Saturday, August 27, 2005

‘We said no to IT.in to advocate City’s cause’

‘We said no to IT.in to advocate City’s cause’
Deccan herald

IT honchos say they opted out of the event to highlight the woes of common man and not of the industry.

Theirs is not a temper tantrum, nor is it emotional blackmail. No power flaunting or a confrontation cry either. So even as the government is getting excited about the State’s biggest annual IT event “IT.in”, due in November, those companies who opted to stay out, to protest against Bangalore’s crumbling infrastructure, emphasise their stand has nothing to do with their “IT status”, but everything to do with “being a Bangalorean.“People are getting it wrong, it is not the question of IT.‘in’ or IT.‘out’. We are not fighting for the IT industry, we are fighting for the citizens. It is only that we have a forum to protest, which is not available to the thousands of Bangaloreans who suffer the bad roads and maddening traffic silently. Our intention is only to make the problems more visible,” points out Mr C M Kumar, member of the Bangalore Forum for Information Technology (BFIT), an informal body of about 20 leading IT companies, that is spearheading this movement’. There seems to be no possibility of a withdrawal. Nearly 14 companies — Sun Microsystems, Philips India, Hewlett Packard, Novell, Texas Instruments, SAPS Technologies, Bosch, Synopsys India, Motorola, Siemens, vMoksha, Saskin Technologies, Support Software and SCT Software Systems — choose to stick to their stand.

“In 2004, in good faith, we had reverted our position of not participating in IT.COM. But this year we are certain of our position. Perhaps, we will participate next year if the situation gets better,” reveals Pradip Dutta, President and Managing Director of Synopsis India.

‘Problems on the rise’

According to members of BFIT, this “opposition” gesture has the significance of an “awareness campaign”. “The focus of the challenge is the situation of the City, which requires urgent attention,” stresses Mr Subu Vempati, Managing Director of Hewlett Packard.

Though Mr Vempati acknowledges that “progress” has been made since last year, the work needs to be expedited. “There has been development, but the problems are increasing, shadowing the progress. The Government has announced grand plans to improve infrastructure, but things seem to be going from bad to worse, instead of getting better,” Mr Vempati explains.

Meanwhile, Mr Greg Chatterton, Country Manager of Support Software, insists their protest is certainly not a crib trip.

“Our goal is not to complain, instead we want to be a part of the solution. We want to work in partnership with the Government to make Bangalore better,” says the American.

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