Archive for the ‘Kannada’ Category

Goodbye Bangalore, Economist says “A city of beans by any other name will smell as sweet, or beany.”

December 12, 2006

Nice article by Ecnomist on Bangalore’s new name ‘Bengaluru’

First, the changes, which are nearly always politically inspired, often seem to annoy the locals as much as anyone else. Many Indians, surprised to be told their place names were inappropriate, still talk about Bombay and Calcutta as though nothing had changed. The people of St Petersburg have had to endure first Petrograd and then Leningrad before reclaiming their city’s pre-1914 name. The Congolese were startled one day to be told that their country, its main river and the currency would all be called Zaire. After 26 years they got their old name back. Something similar happened in Cambodia, when the ghastly Khmers Rouges imposed Kampuchea.

Yes, stalwarts from Bangalore like NR Narayana Murthy of Infosys and lot of nobodies in the blogland have spewed their anger against this name change. But, I dont agree with all their reasonings on it’s effects on Bangalore’s brand. Bengaluru by any name will have the same advantage and disadvantage that it has today. It is silly and downright non sense to think that some business will be lost with new name. (if that is the case you have no confidence in yourself). BTW, name did not change to completely different thing.

Personally, to me, it is not the anger towards the British that resulted in this name change, it is because of the neglect of local language and culture by IT people (affluent kannadigas themselves). Prominent author UR Anananthamurthy initiated this thing, even though I dont agree with lot his political views, I can see this as a way of asserting the existence of local language and culture, it probably looks irrational, but sometimes these stupid things is all you can think of when it comes to issues like cultural hegemony. (It works too, otherwise no one even bothers to acknowledge the existence of local culture!)

I really like the article by Economist, there is no other way to put it. Shame on all those who are spewing anger without really thinking through the issue and showing empathy to local issues. You cannot just keep pressing your thinking in the name of development. Educated people like NRN or bloggers should be little more lenient in their thinking towards other’s view point. (In this case, locals, who appear to be too chauvinistic with their stubborn attitude)

Real issue with Bangalore.. oops Bengaluru ๐Ÿ˜‰ is it’s own problems of infrastructure, unplanned growth, stability of IT employees etc. Nothing to do with name change. Bengaluru will provide advantage as long as it can provide the great brains at a discount compared to western countries, MNC’s will flock it, whether it is called Bangalore, Bengaluru or Bendakaluru. Get over with it.

Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkatta are doing just the same, so worries are wrongly placed.

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Jaman and lucarative world video segment

December 8, 2006

Om malik provides an introduction to jaman, which I was curious about (It is Informatica’s founder’s new company) . From the article:

โ€œEveryone is focusing on that one square mile are in Hollywood,โ€ says Dhillon โ€” when there is a whole wide world whose content is in demand but is never distributed in the US. From French films to Bollywood potboilers, to the Kung Fu flicks from Hong Kong, the only place to buy (or rent) this content was ethnic grocery stores or small specialist video rental shops.

That is true, it is really an interesting market, south asians are affluent, who are also great fans of the movies coming from the Indian subcontinent. It is not just the hindi movies that are popular here, but other regional language movies from India like Telugu and Tamil also very popular. In SF bay area, those small video rental shops do good business renting these movies.

So, in theory it sounds like a great idea, but I have my doubts on it’s practice. For one, those who throng these DVD corner shops, they want their movies NOW! It does not matter if it is a pirated copy or bootlegged one, it is just that they need to watch it that day. So, all these corner shops thrive because they “cater” to their customer’s need. That’s why even with the advent of NetFlix like sites, it is not very popular among the south east asians (living in metro areas like SF bay area), because legally speaking new movies cannot be made available on these sites. More over, technology still has not advanced to a stage where in you just sit in front of the TV and order a movie from jaman. So, instant gratification is a big part of movie renting. (see the InfoWeek Survey results)

I do see good potential with niche markets that are not properly served today, e.g: a desi doctor living in a rural region of US wants to watch a movie, he might find this kind of distribution very interesting. But, then again, he is not techi :-(. Also, there are some regional languages that are not well served by these “Desi DVD” shops, e.g: I would like to watch Kannada movies, which are not distributed by these shops. So, can I hope of getting it through these online distribution channel? Not sure, because Kannada movies are doomed because the producers and distributors of those movies are overly worried about piracy that they dont allow reproduction into DVD for good year or so. That kills the interest, you’d have forgotten and there is no buzz about it. So, can Jaman cut deal with these producers from niche market (who are not usually well organized and little arrogant serving niche markets)? Thats a big question, IMO.

Majority of south asians are penny pinchers, dont get me wrong. It is just that most of us came into this country not much in our pockets, so we are always looking at the cost of each service we use, if the desi dvd store gives for $1 a day rental, we are more than happy to get it from him rather than go through the ordeal of going online and downloading the software (and it’s associated bugs ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and the movie. Of course, as people start earning more, they do loosen up a bit, start thinking about quality and legality, but for a online market place to succeed, it needs the mass market.

At the end of the day, no new technology or methods are accepted readily, nay sayers like me are plenty and I will be happy to eat crow when Jaman becomes success. Because, I will be happy to watch a good quality movie that is hard to find in the corner dvd stores.

Good luck to Gaurav and his team.