Renewed hope after #SaveWhitefield protest

What a day! It was a treat to see people pouring out of streets and alleys to join the human chain, merge in seamlessly, bringing their own posters, chanting their own slogans, and through small acts of kindness, reinforcing each others’ faith in the compassion that is at the core of all of us.

One protestor brought biscuits and drinks for the rest of the gang. Another stepped off the bus unaware of the protest, but joined in spontaneously and started coordinating the walk towards Vydehi. Buses gave free rides to the protestors gathered at Marathahalli and Kundanahalli. Men, women and children brought in handmade banners. Seniors made the trek to make their voices heard. And all gave way for traffic, and left the protest arena clean – free of any discarded banners or bottles.

Protesters gather on the side of a road. Pic: Whitefield Rising

Marathahalli Bridge was flanked by families who spanned the entire stretch. And most piled into buses to head to ITPL. Graphite was abuzz with activity at 8 am. Almost 2,000 people gathered there and trekked four km to the destination. KTPO saw people thrilled to find that their managers had joined in too!

Nallurahalli protestors danced to the beat of thedholand had a hi-fiving merger with the Graphite crowd at Vydehi. Two streams converged from Hoodi on one end and Forum Value at the other. All our traffic wardens were out there managing the crowds, but aching to be part of them, one of them blowing his whistle to the chant of the slogans. Hospitals supported the protest wholeheartedly. Brookefield had a stall with water and first aid. RxDx was festooned with posters and Sakra ambulances as well. Thumbs up to you!

A school bus passing by had students chanting, “Save Whitefield”. Auto drivers too joined in wholeheartedly – they are closer to the ground reality than many of us.

Our anchors had a humungous charge to carry out and they came away with flying colours. Their teams had supporters who came from across the city, just to help manage the protest. So although it may seem that way, this was not just of/for/by Whitefield; this was for all of Bangalore.

A city we love for its weather and gardens, and the gentle elegance that drew us in. Yes, many of us are outsiders and perhaps incapable of imagining what Bangalore used to be, or restoring it to the past glory that many yearn for. But we are trying very hard to make it the best we can, given where we are and what we have to work with. So while we said #savewhitefield, perhaps this is where the mission begins for all of Bangalore. And if it spreads, it may help us to execute the long term vision that is sitting in oft-discussed, but un-implemented plans.

The euphoria of the protest settles down and one is left with a feeling of, “We did all this, and what happened?” It will not be an easy path. There is push and shove and struggle involved in dealing with the elaborate machinery of government. It will be small steps forward, some steps back. Things may work, or they may not. But maybe some will stick, and we will believe that yes, we made a mark.

It took us so long to reach the boiling point and take to the streets. Much like the Varthur lake froth has taken to the roads… to tell us that it is hurting. Now, let us keep at it. Let us not go back to our cubicles and codes. Let us keep a lookout for each other, and our roads. Let us do our part, and ensure others do theirs. Thank you to all those who joined… not just for making the event a success, but for giving us renewed hope that we can, together, make change happen.

Related Articles

Whitefield citizens to take to streets on Nov 30th
26 projects could: add 19,000 cars to Whitefield traffic, up water demand by 10.5 million litres
You can buy a villa for 3 crores in Whitefield suburbs, but not clean air!


  1. B Dutta says:


    “Snobbish and Arrogant”.
    If fighting for basic amenities, fighting for better life for our kids, demanding accountability and transparency amounts to being snobbish and arrogant, then I think everyone should be so.

    “they should ask the corporates to move out”:
    No need to ask, the exodus has started.
    The Govt. perhaps will try to fool a fresh set of corporates in upcoming Invest Karnataka meet. Likes of you should prevent that from happening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

What is the ‘smartness’ quotient of Chennai?

The Smart City Advisory Forum was convened in Chennai only 5 times since 2016, showing minimal participation by elected representatives.

Chennai is among the first few cities to get selected under the Smart City Mission programme in 2016. As many as 48 projects under different categories were taken up under the scheme. With only a couple of projects left to be completed, isn't Chennai supposed to look 'smart' now? The much-hyped Central government scheme, launched in 2014, was envisioned to build core infrastructure and evolve 'smart' solutions that would make cities more livable and sustainable. But, a decade since, the reality on the ground may be a little different. While some of the facilities provided under these projects are under-utilised,…

Similar Story

Scenes from a community walk in Mumbai

When I moved to Mumbai, the city felt extremely 'walkable,' but a walking tour in Dadar broadened my definition of walkability.

When I moved to Mumbai in June 2023 for work, I found myself going for sight seeing to the city's tourist destinations. Though the city appeared to have consistent and wide footpaths almost everywhere, vehicular right of way seemed to be prioritised over the pedestrian right of way. This struck me as very strange, even as I continued to enjoy walking through lanes of Mumbai very much. On one hand, there is excellent footpath coverage, utilised by large crowds everywhere. On the other hand, speeding vehicles create obstacles for something as simple as crossing the road.  "Though Mumbai appeared to…