Friday, December 16, 2005

Squatters raid Bengaluru!

Squatters raid Bengaluru!

Mumbai Mirror

Mumbai: Hundreds raced to register Web domain names minutes after Karnataka Chief Minister Dharam Singh announced that his Government would rename Bangalore as Bengaluru to erase colonial overtones to the pronunciation of India’s Silicon Valley’s monicker.

Rajesh ST of Hiriyur in Karnataka was one of the first to corner the domain ‘’, an address that could be quite sought after once the city actually renames itself in November 2006. While he registered the domain on December 11, the day the announcement was made, Arvind Krishnaswamy had beat him to the more popular domain extension of ‘.com’.

Krishnaswamy had registered on April 16, 2004, much before the Government was bitten by nostalgia. Compared to the rather hip-sounding Bangalore, considered synonymous with technology, the new name will have culinary overtones as it literally means ‘town of boiled beans’.

Eminent Kannada writer and Jnanpith awardee UR Ananthamurty, a strong supporter of the name change, said, “I can bring any English word into my language through the ‘oo’ sound. This is very important for us, because it has made our language grow. And so I think we celebrate the ‘oo’ through Bengalooru.

People who want to retain their names have some feeling of sacredness about a tradition and a memory, and the sound of a language.”

The ‘oo’ sound has led to a bit of confusion in English though, as people are buying space at addresses in different permutations and combinations of ‘oo’ and ‘u’.

Adithya Gadwale of Annapolis, USA, has registered that resembles, the world famous Web site of Karnataka’s Department of IT and Biotechnology. Gadwale has also registered the alternative and begun a blog at, an insurance perhaps against the Government’s fickle mind.

“Addresses were disappearing within a matter of minutes,” said Babychen Mathew, who has registered “I chose a name that was unregistered but before I could make the payment, it was gone,” Mathew, who plans to add the site to a slew of news Web sites he runs, said. Several companies offer domain registrations and generally a registration with any of them assures exclusivity. Domain registration with the suffix ‘.com’ costs upwards of Rs 400 and one with ‘.in’ at the end costs Rs 800 or more.

While several of those who have registered domains could be genuinely protecting an address, others are obviously cyber-squatters out to make a quick buck. Sometimes specific domain names are highly valued and companies and portal managers are known to pay huge sums to evict squatters. For example,,,,, are sought-after addresses.

QUICK ON THE DRAW A Krishnaswamy G Sudheendrra Rajesh ST R Venkataraman R Venkataraman Adithya Gadwale Adithya Gadwale Gadwale Adithya Gadwale S Krishnamurthy Ravindra R Sunil Dutt


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