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PM speaks up for Brand Bangalore

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh billed this garden city as a global brand, saying that people across the world know more of the city than they know about India.

But the PM also criticised those trying to bring a divide between urban and rural areas — an indirect dig at former PM H D Deve Gowda and the JD(S). "Along with Bangalore's development, we must also work for Karnataka's development.

I don't see any contradiction between the two. Some try to divide our people by pitting one against another in the development debate. This is wrong," he said, after laying the foundation stone of a ten-lane mixed corridor to Electronics City.

He also laid the foundation stone for the mega Bangalore Metro Rail project. Singh said India cannot develop if only a few benefit. "We want both our urban areas and rural areas to develop.

We want to build an India in which scientists and engineers, farmers and workers, artists and entrepreneurs can all find the space to express their creativity and enterprise. It is only through such an inclusive growth process can we build a prosperous, equitable and humane nation".

Singh said he wanted Bangalore to retain its global image as a city of enormous creativity and individual enterprise. At the same time, Bangalore should retain its historical reputation as a city of gentle and humane people.

"I sincerely hope Bangalore will also continue to flower and bloom as India's garden city, as the pride of all Kannadigas and of all Indians and a wonder for the rest of world."

He said: "You (Kannada people) have become the symbol of a new India, an India on the move, rising to fulfill its destiny. This is not an isolated success of a few people who work behind walls and inside air-conditioned rooms.

This success has been made possible by the toil and commitment of millions of people. Above all, it has been made possible by your warm hospitality."

He also said that Bangalore will need to keep reinventing itself for the future if it has to maintain its lead.

Singh said the most advanced states during the British rule are no longer perceived as being so.

The most advanced agricultural states need to become industrial states if they have to keep ahead. The PM said every other city in India has Bangalore in its sights and in the absence of determined, positive steps, there is no guarantee that the future will be a continuation of the past success of this city.

He said: "I want everyone to keep this in mind. In the extremely competitive and dynamic world we live in, nations, states and cities slide up and down rankings on many parameters. You need to invest looking at needs two decades from now."


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