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.