It was a journey to my friend's marriage. About 6 of us had joined together near Anand Rao Circle in Bengaluru. We had some food and got into the bus that was destined to Badami. Soon, the bus began cruising & our age old discussions began. Some old memories came into light & we felt good. And soon, the present came into picture and discussions regarding the companies, projects, initiatives, etc started up. Being the only non-software entity amidst them, I just sat to listen. A discussion about Someone being the greatest company in India was initiated by Madhusudan. Very recently, I had read an article in the newspaper indicating that Someone will not be opening up any more offices in Bengaluru & be expanding in Pune & Chennai. I don't know how everyone reacted to this but as a citizen of this garden city, I was one of the most delighted person to listen this news. While everyone would have felt a little sad as business will be lost to other states & jobs will also be lost. But then, I had a totally different perspective. I put up a few points to prove that 'Bengaluru is not what it is because of Someone but Someone is what it is because of Bengaluru'
Someone asked for land and we gave it at almost NIL cost. Analyse this like the 2G spectrum opportunity income lost & the losses would be mind boggling
Someone seeked permissions for a whole lot of things including tax exemptions and all were granted. Someone grew at a fast pace with all support from the State Govt
Someone soon became the top choice of all engineering students. Bengaluru city has the 2nd last number of Engineering colleges in the world and everyone started feeding the produces into Someone. Someone gradually reduced its pay packages, thanks to the goodwill it enjoyed because of the Govt which made all parents ask their children to join Someone irrespective of the packages, and Bengaluru became a source of cheap raw material feeder unit for Someone. The profits soar and Bengaluru cheered the company Someone
Someone started acquiring bigger lands, building bigger campuses, getting bigger projects and became a global software giant. And soon, like any other giant, it forgot what made it a giant. Someone started demanded land, land, land and more land. Someone built stadiums, grounds, gyms, hotels, theatres while Someone is actually a software company. When a few people complained, Someone gave a few ads that proved that it is doing a great work for the society. Someone Foundation came into being. Plantation, Blood donation, Scholarships, Books donation, etc started and the painting resembled that of a social organization
Now, what did I have to complain?
What has Someone given to Bengaluru? Pollution, Traffic Jams, Smoke. A city which was once known as a Garden City is now kind of a barren land. We cut our trees to give land to Someone. We built roads & flyovers for Someone. All taxes collected all over the state were used to build Bengaluru and who enjoyed all this? Its Someone. Above all, tax exemptions were given to entities which made most profits and also the most of others' taxes
Sometimes, I feel, what at least is growth. If what Someone has done can be called as growth, then who would want to grow
Someone has done xxx social contribution. Agreed but is it sufficient? How comparable are you with the Tatas? Have you compared yourselves with them in the field of social work? That is the first lesson to learn. For each sapling planted, there are 10 ads given in the newspaper. Is it a great work? What is the actual number of trees that have been axed because of you? Dont only consider your campus, consider all the properties purchased by you, your employees and everyone related to you. Can you imagine the amount of damage? Is what you are doing enough to cover this damage? You have brought in the trend of cutting trees & building flyovers. The Govt has got used to this. Now, they even want to axe trees on Jayamahal Road irrespective of howmuchever effort we make to save them. The Govt will say that they will plant 10 trees for each tree cut but where is the space to plant the trees and who is going to count the number of trees planted by them
Very recently, a large number of saplings were planted on the centre of road to compensate for cutting trees at some other place. The environmentalists were happy that there was something done to compensate. But then, once they took off their minds from it, these saplings were axed to make way for the Metro. Nobody took a thought on this as these saplings had not yet marked their presence. They were not even accounted as they were still small and people never felt a difference when these were cut. And thus, we were tricked. By the way, who suggested these tricks to the Govt to fool people. I'm sure that such a strategic plan would never come in the minds of the Govt employees. It would need a high amount of intelligence misuse for personal benefit. Obviously, it should be the one who want the flyovers to be built. So, what is growth? Is it Flyovers? Roads? Buildings? If yes, shouldn't every nation construct roads and buildings in every nook and corner and prove that they are the best nation in the world?
In my opinion, the growth of a nation depends on how happy are its citizens. Anyone would want to sit in a park rather than stand on the roadside. Of course, that doesn't mean we will not build flyover, buildings, etc. It would be foolish to say that. Infrastructure is a very important aspect for the citizens. Anything adding to public convenience like a better transport system, an alternate route, etc. adds value and happiness to people and growth to the nation. But then, trying to overdo something causes a juggernaught and created inconveniences. Like someone said in the campaign against axing of trees on Jayamahal Road, 'We do not need wide roads. We need smarter traffic management'
I have nothing against Someone or anyone as I write this. I have only referred it to as an example of how growth is not what is seen but it is what is felt. Ultimately, its the happiness index that matters the most than any other indices, ratios, percentages and other equations. But then, it was hurting for every Bangalorean and everyone from Karnataka when Someone said that it will not expand anymore in Bengaluru and blamed the Government delay for its decisions. If Someone is a child, Karnataka is its mother. A mother would only want to see her child happy and successful irrespective of whether the child gives back something to her or not. There is nothing that makes us feel bad that Someone will not expand in Bengaluru. In fact, I, and a lot of people who are concerned about the environment, am happy for this decision that will boost other cities' & states' economy. But putting the blame on the mother is something that was quite hurting. I am sure no one would have taken that except mother herself for the kind of big-hearted person she is
Had I been in her place, I would asked the exisitng offices to be relocated to elsewhere. We have abundance of talent, resources and there are a huge number of companies waiting to take up our work and do it faster, better and at a lower price. And of course, give us back all that we have have given you. The land at the same price (NIL) at which we gave you. The building at their cost less depreciation. The tax exemptions that you have enjoyed. The taxes that you have evaded by dirty tactics. Pay for the environmental damages. And then, you will see for yourself how a cash rich company will file a suit for bankruptcy to hardly even meet 1% of what we ask. We will sell these at market values to upcoming companies or to the likes of Tatas and the state, rather the nation, will be free of debt. Of course, we do not mind giving all this free of cost to them like we gave you but we would definitely take the precaution to ensure that they don't turn deceits
We never made a big news out of it. We did not blame Someone. We just smiled and said, 'All the best'. Had Someone come to us and told the problems it is facing and asked for help, like it did earlier, we would have put our lives at work to ensure they get what they want. However, the story is different. Ego seems to have grown to a remarkable extent and it is a better option to let the egoistic people go rather than hold them
PS: Whatever I have written is in a lot of agony and does not go in the right spirit. I have blamed more than required. I understand that I am wrong and yet I want to convey these thoughts for these came on to our minds and one day, these might come on to everyone's mind and make it difficult for the IT giant. I wish to corrected wherever I am wrong so that everyone who got these thoughts on their minds do not continue with them. I only wish that whatever I have thought should be proved wrong. Because, if there is one company that we all have loved and one company which has made India proud, its Someone. The very point that a huge number of people are leading a great life because of what Someone has done. Someone is like parents for a large number of us. But then, things are slowly taking turn. Before anything major happens, the people who actually love Someone should get Someone on the right path and ensure things go on like they did till a few months back. The past was beautiful but the present is taking an ugly picture. I wish the past comes back to the present