A scientist, an IT pioneer and a football club gave the city something to be proud of

There’s a lot the people of Bangalore will remember 2013 for. If the gruesome attack at an ATM kiosk and the bomb blast near the BJP office before Assembly elections made national headlines, the city also welcomed the return of IT and outsourcing poster boy N. Narayana Murthy at the helm of Infosys, and saw its scientific temper being recognised in city-based scientist C.N.R. Rao getting the Bharat Ratna.

Flipping through the pages of 2013, one cannot help but notice the escalation of crimes and accidents — such as the two Volvo bus infernos that together claimed 52 lives — as also the spirit of unrest given the frequency of strikes and protests from different sections of Bangalore’s working class. As we bid adieu to the year, we list some of the year’s headlines.

Bomb at BJP office

In April, the low-intensity bomb explosion near the BJP headquarters in Malleswaram injured 17 people including 12 police personnel who were on election duty in a van. The crime was traced to Tamil Nadu, and in late October, three persons arrested by the city police in the case were found innocent and acquitted. Two engineering aspirant, Leesha N.S. and Rakshitha Sujai, who were injured in the attack, were given seats in engineering colleges by the government.

Brazen attack at ATM

The attack on bank employee Jyoti Uday at an ATM kiosk on J.C. Road in November sent shockwaves across the country. She was withdrawing money for her daughter’s birthday when the assailant barged in and hit her on her head with a machete. She was discharged from hospital last week. Since the attack, the government has got tough with banks, requiring them to have security round-the-clock at ATMs or face closure of the kiosks.

Volvo accidents

Two back-to-back accidents involving private bus operators put the focus on the lack of safety measures, the unregulated nature of private bus services and the fact that drivers are often made to work on double shifts. In October, a private luxury bus caught fire after hitting a culvert on the Bangalore–Hyderabad national highway killing 45 people.

Less than a month later, seven passengers were burnt to death and 25 injured when a Mumbai-bound bus caught file after ramming a railing on NH4 near Haveri.

Score!

Football fans need not look west for a sense of ‘soccer identity’ anymore. In September, with the entry of JSW Bengaluru FC, the city got to see the local club take on Kolkata powerhouse Mohun Bagan at an I-League match. Big names in the team include Indian striker Sunil Chhetri and promising international forward Robin Singh.

In the upper echelons

The return of N. Narayana Murthy to the top post at Infosys was received by the markets with relief even as it was seen as indicative of the tough times for Bangalore’s top IT company, and the sector in general. In rupee terms at least, revenues grew in the second half of the year, even if it rode on the back of a sliding rupee.

Eminent scientist C.N.R. Rao was awarded the Bharat Ratna for his contribution to the field of solid state and material chemistry, making him the third scientist after C.V. Raman and the former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to receive the top award.

Crowd-funding films

The Kannada film industry conquered new frontiers and reached new milestones with the year’s most talked about Kannada film, Pawan Kumar’s Lucia. With a kind of narrative the Kannada audiences are not used to seeing regularly on screen, the film, which was the first Kannada feature film to have been completely crowd-funded, received the audience award at the London Indian Film Festival.

It was also among 20 films being considered for India’s entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Changes of guard

Bangalore got a new Mayor in April with Basavangudi councillor from the BJP, B.S. Satyanarayana (alias Katte Satya), taking charge. Congress councillor Indira was elected Deputy Mayor.

Bangalore University too got a new Vice-Chancellor in February, in B. Thimme Gowda, professor of chemistry, Mangalore University. Prof. Gowda took over from N. Rangaswamy, who had stepped in as Vice-Chancellor (in charge) after N. Prabhu Dev resigned four months before his tenure ended.

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