MAR 2014

Creating a bigger pie - on job reservations

There has been some discussion online about my stance on reservation. I am glad this came up, because this is an issue that goes to the heart of what I believe in - how do we create opportunity at a large scale, for our people?


What I specifically said in response to the question last week, is in the video below. I favor the reservations that currently exist in the public sector - they are a force for inclusion and affirmative action.  Reservation exists in the public sector because we have to acknowledge as a country that certain groups of people have been discriminated against for hundreds of years.


When it comes to the private sector however, we should encourage private companies to themselves be more proactive about inclusion, and not over-regulate them. The focus should be on job creation - on creating more opportunity, rather than just dividing up existing opportunity.

The Dalit journalist Chandrabhan Prasad once told me, 'I have always believed our weakest communities, like Dalits, should be the strongest supporters of markets.' Truly accessible, open markets and a strong private sector bring with them powerful caste and class solvents—through education and job creation that is not tied to community identity, and through access to capital and infrastructure that does not depend on family or caste connections.

In just two decades, Chandrabhan notes, the effects of our economic freedoms have been impressive.'The growth of the market economy has allowed many Dalits to escape suffocating rural environments,' Chandrabhan says. 'Dalits who were once bonded laborers can now go to the city and get a job, in construction or in retail. They can educate their children there, make money, buy property. No one can stop them.'

The private sector has been a powerful force for such job creation. The jobs they created have rapidly increased the opportunities available for our people. Infosys alone created several lakh new jobs, as did the many IT companies that came after it. And it is this that we should be focusing on. And this will be my continued priority for Bengaluru and its people.  


Posted at 03:18 PM

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