Not a day passes without somebody or the other—a neighbour, a friend, a relative, a colleague, a visitor, an oldtimer, somebody, anybody—tch-tching about the rapid and relentless fall of Bangalore from the paradise it once was. And almost everybody seems to be mourning the disappearance of the same things: the clean air, the green skyline, the salubrious climate, the smooth traffic, the affordable rates, etc, that were the hallmarks of the City.
Question: who killed namma Bangalore?
Was it the state and local governments—the politicians, the bureaucrats, the planners—who couldn’t look sufficiently ahead? Was it the liberalisation in 1991, the IT boom shortly thereafter, and the resulting media hype that propelled a real estate and vehicular boom? Is it the nonchalance of “outsiders”, and the greed and avarice of “locals”, who only looked at they could take out from the City? Or is Bangalore’s glorious past pure nostalgia?