Bangaloreans like to "sound off" about the problems they face in the city and when they are asked for suggestions for improvement they invariably look for the solution in the IT sector -that IT industry captains should pay back their debt to society by taking responsibility for one or other of the malfunctioning areas in the city. For example the other day one reader said that they should sponsor the city central libraries and restore the joy of reading among the Bangalore public. Today another says that in stead of complaining about the lack of infrastructure, they should use a part of their "burgeoning profits" to sponsor one or other of the flyovers and ensure their smooth functioning. Good suggestions perhaps. But what i cannot understand is that these citizens seem to feel that because IT industry is flourishing in Bangalore, it is supposed to accept responsibility for everything in the city - Like a rich relative who is expected to take care of the entire extended family of prodigals and bloodsuckers and incompetents.
People seem quick to blame the IT industry for the enormous hike in rentals, price of goods and services while taking for granted its spectacular contribution in putting this once sleepy city (pensioner's paradise) on the world map as well as in the daily parlance ("bangalored" is a word commonly used in the United States today although laced with frustration and resentment!); the attractive employment opportunities and the affluence it has created have had enormous secondary benefits for other service industries through the increase in purchasing power. No doubt the government exchequer is fatter directly by the tax revenues from these purchases and indirectly from income tax.
When people say that instead of boycotting, the IT industry should look at positive actions like sponsoring flyovers are they not absolving the government of its failure to perform its duties? Why is it that people are willing to accept the failures of an inefficient government and only expect the industry to step in and take over extra responsibilities? We pay our taxes and , as the minister himself claims there are clearcut plans and budget allocations for these infrastructure projects - then how come the city's infrastructure is so pathetic? If they are not capable of getting these done, they have no business to be sitting in their seats.

I am pretty sure that the captains of Industry, if entrusted with the power and responsibility can do a wonderful job of it. So why not outsource the job of governing the state for a few years to industry and let the politicians go on their foreign tours for a few years?
3 Responses
  1. Paavai Says:

    Ultimately there will be a role erosion for politicians when the corporate world starts taking over these activities.

    With the subsidies given to the IT industry it is fair to expect returns in the form of contributions like this

  2. Usha Says:

    Unless they are formally divested, there will be no role erosion - politicians will be quite happy to let the corporates slog and take the credit for the same. That is exactly what has been happening in Bangalore in the past few years.
    I agree that IT sector enjoys subsidies but they create enough employment and earn enough foreign exchange to justify these than having to maintain libraries and flyovers for which we pay enough taxes, there is enough budget allocation.

  3. Pradeep Nair Says:

    It's the responsibility of ALL, not just the politicians or the IT sector, to take care of the city. Between the two, the politicians have been obviously found wanting. A truly imaginative govt would have got the IT sector productively involved in the city's development.