Austin Town

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Austin Town
Suburb
Austin Town is located in Bengaluru
Austin Town
Austin Town
Coordinates: 12°57′42″N 77°36′48″E / 12.961636°N 77.613305°E / 12.961636; 77.613305Coordinates: 12°57′42″N 77°36′48″E / 12.961636°N 77.613305°E / 12.961636; 77.613305
Country India
State Karnataka
District Bangalore Urban
Metro Bangalore
Government
 • Body BBMP
Languages
 • Official Kannada
 • Spoken Kannada, Tamil, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 560047
Lok Sabha Constituency Bangalore Central
Vidhan Sabha Constituency Shantinagar
Original Planning Agency Bangalore Civil & Military Station Municipal Commission
Established 1920

Austin Town is a suburb of the Bangalore Cantonment, named after British the Collector and Municipal President of the Civil and Military Station, Sir. James Austin.[1][2] The suburb is known for having produced some of India's best football players, with the game being very popular. In the age of IPL, the dream of the children of Austin Town is to be playing for the best football clubs one day.[3] In 1998, the BBMP renamed Austin Town as F Kittel Nagar, after an 18th-century linguist and Protestant German missionary of the Basel Mission, Rev. Ferdinand Kittel.[4][5] However, the name has not caught on and continues to be popularly known as Austin Town.[4][6][7][8][9]

Austin Town was established in 1920 by the building of a number of small cottages for the benefit of lower income groups, and rented out for a nominal sum. The Collector Austin was the encouragement for this project, and hence the suburb was named after him. These cottages were in great demand by poor Indians and Anglo Indians. The neighbouring suburbs are Agram, Neelsandra and Vannarpet, which was the localities where the laborers of the nearby brick kilns called Shoolay (now renamed as Ashok Nagar).[10] The Sanitary works of Austin Town was designed by W H Murphy, Executive Engineer, Municipal Council, Bangalore Civil and Military Station, after whom Murphy Town gets its name.[11]

Football in Austin Town[edit]

Unlike other parts of Bangalore where Cricket is popular, Football is a passion for the residents of Austin Town. According to football coach Thyagarajan, Austin Town is considered the birthplace of Football in Bangalore. The origins of the game can be traced to the Italian soldiers who were being held as prisoners of war during the beginning of WWI in the Bangalore Cantonment. The Italian POWs passed on the game to the natives, even though at first the natives played football bare-footed. (Some players played without boots even in the Olympics.) The very first Olympians – Anthony, Kanniah, Raman and Shanmugham – who represented the Indian Football team in the Olympic Games of 1948 and 1952, were from Austin Town. Vajravelu and Varadarajan were from the City area, and the rest of the players were from the Bangalore Cantonment. Most of the Football enthusiasts in Austin Town are the Tamil Community, with many of the local boys now playing for clubs in Goa and Calcutta. In the 1960s and 1970s, many of the Austin Town boys made it the Football teams of Government and defence companies such as HMT, MEG, ITI, NGEF, HAL, BEML, BHEL, ADA, ADE, etc. Austin Town and Murphy Town are still considered gold-mines of football talent.[12][13][14] One of Austin Town's legend and local hero is 95-year-old T Shanmugham, who led India to victory in Football in the 1951 Asian Games, and also was part of India's Football team for the 1952 Olympics. The Austin Town Football Grounds is now known as Nandan Ground's after one of Indian Football's greatest goalkeeper Nandan, who was also from Austin Town.[14] Austin Town is also the birthplace of other legendary football players such as Ulaganathan and former Captain Carlton Chapman.[3][15]

Gowthampura one of the layouts of Austin Town has a statue of Pelé[16][17] and is considered to be supporters of Brazil, and some residents of Austin Town who are supporters of Argentina want to raise a statue of Maradona. Almost every house in the lower-middle-class families of Austin Town have football players.[18][19]

Demographics[edit]

Like in other suburbs of the Bangalore Cantonment, Austin Town has a large Tamil population. They trace their ancestry to the large number of Tamil soldiers, suppliers and workers who were brought into the Bangalore Civil and Military Station, by the British Army, after the fall of Tippu Sultan. Austin Town along with other suburbs of the Bangalore Cantonment was directly under the administration of the British Madras Presidency till 1949, when it was handed over to the Mysore State.[20][21][22][23][24][25]

Anglo-Indians[edit]

Austin Town was home to many Anglo Indian families however only a few Anglo Indians are now left with most migrating to Australia and The UK. The Anglo-Indian Block also known as Anglo Indian Quarters is now inhabited by mostly non-Anglo Indians. The resident Anglo Indians that were born and raised in Austin Town still refer to it as Anglo Indian Quarters and the part with a large Tamil population as 'Indian Austin Town'. Those who are left behind are still proud to call Austin Town as Home. During the British Raj, there was a clear distinction between the Anglo Indian and Tamil sections of Austin Town, which have now been wiped out, and the once posh suburbs have lost their glory as a result of poor civic maintenance. Some of the original inhabitants of Austin Town, came from Rangoon, and at that time found the cantonment to be much quieter than the busy city of Rangoon, Burma. Christmas time for the Anglo Indian community means carols and parties, with 'twinkly nylon', satin, taffeta, with plenty of lace, bought from the Commercial Street and Shivajinagar areas of the Cantonment, being popular with the women of Austin Town. Some of the Anglo-Indians who migrated abroad still visit in search of their roots. Every year on the last Sunday before Christmas Day the local Anglo Indian Youth Association organizes a carnival style Christmas party for the Anglo Indian families. This event used to be strictly for Anglo Indians but has now opened up to welcome Non-Anglo Indian friends of Anglo Indian families.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harshitha, Samyuktha (1 December 2012). "A timeline of Bangalore". Suttha Muttha. Blogspot. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Vannarpet". I Change my City. Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy. 2014. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Football heroes from the ghettos" (Bangalore). Bangalore Mirror. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Renaming roads: A 'meaningless' exercise" (Bangalore). The Hindu. 21 September 2001. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Prashanth, G N (14 April 2011). "It's all in the new name" (Bangalore). The Times of India. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Rao, Priyanka S (25 May 2011). "A German Priest's Gift to Karnataka" (Bangalore). Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Narasimhan, Sakuntala. "Road names change, roads don't". Citizen Matters. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "What's in a name? Perhaps, the past" (Bangalore). The Hindu. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Sights, sounds and smells from Bangalore". Bangalore Buzz. 15 September 2005. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Ronnie. "Bangalore around the late 1920's ..." Children of Bangalore. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Harshitha, Samyuktha. "An Engineer who invented a dog killing machine". Suttha Muttha. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Prashanth, G N (10 June 2002). "Game of the ghettoes lives on" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Prashanth, G N (13 June 2010). "Enduring passion" (Bangalore). The Times of India. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Prashanth, G N (3 September 2011). "Oldest Olympian footballer tunes into Messi" (Bangalore). The Times of India. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  15. ^ Rizvi, Aliyeh (9 August 2015). "Resident Rendezvoyeur: Against all odds" (Bangalore). Bangalore Mirror. Bangalore Mirror Bureau. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "Pele's fan club lives here" (Bangalore). The Hindu. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Murthy, V Sreenivasa (12 June 2010). "Primed for FIFA World Cup" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Sukumar, Dev S (13 June 2010). "Bangalore's Austin Town turns blue in joy" (Bangalore). DNA India. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Kumar, Chethan; Menon, Rashmi (10 June 2010). "City set to go 'Waka Waka' over football" (Bangalore). Deccan Herald. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  20. ^ Srivatsa, Sharath S (31 October 2007). "Bangalore calling: it all goes way back…" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  21. ^ Steve, Arul (17 April 2013). "Specialization On Social And Cultural Indifference Among Kgf Tamil Migrants". Word Press. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  22. ^ Rizvi, Aliyeh (18 July 2013). "Greet.Meat.Eat". A Turquoise Cloud. Word Press. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  23. ^ Dasharathi, Poornima (23 July 2008). "Cantonment: colonial past, multicultural present". Citizen Matters. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  24. ^ Aam AdMo (7 July 2012). "Right to be a Minority institution (and make majority profits)". Word Press. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  25. ^ Harshitha, Samyuktha (1 June 2013). "The Mootocherry of Bangalore". Suttha Muttha. Blogspot,com.au. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Sarma, Deepika (31 October 2012). "An extended family to celebrate Christmas with" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 9 January 2015.