Fear and Stupidity in Bangalore
In the wake of the riots following Dr. Rajkumar’s passing away, Bangalore has been witness to disturbing levels of paranoid hysteria.
No, I’m not referring to the rioters. Enough has been said about their actions and motives. I am referring to those who, enveloped in their completely self-centered fear, lose all sense of perspective and make statements like the following:
I got some pictures of Talisma office being ransacked during the riots in Bangalore last week, following Rajkumar’s death. I believe that’s solid proof that IT companies were indeed targetted. I blogged about it; but I thought publishing the pictures on Bangalore Metblog would give it wider reach.
During 2002-03, Bangalore had 1154 Software Technology Park Units. The numbers as of now are arguably considerably higher, and these numbers do not take into account non-STP units.
What is interesting is that only 3 IT companies were actually the “targets” of the mob violence.
Besides loss of productivity due to the shutdown, some companies in the vicinity of Dr Rajkumar’s home in Sadashivnagar such as Microsoft Research, Aditi Technologies and Talisma suffered damages as vandals picked them up to target their ire.
3 out of 1154. This in itself should trash the notion that any “targeting” of IT companies took place.
What did take place, however, is something every 8 year old child is well acquainted with: the impact of a rocky projectile with glass window panes.
This is a picture of the Microsoft Research office (before it was damaged of course)
This is a picture of the Talisma office:
What’s common between the two buildings you say? For one, they are both in Sadashivnagar, which is where Dr.RajKumar’s residence is. Secondly, glass. Lots of glass. Huge glass facades which invite stone throwing during a riot. Given a choice, would a rioter hurl a stone at a plain brick and stone building, or one with glass facades?
Of course, aforementioned paranoid hysterics will conveniently fail to mention that a lot of property in the Sadashivnagar area was attacked, IT company or not. For that matter, stones were pelted even at Dr. Rajkumar’s neighbour’s houses!
Saying that IT companies were “targeted” by the rioters, is like saying that a stampeding herd of elephants was targeting the other jungle animals it trampled over.
I do understand that many people were rudely jolted out of the fact that Bangalore is not the paradise on earth they were told it was before coming here. We would do well to remind ourselves that Bangalore is in India, and faces the same fundamental issues that the rest of India does.