February 16, 2020
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Cyber Rajas

Cyber Rajas
Nothing has changed in Bangalore in the last three months. The roads haven't become broader, the traffic hasn't cleared and the cars haven't started flying. And, to use the current buzzword, "infrastructure" hasn't suddenly begun booming. But, suddenly, the brave voices of N.R. Narayana Murthy and Azim Premji have fallen silent. Three months ago, the Infosys chief mentor was demanding that Bangalore be pulled out of Karnataka and directly administered by the President, no less. And the Wipro boss came late to a meeting with the deputy CM to show how bad it was trying to get from one part of town to the other.

Neither told us then whether things were any different under the previous Congress regime. And neither is telling us now how things have improved after their theatrics. But, after creating the impression that the presence of Deve Gowda's JD (Secular) in the coalition had made things irredeemably worse for Bangalore, peace has been restored. Chief minister Dharam Singh paid a by-now-mandatory visit to the Infy campus last month where Murthy put in an indent for 350 acres (1,52,46,000 sq ft) of fresh land for a new campus. And Premji has sought 100 acres (43,56,000 sq ft). The magic of the digital era, we had been told, was that it would require so little space unlike heavy industries. Is this the same digital era our teachers were talking about? Obviously, cities need showpieces, but if M/s Murthy & Premji want to play more than a cosmetic role in saving Bangalore, maybe they should ask their staff to use bicycles even outside campus. And while we are at it, will somebody explain the logic of subsidising 2 crore sq ft of land to two cash-flush IT majors?

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