Sad but hopeful

March 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

I know this really is a sensitive issue to many. But I could not stop thinking about it from a week now. And I cannot stop myself from writing about it.

I have written posts raving about BMTC’s good service and great initiatives. I really appreciate what they have done to make Bangalore mobile. But recently my experiences with BMTC volvo’s have been becoming unpleasant and sometimes painful as well.Depending on the time of the day and rush in the bus , they decide to stop or ignore people , whether those people stand on designated bustops or they just wave them to stop.

Unlike earlier times now they dont have printed tickets with source and destination printed at most times. This allows them to ask whavever money they want. When you argue , they argue but don’t buzz. But last week something happened which really made me feel sad.

I got into the bus from silk board and the ticket was cut from BTM layout. I could see that since it was a printed ticket , for a change. I had payed the conductor, obviously whatever I have been paying everyday , fully knowing that I have been paying extra , but not having any proof of the same. And then I saw the ticket which said “BTM Layout” in the from. I asked the conductor why he has cut the ticket from BTM layout , in hindi. I told him that this is not BTM layout , its silkboard. Please give a ticket from silk board. He said , “itna hi ticket hoga , correct hai”. I said I will complain. And he said jao complain karo. Then ,suddenly the conductor forgot all the hindi he knew and started talking in kannada. With whatever time I have spent in Bangalore , I do understand a bit of it with context. However I cannot speak a word. So I told him , this is silkboard, the bus was still standing there. And he again spoke a full sentence in kannada. No one in a full bus cared to speak a word. I then told him , that I dont know kannada and please speak in hindi. And again I got a reply in kannada. So I said , just tell me its silkboard or not. Why are you talking in a language that you know , I do not understand.Meanwhile the bus started moving. And he replies , I dont know hindi, if you people cannot learn kannada you can leave. Again , no one spoke in the bus.

How insensitive have we become. These guys charge extra from outsiders just because we don’t know the language. My maid (non-karnataka) complains of this problem every now and then. And if we protest , we are asked to leave. Can someone explain why ? India is still one country and secular by constitution. We are not outsiders , just that we speak a different language. we have come to this city to earn. But we spend what we earn here. We generate economy and jobs. If all the outsiders in Bangalore boycott BMTC , will these volvo’s be in profit. Will that conductor has his job. We will sure suffer , but so will they.

Every relationship in this world is about give and take. Even the food chain. Its easy to blame others for what you don’t have. But have you ever thought why you have what you have. If all the high paid IT professionals from other states leave this city , does that mean that IT companies will employ auto wallas and bus conductors on that job ? If the answer is yes , I understand. If its a NO , then why do they hate us so much.

When I came to Bangalore 7 years back , I felt that people here are generally polite. In 7 years this city has changed many folds and so have the people. In the city where people used to say sorry and move on after a crash on the road , now they hit each other for no reason. The other day a man was beaten in front of so many people just because he asked  the taxi driver , why he was rushing around. Another day , while I was expecting full term , I was crossing the road on a red light. Suddenly a taxi driver honked and I shivered. And he laughed. Can you imagine, he fould it pleasant and funny to scare a full term pregnant female ?

I don’t say that such things happen only in Bangalore. My brother experienced similiar stuff in Pune.

It feels sad. But I have hope. I have hope when I go to the park down stairs. When I see kids playing. They have resolved to English. Because English is not yours or mine. They never ask each other where are you from. They may see their moms/ dads standing in groups and talking in native languages but they don’t care.
They respect that some people don’t eat fish and some don’t eat chicken. They play holi and celebrate diwali. They make rangoli on Ugadi and also on new year. I have hope that some day we will be one , some day no one will ask “where are you from” and “what language you speak” question. Some day we will accept each other the way we are.



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  1. This is really sad. Those who are promoting (by ignoring, and with silence) do not realise that once it becomes a culture to be rude, then it won’t just be ‘outsiders’ who would be treated with lack of curtsey/consideration. And rudeness is just the beginning.

    I have seen this sort of thing happening in Pune and watched it grow while we watched.
    And this when Indians settle in every part of the world and proudly create little Indias over there…
    I feel all this begins with changing the names of the city, maybe I am wrong…

    • True IHM , educated people who behave polished do silently promote this behaviour. A auto driver slapped a lady and the news came in paper. My husband’s colleage reaction was ..its okay , the lady should not have argued with auto wala , he is after all a poor man. Can you beat that ? A poor man can refuse to return your money and slap you and still have sympathy of people :O

      Yes , thats the irony ..we indians are one outside india , but within India 😦

  2. Not sure why this rant? It doesn’t happen only in India, it happens across the world. Whenever there is a economic disparity or a sense of insecurity prevailing across a section of masses, these things are bound to happen.

    I seriously think that IT folks are also insensitive. How many IT people who have made Blr their home have “actively”[not just voting on FB] done anything to improve living conditions here? How many non-kannada speaking folks have really made attempt to learn the kannada language? I know lot of “educated/cultured/rich” folks who don’t even feed a meal to their maid servant or behave as if the driver they hire is a bonded labour. The same insensitivity sometimes comes back to you.

    I think every coin has two sides, so your rant may be justified but those “others” may also have a some reason to be insensitive. BTW I am an outsider in Blr, non-kannadiga and I am in IT field.

    • Well thats a rant true! But if it happens across the world , does that justify it ? I do not see a reason why non kannada people should learn kannada or vice versa, unless they themselves feel the need or will. However I do know lots of them who actually can. Again if some people are insensitive to their maids/ drivers , its not because the maids and drivers are kannadigas , those people would have behaved the similar way to the maid/ drivers in their cities as well , however this again doesnot justify their behaviour. Btw will hardly find kannadiga’s as maids anyways.

      Yes , every coin has 2 sides and thats what I was trying to speculate , the other side of this coin.

      • I very much agree to your point. I’ve experienced the same kind of behaviour by the people from here, I being an outsider and do not know Kannada (nor would I want to learn it just for this sake). Its high time people grow out of it and be better human beings first and make India one.

  3. Sigh!! have experienced this bad behavior just cuz I dont know Kannada! 😦

  4. We all are Indians right??? Our national language is Hindi right?? After Hindi we have our local languages!

    How many kannadigas know to speak their national language? I am a Goan and grew up in Mumbai as a kid lived almost in all four corners of india and never experienced such pressure and heat against people just for not knowing the local language.. Auto drivers, bus conductors, traffic cops, civil services, the police, landlords, shopkeepers, hawkers and literally 90 % of Karnataka will treat you with disrespect only because you don’t know Kannada.

    I lived in Mumbai, learned Marathi, lived in chennai, learned Tamil, lived in Goa, learned Konkani, lived in Kerala, learned malyalam!!!

    Do you know why I couldn’t learn Kannada? Because they try and force it on you!

    I had to call the police helpline the other day to complain about some people yelling in Kannada after getting drunk at about 2 am in the morning.
    When I called the helpline, the lady answered the call and spoke in English and assured me of taking care if the issue. I was so happy that someone cared.. All of a sudden she asked do you understand what they are yelling in Kannada? I said no.. Not really.. It doesn’t matter.. It’s 2 in the morning.. She asks me how long have you been in Bangalore.. To which i reply about 3-4 years.. And to my shock she tells me I should be ashamed that I can’t speak or understand Kannada very well..

    I asked her how old she is and she said 29 reluctantly!! I also askEd her whether she knows Hindi which is our National language.. She said no!! I only asked her one more question?? Are you indian first or kannadigas?? And all I could hear over the phone is the hung up tone..
    We have torn this nation into so many different parts that they have become small nations by themselves.. I would not be surprised to see one state waging war against another in the future..

    Be an Indian first!!

  5. truly sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. morale of the story – learn kannada..dont complain

  7. It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people on this
    subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

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