge on the topic is deficient.

    ushathe elite ,an english speaking, blog reader/ commenter..
    Do u mean only people who speak english are elite?? Its just another language and does not certify intelligence or confer a superiority to the speaker.

  9. Interestingly, though mannina maga makes some valid points it seemed to have got derailed due to emotional attacks and derogatory remarks to fellow indians just because they are non-kannadigas.. But aspects of IT he brought out here are something to talk about –

    Some facts about IT.

    Infosys has more than 1000 acres of agri land, stolen from people using the govt. as a broker. A couple of years ago when farmers protested against it in a press conference, they were forcibly thrown out.

    They have not even paid fully the current facility they are squatting on in E City.

    They have not paid one paise as Income tax to central govt.

    They have not yet cleared the arears for commercial taxes to the state. The outstanding amt is upwards of 500 cr.

    The total people employed by IT in india is 2.5 million. The total number directly employed in garments are atleast 50 million. More people get jobs directly from garments than in IT.

    So, why is there so much hype and demand for special treatment by IT?

    Its bangalore and karnataka, all the people in it that should benefit. The rich – poor divide should decrease. But within Bangalore city we see that gap to have exponentially increased. Isn’t that bad when only the rich get richer and poor keeps getting poorer??

    We should work together and adress issues as adults. Debate does help to an extent and might even propel one to act forward.

  10. Ullas says

    @Manning Maga
    “Afterall you only talk of bangalore and your global citizen ideas. What about those living outside bangalore (literally and figuratively) ? ”

    So, going by the same logic, why is it that you talk only about Kannadigas and not Indians at large? Or is it that the condition of India doesn’t affect you?

  11. Ullas says

    JUST A COUPLE OF POINTS FROM ANITA’S POST ON ROADS

    Case to point. There are 2 approaches to my house. One of these has been under construction for the last one year, I kid you not! One year. How it can take one year to dig up a road, put cables under it and patch it up again is beyond every stretch of my imagination.

    The other approach was also dug up and hastily reopened. At one point of time, I thought we’d have to actually get swings or large catapults to get across the large drain if they had closed both the roads at the same time.

    ***********

    Mr. Manning Maga,

    Would you blame the so-called prejudice against Kannadigas for the fate of these roads? Or is it that these bad roads exist only for non-Kannadigas?

  12. Mohit says

    As noted earlier, Mannina maga has a couple of valid points :
    1. Education has become expensive in bangalore
    2. Housing has become expensive in bangalore.

    Now my question – How is IT responsible for this? No one wants to pay extra for anything. Even if I had a zillion rupees with my (yeah right!) would I pay more for something just because I can? No! I will pay more if I see that its the prevailing rate. If the schools now ask for donations, its because they see people who can be made to pay. People are not the issue here, schools are…. ditto for builders… and for that matter vegetable vendors, auto drivers and everyone else.

    Instead of blindly following what the politicians say, try and think for yourself. I agree that things need to change but don’t let anyone else decide what you fight for.

  13. Totally with you on this, Anita. Thank you for putting it down so well. Please don’t get upset by people who don’t even have the courage to own up to their own opinions. But then if I was as narrow-minded as anonymous, I would probably wish to hide my face too. 😀

  14. hemanth says

    I don’t seem to understand the crib here. kannadiga’s and especially bangaloreans are probably the most tolerant and broadminded people amongst all other south indian cities / states !! There is no other place where people from other states (whose mother tongue is not kannada) can live in perfect harmony without understanding or speaking an iota of kannada !!!!

    Give me one other city where this is possible !!!

    In every other city, a person who is not well versant with the local language gets treated as an “OUTSIDER” or “UNTOUCHABLE” !!! I am stating this from my personal experiences.

  15. Amit Sharma said – “Mr Loser is fighting a losing battle. We should carry on with our lives without paying any heed to the crap he talks. No amount of justification can convince our dear friend.”

    Good for you Amit. But you know there is a historical saying. “Ignore the poor at your own peril”.

    paavi said – ” I am NEVER going to concur with the extreme view points presented.”

    I think extremities bring out the many consciential people among the IT industry to think out of their bubble and not just cry all the time about their own small discomforts. When I see the extreme poverty and callousness our civil society treats the downtrodden, I think it is ok to be extreme. Infact it is better to be extreme than to be blind.

    Sameer said – ” : So Mr Magaa – Are you trying to do the same now here in Bangalore? Is it your revenge that’s directing you? Instead I suppose you should try harder to see to it that Bangalore treats all it’s citizens at par and set an example for other cities to follow. India is one, we all are one! Let’s respect our people and our unity in diversity!”

    Thanks a lot sameer. The issue however is IT symbolises the collective failiure of the India shining brigade to take other people along. Infrastructure means infrastructure for the rich. Anything for the poor is classified as deficit spending/subsidies in the anals of finance ministry. IT is the symptom of that. The disease runs deeper than that in the hand of few rich industrialists and a few crore of foot soldiers (middle class) who collude with the rich to get a little share of the booty. All I am saying is dont masquerade as doing good for India. Whenever you say that, ask yourself the question Is it the India living in koramangala and Indra nagar ? or the true India that lives in villages and earn near subsitance living. IT is the reason everything got derailed in Karnataka. A sector which employs 300,000 people out of 50,000,000 people should enjoy just .6 per cent of funding, attention and subsidies. What IT is getting is much bigger than its share and this eats into all other developemental plans of the govt.

    @Kishore – I am really glad atlest some of you see through the mirrage of IT. The funniest part is all these sensitive folks dont have it in them to answer those facts that I have put up. Its a superficial “Mile sur mera thumara” syndrome of asking the hungry common man to hold up the indian flag and feel proud while the rest of them go on looting the common man. I feel sorry because there are many among them who pretend to sleep. As you know you cant wake these people up.

    Ullas – “So, going by the same logic, why is it that you talk only about Kannadigas and not Indians at large? Or is it that the condition of India doesn’t affect you?”

    I am talking about condition of India. Isnt bellary, bidar part of India ? Isnt a kannadiga an Indian ? Do you have any doubts on that. I thought a better karnataka means a better India. Thats the India that I believe in. Not the India living in the cities and travelling around in large cars. Its funny you even have such doubts.

    Ullas further said – “Would you blame the so-called prejudice against Kannadigas for the fate of these roads? Or is it that these bad roads exist only for non-Kannadigas?”

    I think you misunderstood me (giving you the benefit of doubt). I am saying I care a rats ass for the road condition in bangalore. I care for the road condition in bellary. Enough of showing the flag of bangalore and getting free money. Why dont the person put some of her own money and fix that road. Arent those people living in the area rich enough ? The people in the villages all over this country have time and again pooled in money and labour to fix the village well, roads, lakes and tanks. This community living exists outside of bangalore and has been so for centuries. Maybe the answer is you guys think as individuals and not as a community. Which is ok as long as you stop preaching India and Indianness to others.

    Mohit said – “Now my question – How is IT responsible for this? No one wants to pay extra for anything. Even if I had a zillion rupees with my (yeah right!) would I pay more for something just because I can? No! I will pay more if I see that its the prevailing rate. If the schools now ask for donations, its because they see people who can be made to pay. People are not the issue here, schools are…. ditto for builders… and for that matter vegetable vendors, auto drivers and everyone else.

    Instead of blindly following what the politicians say, try and think for yourself. I agree that things need to change but don’t let anyone else decide what you fight for.”

    Mohit. Bennerghetta road has over 40 major residential complexes coming up. Each has atleast 1000 apartments if not more which is a minimum of 40,000 families. Add to that offices (HSBC, accenture, IBM etc. ) another 40,000 people. Which means 80,000 cars and atleast 60,000 kids (having an average of 1.5 kids per household). Also add onto this complex entertainment infrastructure for these elites which would mean 80,000 parking lots, malls, cineplexes etc. etc. Why should the govt spend money to make these people’s living world class. Instead why not put the same money in the villages to life atleast 50-75 lakh people out of poverty. These 40,000 households would screw up the rent, prices of vegetables and make common man’s existance a lot more difficult. Dont believe me ? The cost of onions and potatoes in sarjapur market is 3 times that of KR market on any given day. The land prices have been doubling every 4 months all across bangalore. I think this model is not sustainable. We got to push up the rural economy even at the cost of IT.

    Anindita said – ” Thank you for putting it down so well. Please don’t get upset by people who don’t even have the courage to own up to their own opinions. But then if I was as narrow-minded as anonymous, I would probably wish to hide my face too. :D”

    Anindita. Its sad that instead of answering questions or raising more questions, you seek to rubbish my words just based on weather I have a blog id or not… really how does tha matter. Would really like to know.

  16. I have few conclusions from the response of our dear friend.I’m sure Mannamaga is on BENCH in Infy else noone can dare writing such long long responses. His home town is Bellary because he keeps talking about it. He’s a congressman as Bellary also happens to be the constituency of Sonia Gandhi. Mannamaga buys his onions form KR Market. I’m sure he’s an economist/engineer seeing all statistics he’s given. 🙂

    Buddy you are wasting your talent here, if u r so concerned then put these words across to the govt. Why can’t you see positive things in life. Even poor men are happy except you. Each accusations of ur can be countered but then its a never ending loop, u accuse and others answer and so on. Now dont start cribbing again.

  17. paavai says

    Have you heard of “Sudha Murthy” “Azim Premji foundation” that “Honeywell has social work as one of their values”

    Just because one works for IT, it does not mean that poverty does not move them or they are not doing anything for the poor and needy. One does not have to take extreme stance to mitigate these, the middle path can also bring in results.

  18. You ask any citizen (outsider or insider however you wish to address who has lived for more than 10 years in Bangalore) what has been the main contributor of this pathetic state of affairs and you’ll hear “IT” more often than “Deve gowda”.

    Lets admit it, a city which was designed to house 20 lakh has taken in 400% more in the last decade or so mainly because of IT and related services. True, it was the Government’s problem to speculate and make adjustments but with the prevalent redtapism, what more can you expect? The once seen huge plots gave way to multi storied apartments and commercial buildings…i.e. if a 60X40 plot had one bungalow, the real estate guys built four storey building on the same plot thus increasing the population 4 fold, imagine what would be the state if 10 such buildings come up in the same road. Ok, you want to argue that the Corporation should not have given the permission…fine, now they want to correct their mistakes, will you give them a chance? If yes, talk to the Koramangala residents.

    And half the time, everybody talks about paying Income Tax. You are paying to the center and the state gets only a fraction of that. What do you expect the state government to do with the little chunk? Should they concentrate on under developed parts of the state or still cater to the ever demanding IT fraternity?

    Most of the IT bosses say that a Public – Private partnership is required to correct the state of affairs of Bangalore. They should first start the charity at home.. why don’t they admit that they have raped the city left, right and center and stop this insane expansion and go and set up shop in other parts of the country? Don’t you think its going to do a lot good for the country in general and the respective states in particular?

    Even if the Government of Arunachal Pradesh gives free land, 25 years Income tax holiday to Narayan Murthy, will he open a development center there? He won’t do it…the only interest that the IT bosses have is to make money and live in air conditioned rooms. Because of this short sighted attitude of the rich, that we, the citizens of India have to bow our heads in shame at the sorry state of affairs in states like Bihar, UP and other NE states.

    There seems to be a whole lot of Jain Hinds doing rounds, but are we doing our duty like law abiding citizens? Instead of cribbing about the present government, why don’t you pressurize the State where you hail from to encourage investments in IT. That reduces the migration and brings down a whole lot of other problems to a great extent.

    You visit the old localities of Bangalore during rains and see if they are facing the hardship..you’ll know the correct reason. If every individual who has bought an apartment in new localities like Indiranagar, Koramangala, HSR layout or working in new age centers had checked if the plans were in order and as per Corporation law, half the problem would have been solved.

  19. Ullas says

    “I am talking about condition of India. Isnt bellary, bidar part of India ? Isnt a kannadiga an Indian ? Do you have any doubts on that. I thought a better karnataka means a better India. Thats the India that I believe in. Not the India living in the cities and travelling around in large cars. Its funny you even have such doubts. ”

    Funny isn’t it? If you are so concerned about India at large, then how come the whole OUTSIDER business began with you? And whoever talked about India being in the cities…India lies equally in the villages as in the cities but calling an Indian an outsider in an Indian city is nothing short of criminal…time you shook off the pseudo-Indianness…

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