Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Why Bush is avoiding Bangalore

Ever thought why American Presidents don't come to Bangalore, instead go to Hyderabad?

With so many American companies indebted to Bangalore for providing them outsourcing opportunities and thereby boosting company profits, wasn't it only natural that their president should come to the IT capital?

Bangalore contributed the word "Bangalored" to the English language, to refer to someone who lost his / her job because of outsourcing. US presidential poll runner-up in 2000 John Kerry, who once spoke of "wired Bangalore" himself went to Hyderabad rather than Bangalore.

In the run-up to Bill Clinton's 2000 visit, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh had IT-savvy CMs -- S M Krishna and Chandrababu Naidu. At that time, Krishna did make very serious efforts to get Bangalore included in Clinton's itinerary. And, when Bangalore lost out, there was no hiding the disappointment. This time, it seems, there has been no effort at all.

So, why do American Presidents go to Hyderabad, skipping Bangalore? Any takes on that?

The February 28 issue of New York Times has an edit on Bush's upcoming India visit. It argues against the nuclear deal Bush is trying sign with India. It says he is trying to get friendly with India to keep China in check, and if the deal is signed, it will only encourage other countries to develop nuclear weapons capability.

But interestingly, the NYT edit also offers us two reasons on why Bush has chosen Hyderabad over Bangalore.

"The president is planning the obligatory trip to a center of high technology, although White House strategists, mindful of election-year fears in the United States about call centers and outsourcing, chose the more diversified city of Hyderabad instead of the call-center capital, Bangalore. Hyderabad has a big Muslim population, so it is also a chance for Mr. Bush to try to counter some of the damage done lately to relations between Muslims and the West."

Skip Bangalore and impress his Bangalored Americans. Visit Hyderabad and impress Muslims. Bizarre logic. But there has to be some reason. Given the way of American strategists, could be true, who knows. Do they know that huge protests are being planned in Hyderabad against the Bush visit?


  1. hmm!! Interesting!! U know it helps me keep update with current affairs jus' by reading ur blog!! ;) anyways... yeah.. I kind of have been having this partial hope that someone bombs him while he is there!!! But then.. India as a country will suffer.. so the hope is not tooooo fervent !! :)
    p.s - I never pondered about why he was not visiting b'lore.. interesting....

  2. I think Bangalore SHOULD have put in a lot of effort and got the US President to our city. The word 'bangalored' should not interfere with Bush arriving in that city. We know that even Hyderabad has many IT companies, so will we next introduce 'Hyderbaded'? It is so silly!

    Bush need not please muslims in Hyderabad. Let him first stop the war with Iraq and stop killing innocent civilians. Then the rest of the muslims will come to know without Bush visiting their city!

    Hey Bangalore! Time to wake up!

  3. Hey, could you pass this along? Bob Blackwill at Harvard earlier this week.

  4. Well, I am a hyderabadi and the primary reason I feel Bush is here is because about a 1/4 of the pros-docs, engineers etc.,(other than IT)in the US are from Andhra and there is the chance of a consulate coming up here!!

  5. Bangalore my friend is one overhyped indian phenomena.. Actually more indians than american have been bangalored. not in job losses but in inequitable spending of resources.

    Infact it is a good thing that bangalore is going on a downswing. Gets us back to reality and stops wagging our tounges about creating a shangai when some of our poorer country cousins struggle for one sq. meal.

    Did you know that 1 in 4 indian living in america is from AP ?? I am sure you dint.


  6. I dare say, I would not term Bangalore as the call center capital. Delhi/Gurgaon? Maybe yes.

    Oh and on a lighter note, do you know what Jay Leno said about Bush's India trip? "Of course he had to go to India, he lost the tech-support phone number!".

  7. Vasu the terrible must be from chennai. only people from chennai can use sentences like 'overhyped indian phenomena' LOL