Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bengaluru ...

My own comment on an earlier post in this blog led to my views being sought a while ago on the almost-imminent change in the name of this great city of ours. Now, Ken Moritsugu of USA Today has quoted some of what I said in this story:

T.A. Abinandanan, a professor at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and a transplant from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, says such concerns are exaggerated. Besides, he adds, Bangalore has a bad image among Americans whose jobs have been outsourced to India.

"When 'getting Bangalored' has acquired a strong negative connotation," he says, "becoming Bengaluru can only be a good thing for this city."

That concludes yet another episode of My 15 nanoseconds of fame. Not just any old type of fame; we're talkin' International Fame!

* * *

Now, for those 15 nano-persons who are still reading this post, here's what I wrote to Ken:

While I'm not enthused by the name change, I don't have any strong reason to oppose it, nor do I find the opponents' arguments persuasive or convincing. So, I guess I 'm with the supporters of the name change !

Sure, the name change is a result of our politicians' desire to gain some short term advantage by claiming to take the city to its (linguistic) roots. However, if it makes the Kannada-speaking people happy without affecting the others -- like me -- much, we can't complain, can we?

Some people see grave dangers (to the city's identity, brand image, etc), but such concerns appear to me to be exaggerated. Quite a few cities in India have gone through such changes without a hitch (and in spite of similar warnings of similarly grave dangers): Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai (where I grew up), Thiruvananthapuram .... I'm sure Bangalore's new name will become the norm within a short time.

I also see another small positive in the name change: when 'getting Bangalored' has acquired a strong negative connotation, becoming Bengaluru can only be a good thing for this city!


  1. Anant said...

    How about femtoseconds of fame for
    frequent commenters on Nanopolitan?

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Anonymous said...

    That's great to see!

  3. gawker said...

    that's awesome Abi. And you were quoted at the end of the article and everyone knows they only keep the best quotes for the end.

  4. Anonymous said...

    Great show Abi. Your point is a valid one too.

    Anand, great to see you around. We miss you in the blogosphere :-)

  5. Abi said...

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Anant: What's a femtosecond?

    Gawker: I think you are absolutely right! ;-)

    But, let's face it: if I didn't know I was being quoted in that story, even I may not have read the whole story!

    Krish: Thanks for that link from BlogBharti!

  6. Anonymous said...

    quote in USA Today or not, a faculty with good publications and a few projects are always internationally famous! You were famous even earlier. That is why I read your blog!

  7. Anant said...

    From my favourite online dictionary,


    n : one quadrillionth of a second; one thousandth of a nanosecond

  8. Abi said...

    Subrahmanya: Thanks! The 'fame' I'm talking about here is just a wee-bit different from the kind you described. A blog allows you to be known to a different kind of audience.

    Anant: Thanks for that definition of 'femtosecond'.

  9. Narasimhan said...

    Dear Abi,

    I was really surprised you weren't aware of femtosecond. (10 ^-15 s)


  10. Abi said...

    Arunn: Since I don't deal with such small things (or, times), I don't have a 'feel' for it, and I always get confused about which is smaller: pico or femto. It now looks like I have good company: both Anant and you can't be right!

  11. Anant said...

    Arunn, Abi,

    That was a shocking mistake on my favourite
    online dictionary. It should have been one
    thousandth of a picosecond. I always thought
    fs was 10^{-15} sec, but I said to myself that
    I could not possibly contradict the online


  12. Anonymous said...

    I believe some folks derided the Bombay name change vigorously. Like everything else, there are good name changes (when done by a particular political party) and then there are bad name changes (when done by others).

    Changing the name of a city is somewhat justified when a milestone event has taken place - for instance after the British left, it made some sense. But we have lived with these names for decades now, they are not offending anyone and yes, they do contribute to the brand image.

    I am surprised no one is talking about the expenses involved - which could be spent in welfare.