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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Halted for 34 Hours

si Team
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
si Team
Bangalore the bustling Silicon balloon of India bursted and hung low for about 34 hours following the passing away of Karnataka’s most beloved Son – Thespian Dr. Rajkumar on April 12. Emotions overwhelmed the city after the 77-year-old actor suffered a massive cardiac arrest at his house around 2 p.m. that fateful Wednesday.

Thousands of mourners took to the streets as news spread within minutes of the demise. Tens of thousands of people came out, and in some stray incidents, crowd activities turned ugly. Eight people, including a policeman who was beaten by mobs, were killed in the sporadic rioting that resulted from grief and anger. Some mourners were angry they were not able to get closer to the funeral cortege.

Bangalore remained essentially shut for one and a half days, putting a stop to most business in the city, including commercial entities such as banks, cinemas, shops and hotels. All transportation, including public modes such as buses and taxis, were forbidden on city roadways as authorities made arrangements for the actor’s state funeral. It was reported that cable television operators in the city blocked entertainment channels to mark the actor’s passing.

According to the BBC, more than a 1,000 IT firms and other businesses were closed on Thursday before the situation was brought under control the following day. The shutdowns were prompted by a mix of factors and for a variety of reasons: voluntarily out of respect for the great actor; practicality in that many workers could not get to work because of the dearth of public transportation; and involuntarily out of safety fears for workers and company property.

Many IT companies and outsourced call center services providers shut their offices down for the duration of the official two-day mourning period. Angry mourners stoned the Bangalore office of Microsoft Research Lab, which is located near the late actor’s house. Companies, including many outsourcers, declared Thursday April 13th a holiday, and were forced to inform their clients (many U.S.- and U.K.- based companies) of the closures.

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