This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Hemant Gairola. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

An ‘Outsider’ Living In Bangalore Shares How Locals Can Make You Feel Unwelcome

More from Hemant Gairola

By Hemant Gairola

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

As a ‘northie’ who has lived in Bangalore for six years, I wasn’t one bit shocked at what the mob did to the young Tanzanian woman. I fully expect this from the city. And so do my ‘outsider’ friends who live or have lived there. Doesn’t matter whether you’re from Africa, the North-East or North, the locals treat all non-Kannadigas equally: with hostility and jingoism.

You may move to India’s IT capital with dreams and aspirations, but sooner or later xenophobia is going to get in your face and make you feel like an unwelcome refugee in your own country. Oh, prepare to be heckled on a regular basis for not knowing Kannada. Traffic cops, smart alec shopkeepers, compulsorily rude auto drivers, bus conductors, co-passengers etc are gonna take turns to remind you of your place in ‘their’ land. You are an ‘outsider’. I put it in single quotes because here, the term is not an innocuous, identifying detail but a label akin to outcast, riddled with prejudice and dislike.

A Tale Of Two Cities

I’m not implying the entire city has a mean streak. No way. Bangalore’s is a tale of two cities, of two kinds of people: intelligent, hospitable, awesome kind, which set an example in selflessness and charity when Chennai was submerged last year. And then there’s the immigrant-hating jingoistic kind. The majority embraces immigrants, others downright loathe them. Home minister G Parameshwara might dismiss claims of racism and say the city does not have “that kind of attitude”. I’m saying it indeed has the attitude of bullying ‘outsiders’. How many instances shall I cite?

An Odiya friend who lived in Bangalore for nine years knows that hostile crowds and uncooperative police are a way of life here for ‘outsiders’. That’s why she too wasn’t surprised to learn that a mob assaulted an African, who got thrown out of a bus and was denied help by the police. From her experiences, she knows what happened to that woman is so typical of the unwelcoming side of the city.

United They Humiliate

Once this friend was travelling in a city bus and the conductor started getting into her face for not having change. She was apologetic for the inconvenience, but the aggressive conductor accosted her and kept trashing her in Kannada. Co-passengers chuckled at his remarks, passing taunts of their own on the ‘outsider’. They relished seeing the hapless, demure woman singled out and in agony.

Humiliated, she got down at the last stop instead of her stop and went to the police station there, the conductor accompanying her nonchalantly. Only when she disclosed she was a journalist did the police pay heed to her and switched to a respectful tone. Respectfully, they told her: “Madam, leave him. He will not do it again,” not lodging a complaint despite her insistence. The culprit stood there wearing a belligerent smirk all along. As if it’s understood one cannot possibly get into trouble for accosting, manhandling an ‘outsider’.

When I was in college, I myself saw my female batchmates heckled by a conductor and aggressive co-passengers when they requested him to get men off women’s seat in the crowded bus. I tried to placate them, but passengers ganged up on us, getting louder and threatening us with violence, hooting when we got off the bus. We’re non-Kannadigas, after all.

‘You Northies…’

On another occasion, when these girls were travelling in a bus and got up to offer their seat to an elderly woman, instead of a thanks they received a jibe: “You North Indians come to Bangalore and spoil our culture!”

“You don’t belong here,” is a diatribe one may come across in subtle or not-so-subtle ways. Last year, two motorcycle-borne men in JP Nagar said these very words to my face when I protested their rash driving, which almost injured me.

Not with everyone and not often, but such incidents do happen, reminding ‘outsiders’ of their place. The gift of anonymity in public places lets these people unveil their jingoistic side without hesitation. Many a Bangalorean has taken to the Internet after the recent assault and overtly or covertly justified the racist attack, also hurling more racial abuses.

‘Got Harassed? Your Fault’

When a friend would tell her elderly colleagues about how she’d get harassed for being a non-Kannadiga, they would squarely blame it on her for not knowing Kannada. This is a common refrain: Get conversant in Kannada or don’t whine about being harassed.

A couple of years ago, the newspaper I worked for had invited a few women entrepreneurs for a discussion on politics and general issues. One of them narrated an instance where a friend of hers, a foreigner, called 100 upon sensing trouble from ruffians on the road. A woman answered the distress call, cutting the other woman off for not speaking in Kannada. And even the city traffic police’s website says one should not expect traffic cops to speak English or Hindi as a matter of right.

Cosmopolitan City, anyone?

Racial Attacks Are No Stray Incidents

Remember, three Manipuri students were beaten up in October 2014 for “not speaking Kannada despite eating Karnataka’s food“? Students from the North-East have had to bear the brunt of xenophobic locals’ aggression on multiple occasions. Remember the mass exodus of the North-Eastern brethren in 2012 when they fled crammed up in trains, fearing for their lives? The rumour that triggered that infamous episode could take roots only because they knew a racist attack was a distinct possibility.

For Africans, harassment is a part and parcel of living here. In 2013, a mob landed an Ivory Coast native in a hospital. The attack on the Tanzanian student is a replay of what had happened there less than a year ago. It’s a routine thing, just ask them.

And after the recent attack, Congress leader B.L. Shankar had the audacity to sympathise with the mob. State home minister remarked it’s not a grave issue and ex-CM DV Sadananda Gowda’s concern is why so many foreign students are still in Bangalore when their visa has expired. By denying/defending, aren’t you tacitly encouraging this mob mentality that wears the mask of (excessive) cultural pride?

They Are Above The Law

Why are pro-Kannada outfits above the law? Fearing their wrath, even the challan-happy traffic police hardly ever stop vehicles with Kannada number plates (if it’s not in English, straight, black letters on white plate, it’s illegal). Immigrants make up for more than 70% of Bangalore’s population, how do they report a crime/mishap involving such a vehicle? Why the exemption, then? It’s such things that embolden hooligans, who learn they can evade law by brandishing the red-yellow state flag. According to a Hindustan Times report, four of the nine men arrested for the assault are reportedly with a pro-Kannada organisation. Anybody surprised?

Such attacks have always happened, and the state machinery is forever in denial. It’s unfair that a beautiful city of beautiful people gets shamed regularly at the hands of ubiquitous bad apples and insensitive netas. It’s unrealistic to expect the latest incident will spark a paradigm shift. Still, I hope and pray that it happens.

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  1. DUMMI


    1. Hemant

      Chauvinist spotted! Who told you I don't know Kannada? Who told you I don't respect the local culture? You know nothing about me, yet you have formed an opinion about me based on your prejudice. This is exactly what my article is about. Your rant in all caps merely illustrates my point, that many locals have an inherent dislike for migrants.
      I'm not projecting one side of the coin. See third para of the story, under the sub-head “A tale of two-cities”. I've written there are two kind of people, the awesome, hospitable kind and the jingoistic kind.My Kannadiga friends know discrimination happens, they don't dispute my contention. But to each his own, I guess. Get well soon 🙂

    2. Srinivas

      We are pretty well. Of all the states in India, Kannadigas are the least jingoistic, don't expect anybody to learn Kannada and adjust with every one. Outsiders coming in hoardes abuse that and ill treat Kannadigas. Multinationals and even public sector has language Mafia. If one outsider is employed, he will hire only people of his state. Kannadigas are discriminated at every level. Stop preaching us and if it's that difficult for you to live in Bengaluru, kindly get lost

    3. Indian

      I think all these frogs in the well go to the same school or they teach the same thing to all such commentators across the board. You can hear them saying things like “respect the local culture” and “you breathe our air, eat our food” and so on. Looks like there is a Madarsa taking all these kind on “autowallah” brigade on a Lingual/Regional Zihad.
      What these people fail to realize that the Government and people of India have invested here beginning with setting up army camps and loads of central defence establishments initially to enable an environment for scientific innovation and growth. 70% of central Bangalore is occupied by Army and Defence establishments.
      Now when its time to reap the benefits of all these years of contribution from the countrymen, they bring in their “local” identity for petty gains examples of which are:
      Auto/Taxi guys: Get some extra bucks
      Bus conductors: Pocket some “chillar” money
      Illiterates: get some kick in otherwise insignificant life
      Literates (not educated frogs in well): Suffering with a sense of “arrival” just because Bangalore has grown

      Rest assured, we will not allow you to do this. India is a democracy including this place and your percentage is 0.8 (even if 100% of Bangalore thinks like you assuming population is 1 cr). Try your best.

    4. Shailesh

      You just proved Hemant's point here. Nothing much to discribe now

    5. Athira

      I am an outsider in Gujrat ,i don't the local language but none of the localities misbehave or get angry with me.Kannada's living in Gujrat also can't speak Gujrati ,they arent harassed here.It's not easy to learn south indian languge.Being a localite doesn't mean you can poke nose in others affair and harass or strip off people's cloth.

    6. Swetha

      did u try speaking in kannada or ur local Lang (not Hindi)while in Gujarat? I'm sure the auto wala or conductor will give the same reaction. Learn that, Hindi is never thought in a kannada medium schools which any autowalla or a conductor will typically had been to. So don't except that they shud know Hindi or English just bcoz u know it.

    7. Vanya

      Stop being conservative. This is the age of globalization.

  2. Lokesh

    This is one bullshit article and completely one-sided…reality is completely different. While in Rome be like a roman…first respect the place and culture that you live in. Just by saying INDIAN ,you can't ride on everybody. First ,live in TamilNadu for few days(not even months/years) then you will understand what Bengaluru is….

    1. robin

      Your article is very true and shows the reality of south indian people. Whatever you have written is very less there is many more things happens here with north Indians like in rented house , office, school etc .people who are favouring Bangalore are those people who are south Indians and they changed there name to short north Indians name so they can take side of south Indians .But god is seeing everything they should not they treat people , god will treat them like this also.

    2. kaushik

      You do realize there is no point in comparing Bangalore with Chennai, bangalore is not chennai and chennai is not Bangalore! History has proven that. I'm a Bangalorean and we should be trying to make our city safer for migrants from other states who come in search of hope and success. Yes sometimes migrants disrespect local culture most likely due to their upbringing. But that does mean you use violence to teach them. Lets face it , the world is becoming more and more connected and globalized everyday. I think we should take this in our stride and make Bangalore the most livable city of course with stringent unbaised local laws.

  3. Anjana

    I'm from Kerala and I've lived in Bangalore all my life. I've never faced this problem. I've a lot of friends who have moved to Bangalore for work. All of them just loved it here cause the people made them feel welcome. Localites tend to converse with them in Hindi or English which is not the case in other south Indian states. I think this post is an exaggerated version of what might have happened. No offense.

  4. Srinivas

    So you don't know Kannada, you didn't understand what the conductor asked you or what he suggested but you “know” for sure he was “aggressive”? You are living in Bangalore for what, six years but you don't want to learn to speak minimal Kannada? Fuck off from Bangalore if you don't like it and go back to your hell hole Orissa, the land of tolerance, justice and opportunities where milk and honey flows on streets and the locals will worship you!

  5. Shreyas Ravindra

    Wow!! Amazingly written article. I have experienced every bit of the incidents reported by the author.

    Most of these Kannadigas in BLR (PS– I am a Non-Resident Kannadiga, a defense kid) “justify” themselves that they are better than TN. I mean come on! I have stayed in Hyderabad (AP/Telangana).. Its been 4 years. I have been in fight with Telegu Auto fellows and cab guys, I have never been tagged as a “Northie” or an outsider.. Ever.. I mean I have heard Kannadigas saying this — “Northie” ..

    Come on in the age of globalization, why you guys do this. Please understand this.. BANGALORE was favorable in weather which is why IT companies are there. Its like Bay Area in US which has favorable weather conditions unlike NY. So please don't be under the halo that you guys are genius or half of North India would have been jobless had it not been for you people!!

    Just remember
    Infra structurally Bangalore is the poorest
    Racism Highest

    I am glad I don't have to settle up in a city filled with stinky people like this

  6. Halmidi

    If we were really so intolerant and racist, chauvinist and what not remember half of north India would have been unemployed and uneducated.

  7. Pradeep

    I am from north India and can proudly say blore is best… Thoda bohot tho har gaghe hota hai this article is completely bullshit.

    1. Indian

      No you are not…. they don't write “tho” 😀

  8. Siddharth “Powerhouse” Bhattacharjee

    Fools…fools everywhere…. The fools condemning this post and specially the guy commenting in capital letters, do you really think Bengaluru became an IT hub by the hard of you localites only? Lmao…. Had there been only localites, MNCs wouldn't have invested that much in you…
    Whatever you are today is a collaborative effort…
    Get that in your brain… Its your good luck that govt chose Bangalore…not by looking at your pretty faces…but as a common ground…to develop India collectively…

    The stupid people condemning this post are the reason aliens don't visit us or the dinosaurs left us… Lol…

  9. Cheery

    Intolerance in Karanataka!!! That too in Bangalore! We have accommodated others so much that Its hard to find Kannadigas in North Bangalore these days.. By the way when people are ready to learn computer languages and new technologies whats the problem in learning Kannada?? Its just that you guys dont want to.

    The below article is written by non-kannadiga. Dear writer please do read it and also remember this before writing any such non-sense article in future.

  10. Swaroop

    Fully cookedup story. One sided.

  11. KK

    This Article is a total BS, I am guy from Maharashtra, I have never faced any type of regionalism here. The Bus incident is actually pretty common and the reason is these northies who do not know how to speak with respect, they think the BTM buses are their baaps property and conductor their servants. They should 1st learn to give respect to the local population.
    next time you board a Ola or Uber, speak to them on their experience with Northies you will have your answer

  12. Srinivasa

    @Author n others: Here is an open challenge for you all.. Lets roam across the city for some reality check. First lets go in a crowded bus, you give exact amount for ticket and I shall pay in much higher denomination. Lets see conductor's reaction. Just because I'm kannadiga he won't treat me differently. He will definitely yell at me for not giving exact change. Next lets try getting an auto. lets see how differently v r treated. It depends on drivers not passengers. Then lets checkout some house rent. Let both of us approach at same landlond at different time asking for rent. Lets see if he asks me for lesser rent since I'm a kannadiga. Definitely not. Lastly lets observe how things go when there is an accident or a silly street fight. It is common that people abuse each other after meeting with an accident. If both parties r localites it just go unnoticed. If they r from different religion they play victim card telling it s communal attack, if they r from different place then they play victim card telling it is a racial attack..!!

    1. Hemant

      Dear Srinivasa, I agree with your contention that bus conductors and auto drivers get mean and nasty with Kannadigas too. But why do copassengers sitting in the bus join the conductor in heckling us as it becomes apparent we can't hold a conversation in Kannada? I can show you research paper on racism in Bangalore, where Africans say people poke fun at them in buses, laugh at them and jeer at them. Please understand, brother, I have nothing against the local language or the local people. I can even read and write the script, although painfully slow. My landlord loved me (I stayed in the same place for five years) and all my colleagues are so fond of me as I'm fond of them. It's when we are in a public place that we become prone to such incidents. My friends vacated seat for an elderly woman in a bus. It was a kind gesture on their part, isn't it? But that elderly woman told them off with a nasty remark like “You northies ruin our culture.” A friend's friend tried to rent an apartment, and the landlord told her “You outsiders create problem here.” Sure, many migrants must be boisterous and not a cool company, but it's an individual trait. Many local people have branded all the migrants as loud and confrontational. They have established a prejudice about all migrants and that's why they hate 'us'. I'm not saying all of the city is bad, no way. I miss Bangalore. Just that what's wrong needs to be acknowledged thusly so that it can be set right.

    2. Hemant

      A note from the author of this write-up:
      1. I am sorry if my depiction of truth has offended anybody, for that was never the intention of writing it.
      2. I'm in no way implying all Bangaloreans, all Kannadigas are racists or unreasonable. Absolutely not.
      3. I'm not portraying only one side of the story. For, we need not state the obvious that Bangalore is a beautiful city of beautiful people. Everyone knows that. Saying that is like saying “Sun rises from the East.”
      4. The dark underbelly needs of the city needs to be exposed so that we can acknowledge the problem. The first step to treat a problem is to acknowledge that it exists.
      5. Other migrants who have not experienced discrimination in Bangalore, I'm happy for you. But just because you haven't faced it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. (Such a puerile argument.)
      6. I agree some/many migrants tend to throw their weight around and act bossy. I don't approve of anyone's bossy behaviour. What's wrong is wrong. But don't judge all for a few bad apples. I certainly don't judge the all of Bangalore or Karnataka for the bad fish there.
      7. For the hollow argument that “Bangalore won't be having these many migrants if we were so unwelcoming”, yes, you're not that welcoming. When did I dispute that? I'm merely trying to point out that it's not all bed of roses. There are many thorns underneath. I want to pluck those thorns, that hate mentality, so that my city doesn't garner bad reputation.
      8. Why should you be offended, people? I'm pointing at the bad fish of Bangalore. When did I ever imply you are that? I'm merely saying prejudice exists and rears its ugly head now and then. There's no doubting it.
      9. Those still in denial, you're the reason this Arab proverb is still in use: “It's a goat even if it flies.”

  13. Gurubasavarya

    yes, only Karnataka has uncivilized, racist, jingoistic people in India… rest of India is full of Samaritans, civilized, hospitable so much that there is no instance of attacking anybody who had hit and run any person on the road, and rest of India is well advanced so much so that many companies willing to invest in rest of India has no place except in Karnataka and “patriotic immigrants” to Karnataka are finding their jobs here more than locals only because their nonracist non-Kannadiga management welcomes them more lovingly than any locals….

  14. Hemant Gairola

    Note from the author:
    I'm not hating on any of you. Please don't hate on me. Don't accuse me of ruining the image of your city. It's my city too. And I'm pointing out its flaws only so that we can have a discussion about it and set things right. I hate Bangalore getting shamed as much as you do. What happened with the Tanzanian student is shameful. Do we all agree on that? She had done nothing to provoke the mob. Such incidents play out often in less aggressive and less horrendous fashion. It's not a rare phenomenon but an infrequent one. That's all I'm saying without pointing fingers and naming names. Let's acknowledge the problem without taking offence when none is intended. Let's strive to make our city better by shedding the veil of denial and realising that no matter how much pride we have for our culture, there is something wrong there. Otherwise an innocent young woman out for dinner won't have been traumatised like that. Peace.
    P.S. The result of the poll “Have you faced discrimination in Bangalore…” cannot be a true indicator of the problem (and it can't be helped) as the question is intended for outsiders, yet localites who are in vehement denial must have repeatedly voted in negative. #JustSaying

  15. Veda Kumar

    Hypocrisy at its best, well this is one, poor article, which clearly shows hatred of the author, towards the people of South. Firstly he says there are two sets of people one good and one unwelcoming and infer that majority of the locals are unwelcoming, but the author fails to explain what “welcoming” is ?. Author gives few example to generalize most of the locals. I would say, authors own hometown won't be as welcoming as locals of bengaluru(kannadigas) . Hypocrisy of author can be further noted, when he talks about police not stopping kannda number plate boards, showing his complete ignorance. The one question which bothers me is, why these people be quiet when hindi was imposed on South. Author fail to explain the discrimination for non Hindu speaker in central government services. When your comfort is hurt, you go on to write people of South are racist and unwelcoming but would be happy when southern people are discriminated on the basis of language. I would say you should do your homework on knowing the history of South especially Kannada to know why people are attached to language. You talk about unfortunate incident happened to Tanzanian girl. But the investigation revealed it was a road rage not racism. I have experienced real racism in Delhi, people calling me madrasi just because I don't know their local language (hindi) and because of my complexion. This article completely expose the mentality of the author and his deep hatred towards locals of bengaluians with mere few examples. I would really appreciate if the people stand against discrimination southern has to face by the hindi speakers( narrow minded ones, like the author). And finally, being Indian is not about knowing hindi, its about how one loves to integrate with the society and the not the other way round. It would have been nice if the author had questioned the people he says are unwelcoming and racist, “are you discriminating because I am from north or you are doing this because you had bad experience from a North Indian?”. Good this article should reach more kannadigas to make them aware of the hatred of few north Indian towards kannadigas. Lastly, before pointing fingers at bengaluians, ask yourself what have you done for bengaluians or kannadigas, if you go by your way of interpretation. Kannada is not just language its identity, that's the beauty of diversity of my India. Don't malign it with your inferences.

  16. Bharath

    Discrimination ??? That's a very hard word to use, don't you think. Do you know the magnitude or effect of actual discrimination ? You will find it in places just next to Bangalore; like in Andhra or TN. You will be denied of speaking Hindi there. No one wants to speak to you as you are discriminated. You won't find our localities fighting for puny reasons like that. Of course we are deeply hurt by your presence here as you are not only staying here but creating all sorts of menace which is highly disappointing. Before our economical standards were stable but after you guys rush in the prices just hiked in no time. You ask for what you don't deserve. North places are highly filthy and you create the same here. You are leading a disgusting lifestyle and making sure to bring the same sort of customs and traditions here. You come with loads of black money from North and misuse them here. You may be filthy rich, but your behavior is filthy bad. It is common that North is unorganized and a chaotic black money building farm, which you use them over here. You pay the servants more than they deserve, and these fickle minded servants will be running behind black money owners like you. You pay the shop owners more even if they demand high prices for fruits vegetables, groceries. You won't bargain for actual prices… They will seek only customers like you and expect everyone to pay high prices, We localities had stabilized prices accordingly, but black money owners like you have made it worse for us and now for us to have buy anything, we have to pay double the price for the same commodity. After you guys came in; apartments, flats owners are hiking rent or lease or sale prices. Every material for construction has hiked when you started to come in. Just because you fools are ready to pay the prices which were just imaginary. You provoke us to speak in your language just because it would ease up your work. We won't entertain your stupid language. In fact, I have complained against my colleagues for abusing Kannada and talking nonsense in Hindi. I have got them jailed and also ruined their career here. Made sure our Kannada Sangha to exile them off from karnataka. We have our strict rules and regulations for speaking and abusing against our language and emphasizing Hindi here. It will lead to imprisonment. Before you talk about “Discrimination”, learn how Brits discriminated africans or black people. Recall the discrimination made in Islamic countries against other religious people. Recall the discrimination on Sino-Chinese wars. That is actual discrimination, not your worthless naive thinking. You are only here to earn some money and then lay off. Do it and get out of here. Otherwise, we will have to show you what actually MOB ATTACK means.

  17. Indian

    Good article Hemant Gairola. Our motto is to find a solution, to voice our opinion, to fight for truth. We love Bangalore, but not all Bangaloreans. if this happens in any other part of India-be it Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, it does not mean it is right. It should stop every where. That is what the writer means. If you love your place try to make it better, don't hide the truth. That does not help.

  18. Debdutta

    Good one Hemant Gairola. I can connect to each and every bit of this story. We love Bangalore but not all Bangaloreans. If you love your place, please try to make it better. There is no point hiding the truth. No culture in this world teaches you to be rude to others. If this happens any where else, be it Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, that does not mean it is right. We should change for better.

  19. Yashaswini

    Mr. Hemanth I very well understood your point towards what’s happening in bengaluru. But there is
    something called limit. I’m not specifying b’cause I’m a Kannadathi, born & brought up in bengaluru.
    Localites are tired of adjusting. A bus driver or an auto-driver may yell sometimes. has anybody thought how frustrating it is travel in the heavy traffic. the whole day they work hard in the pollution. lakhs of
    people they see. The post that you have posted about is not only happening in bengaluru. It’s happening all over India. I’m just mentioning it in your comment box but implies to all. It’s not bad to learn languages but bengaluru has become a house where guests are more dominant over the house holders. If spoken about the Tanzanian girl she has taken away a woman’s life. There are so many africans in kothanuru and hennur cross who have hit the police when they were arrested for drug use. recently aegis company worker has mentally tortured a girl who spoke in kannada in bengaluru. who will mention about this? People are just squeezing in Bengaluru like a fully blown balloon. Anyway I just hope everybody understands to respect each other. Nobody is immortal, so why be aggressive. let it all grow through positvely. God bless all of us!

  20. KMD

    “an unwelcome refugee in your own country.” Fair enough, but do people ever think about the natives who feel alienated in their own city. Should a native who has grown up in the city adapt to another language or should migrants adapt to their new city? I have heard people abusing illiterate locals for not speaking Hindi, (it isn’t our national language). Our culture is an item of mocking in our own backyard. Please think about the other side too. Maybe people need to realise they are the wrong side when they are faulted in Mumbai or Bengaluru before they blame the ‘xenophobic’ locals.

  21. Babu Kumar

    There may be a few bad apples among the local Kannadigas but to say that, generally, the locals hate north Indians would be a gross exaggeration.

    The so-called “harassment” experienced by the writer is not even a fraction of the violence perpetrated by Marathi chauvinists in Mumbai against non-maharashtrians. If Mr. Hemant Gairola had protested against Marathi chauvinists in Mumbai, he would probably have got his head smashed in. He should thank his stars he is in Bengaluru.

    People like him would never have had the guts to protest against Marathi chauvinism in Mumbai.

    I don’t know which part of north India Mr. Gairola is from. But if any South Indian came to his place, he/she would NEVER be treated as nicely as Mr. Gairola was treated in Bengaluru.

    Come on, Mr. Gairola! You lived here for years, earned well and are now settled elsewhere, I believe. Rude auto-rickshaw drivers and bus conductors are minor irritants. They can be found in ANY Indian city. Otherwise, the number of north Indians coming to Bengaluru would not be increasing on a daily basis.

  22. Anshul

    I cannot disagree! Today I saw an incident live. A person from Uttarakhand, I suppose (number plate on his bike
    showed UK .. ) was attacked by the gang of local kannadigas. His fault: NONE !

    As usual, Bangaloreans dont follow traffic rules (outsiders, insiders, local folks etc etc). A biker gang tried to overtake
    him from both sides and the “outsider” folk lost his balanced and brushed .. only brushed the bike on his left. Seems
    logical for anyone to take a reflex action by moving towards his/her left. A left hand overtake on the other hand is
    illogical. Poor folk was beaten to pulp by those local kannadigas. In fact I saw two three auto waala folks got out and
    slapped him. Felt really sorry for him. My driver got out and calmed the situation by speaking kannada.

    His fault: NONE ! I repeat NONE. Wish I had taken a video and posted online or given it to my police friends in North.
    (Coz, local police might not take action against local folks). Had they done the similar thing in North or specifically my
    home town, we would have sent them back to bangalore (with respect of course).

    PS: Ive lived in Bangalore for past 20 years and havent even tried to learn kannada. Am never gonna learn it. Not that
    I dont respect the local culture, its just that you have no right to force it on to us. When you come to north India,
    you act like some timid goat, but here .. you become a wild boar. We dont force our culture on you. Not like we ask
    you to eat roti dal all the time or give you paratha curd for bfast. We never force our culture on you and we expect
    the same from south indians.

  23. Karanjeet Singh Anand

    What a bullshit non sense this is. I have also been living in Bangalore and I haven’t been a victim of these incidents.
    Although I accept, there may be some ignorant kannadigas, who are pain in the ass. But let me assure that no one has the guts to treat northies like that. You may have come across a few of anti-social rigid kannadigas.
    But trust me, most of the people are very helpful and generous inside the city. Bangalore is after all a cosmopolitan city, surprisingly only 40% kannadigas reside here. So no need to worry, if u see anyone treating a northies in a bad manner just fuck him up.
    This is india , we can move wherever we want, we don’t need the permission of anyone to go anywhere. People also go often to that heights saying that northies have destroyed their culture. But let me tell this to all those ignorant kannadigas fools, Bangalore has a diverse population and if u try to ever treat us like that, just see that Bangalore is so immensely diversified that anyone will surely fuck your asses… LOl

    Then again is I respect the culture here, I should also get the respect back. Thats why I chose to respect the people and if they sayvanything offensive, I fuck those sons of bitches real bad.

  24. Karanjeet Singh Anand

    Looks like I have a doppelganger….. His name is also Karanjeet…. Dude calm down nothing like that…. Its because of people like you that some people think that northies are fool.

    Bangalore seems to be nice and almost ideal place for the people. Its an ideal place in terms of everything….

    Kannadigas here are very heart warming and generous… One should truly respect the culture to which they belong…
    People here are calm and quite and very docile….
    Love u kannadigas… Keep up the good work….
    Namma bengaluru!!

  25. Welcomeuto Bangalore

    Bangalore is not Switzerland, come on. We gave enough of hype just for the variation of 2-3 degrees of temperature that too in peak summer. Better we think of our next generation brothers and sisters in our own state rather anywhere else.

  26. Vandana Anil Dass

    I would disagree with you. I’m a North Indian living in Bangalore for past 20 years, couldn’t learn Kannada (my bad). Yet, I have received better treatment here than most of the other states. Reason, I respect them and their culture and their ways. I do not make fun of anything here, I do not use terms such as North Indian and South Indian and many more common sensical things.

    I would not write things that outsiders do to disrespect each other and Bangaloreans.

    1. Akshay Dhar

      You are one lucky woman. Faced 2 aggesive incidents in a single month. .

  27. Deepak Limbu

    bangalore was the first city in india i went to besides hometown – north east. stayed there 2 years. i appreciate the development and how managed it looked . big companies and pretty educated people. but yes that doesnt mean its okay to walk every corner of bangalore at anytime. this city introduced me to racism in my life that i never had see in last 26 years. i never thought i would be an outsider and a freakshow to other people. i learnt a great lesson about where do we fit. i have a list of bad experiences that makes me want to wish it was never true. it never existed . there are people who treats you really kindly but at the same time there are communities that treats you like dog. even small children gets guts to walk up you and mock about how you look and you cant do a shit about it coz you know what happens next. two years later packed my bags and went back to hometown. I WAS FISH IN THE WATER AGAIN!!! i think nomatter what you think you shouldn’t throw it on somebody you dont know. it only creates bad impression about yourself. now when i talk to other friends i say what i experienced . having said that there are places where people mingle so much that the racism or difference is blurred. and also the places where racism is real and terrifying and it all depends on people’s mentality. we cannot just say racism is everywhere and get away with it. we should stand up and confront if someone around you is doing it. cheers.

  28. sudhansu sekhar

    I truely agree with your post hatsoff

  29. Tensing D

    For me It is true…..I love to learn others culture and language but “most” people I met in Bangalore(not all) heckle/passively be aggressive towards outsiders for not learning Kannada and stealing their jobs. This really made me not to learn Kannda.

    There is been lot of racist violence in Bangalore compared to other cities and also police in Bangalore will always side with locals ( I have personally seen this with one of friends who got into a road accident with a local). My advice to people who have to come to bangalore because of all the IT companies setting up shops in bangalore to be aware of the racist things happening in the city not all the people of bangalore are racist but its better to be aware of the things happening in a place you are going live and work for a while.

  30. BangaloreIstheBest Indian Silicon Capital

    Outsiders to Bangalore should be aware of racial passive aggression/heckling happening because outsiders dont speak Kannada or the sense they are stealing jobs from locals.

    These things are happening in most places. Not all Bangaloreans are racist but there is lot of these racial discrimination happening in Bangalore. And they should be careful when dealing with police as they will mostly side with the locals, i have seen it personally with one of my friend.

    I like to learn others language and culture but because of these negative behaviour i dont like to learn Kannada, its not the languages fault but its definetly a unwelcome behaviour by some locals.

  31. Ankita Srivastava

    When I was in North I use to hear that south Indian dislike North Indian. When I came here I found two kind of people, first major category belongs to the sweet, simple and good by heart people who taught me how to be friendly in first go and carry a kind smile reflecting our soul. Others were in the minority who hates north Indian(outsider within the country) kept bashing us to learn Kannada, doing partiality or simply racism spoiling the name of city . I personally love learning new languages and different culture but I don’t like to be forced. But I chose to leave the city for my own peace, leaving all the nice sweet friends who carry the true soul of Bengaluru. Good and bad people exist everywhere.
    We all are Indians and have our own diverse rich culture. I remember line said by friend of mine “The day Indians will start respecting difference in belief, thoughts and faith. Majority of the issue will be resolved.
    I won’t say that all the racism is from Kannada people only because I had seen few north Indian being disrespectful to them too.
    I would chose to be respectful for the places I lived because I don’t want to hurt feelings of my local friends who had welcomed me in their city.

  32. Abhi Abz

    Just today, I was speaking to a kannadiga friend and had to text her regarding something. As soon as she answered, i just replied thanks remya. I got an instant reply saying its ramya and whether i am from kerala. I said yes to which i got a text back saying ‘that explains your …’. Goodness me. Didnt know that warranted a rude stereotyping reply of this sort (and it was a text!) . Its the same whether its south india or north india or even east india! You bloody northie, you bloody madrasi, you that you this seems to be the norm the moment some argument heats up. Skin tone is another thing. Language, diets, religion, castes, financial standings etc come soon after. Even accents (even if you dont have one) are ridiculed and ‘judged’ based on where you come from. All parts of india this would happen. You know what funny and jaw droppingly idiotic? Its like two indian brown men, one a dark brown and the other a very light brown one racially taunting each other on who is a caucasian white!!! Lol. All of us are collectively unique with our features, our languages and we will NEVER be considered western. Yet among ourselves we crib. Humans are donkeys and racist (the racism domain is not limited to bangalore, to mumbai or even to india, its all over). Disgusting humans with their bias.

  33. Rowdies VS Warriors

    Hahaha mate, we face this shit everyday in Bangalore, Mandya and Mysore. We shamelessly don’t mind it. Who are we? The Tamilians from down south. My fellow Tamilians Living in Karnataka and the Dharavi Slum, Mumbai, Maharashtra face racism everyday still we clean the shit off from our chest. We learned to live with Racism everyday.

  34. Rowdies VS Warriors

    Keep up the good work, Bring a revolution to our society

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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