Job reservations in the private sector

The ugly word "reservation" is making an appearance again in the
legislative circles. Now, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is considering passing
a law
making a certain percentage of private sector jobs available only to backward castes.

Job reservations for "backward" castes, regardless of merit, have
been present in government and public sector jobs for a long time now. Isn’t it
enough that we have to endure the appeasement of vote banks by shameless
politicians? Why should the government interfere in the running of private
companies and dictate its employment policies? Unlike the government, social
justice (or the appearance of it) isn’t one of the responsibilities of private
corporations. A corporation exists to make money for its shareholders. While you
could argue that it has a duty to its employees, it doesn’t have a duty to
. A private corporation should be free to hire whoever it wishes,
competent or not, justified or not, and pursue whatever path it thinks will lead
to profitability. The government’s meddling will only result in more social
divisions. Do they honestly think people who get hired only because
"there’s a quota for them" will be welcomed with open arms by other
employees or that they will have a great career path?

Reservations were originally intended to be a temporary measure; something to have in
place while the government tried to provide education to the so-called backward
castes and get them to equal societal and economic status. That they continue to
exist only points to the utter failure of the government to do so in the
last 55 years since we became independent.

You’d expect a politician like Mayawati to resort to such tactics, but what
do you say when members of the intelligentsia also support these policies? JK
points to this news article in which Narayana Murthy, the Indian media’s God of
the software industry, opposes caste-based reservations proposed by Karnataka
Chief Minister S M Krishna. He, however, extends his support for economic
criteria-based reservations in our companies. In other words, Murthy wants us to
reserve a certain percentage of jobs for the poor. No, it’s not for
government jobs but in the private sector. I’m not sure why Murthy, a capitalist
for sure, is making such a statement. Why does he want to force philanthropy on
us? Why isn’t he content with just hiring the best people, regardless of their
economic background? 

His hypocrisy shows through in that he
doesn’t think his own company, Infosys Technologies Limited, is a good place to
start practising what he preaches. Does Infosys reserve any percentage of its
— and I mean the serious software development jobs, not the lower end
"office attendant" type — for poorer people? No, they certainly
don’t. If Murthy is serious about his intentions, let him put his money where
his mouth is. That may, however, present a problem because there’s something
already there.

His foot.

54 thoughts to “Job reservations in the private sector”

  1. Madman,
    Thanks for posting the stuff. Attaboy! I doubt if anybody in the Indian industry will take Murthy’s words seriously. Infosys among other things relies on political influence to get “things moving.” And our beloved S.M. Krishna just loves this man!
    This is not to say Infosys hasn’t set a good example, done good work, etc, but has more to do with, as you say, Murthy’s hypocrisy. I believe his statement was meant to remain in Krishna’s good books.
    If however, the government(s) pass acts to this effect, it’ll be the end of all enterprise, initiative and free market capitalism. We’ll have a new Red India.

  2. Why do people fall for this ‘chicken soup for the soul shit’ from these CEOs? I think. inherently, we indians are suckers for mush and melodrama.

  3. Super! Now me being lazy lazy, can I put a link to this on my blog? Or is this new blog of yours still a “secret”?

  4. He, however, extends his support for economic criteria-based reservations in our companies.

    Why does he want to force philanthropy on us?

    Aren’t these contradictory?
    Anyway, I see his view as – if the Govt is hellbent on bringing all people on the same socio-economic status, they as well announce reservations for the poorer classes than backward classes. Hypocrisy isn’t the word, Good books may well be the motive.

  5. I am a staunch opponent of this crap called caste-based reservation, but I believe economic criteria based reservation and scholarships are required at the school/ university level, so they at least get a fighting chance.
    And as for Narayana Murthy, well he really is a successful and smart guy, but when it comes to making such statements, as one who has worked in Infosys, I can say he doesnt necessarily know what he is talking about.
    But hey he needs to come up with stuff like this, so he can score points, right? How about talking about cleaning his own bathroom? (You clean your bathroom, good – dont use it to score points!)

  6. In India I seriously think caste based reservations are for more important than economic backwardness reservations. The reason being that more often than not caste backwardness also captures economic backwardness. But high castes who don’t want to do certain types of work in some ways hit an axe on their own lives and careers.
    If you want to address long term deprevation problems caste reservations are your ticket. As a matter of an academic exercise check out states with large populations of BCs which have not had major social movements i.e. UP, Bihar, MP, Jharkhand… you will see that p.c.i is in the region of 9000Rs. p.a. that is 750Rs. p.m. Even J&K has higher p.c.i than these places. I don’t know of any studies, but it seems intuitively plausible that the existence of caste barriers has a restraining effect on the economies of these states.
    All this is not to say that reservations are the best solution to any problem. They are simply a political weapon that allows politicians from lower castes to leverage their position, and to garner votes, and in the long term (10 years) this will probably create a more liberal society, replacing the age old varna system for which I think no defence is honourably possible.
    Ofcourse we will be faced with new problems like the affirmative action mess, but eventually I think it will be better than the horrendous situation that most of our Gangetic compatriots face today.
    I bet I am going to get atleast a little flack for this, but I don’t really see what a liberal resolution to this problem will look like.

  7. The messages make an interesting reading. I would read a message & tell the caste of the message poster. With the rotton high caste Hindu mentality you won’t expect any rational thinking on reservation policy.
    Try answering following questions-
    1) There was 100% reservation in all sectors for high caste Hindus for past 5000 years. To make justice, why not have 100% reservations for Dalits for next 5000 years. Do you believe in justice my friends?
    2) In these 5000 years what nerit have you seen? India has lost to every invader and has been at the bottom of every list, be it GDP, development, Olympics or clean & hygenic civil life and honesty. What is the merit of high caste Hindus?
    3) Which are the relatively developed & progressive states today? UP, Bihar or Rajasthan? No. These are Maharashtra, Karnataka & Tamilnadu. The states where anti-Brahmin movement flourished and Brahmin reservations were thrown off 50 years ago. These states where Shudras started contributing & these state took to the road of development. In Rajasthan, UP & Bihar, the high caste still rules the roost & because of their third class merit, they are still backward. Why not give the tested theory a try again? Remove the high caste Hindus with third class merit and bring in the meritorious Shudras & then see what happens.
    Finally, remember what happened after the Mandal Commission report was accepted by Vishwanath Pratap Singh. The high caste Hindus predicted a doom. I have not seen the doom, have you? Today, Mandalization is a reality and even the the party of high caste Hindus (namely BJP) cannot afford to speak against Mandal though in their heart of heart they would prefer to do so. So long as caste is a reality, reservations would be a reality. If you guys want caste (and you do, please don’t be hyppocrates on this!), you will have to accept reservations. Its a package deal. The reservations are there because of casteist idiots like you and your forefathers. YOU have to decide whether to continue with it or terminate it. The choice of preserving caste & removing reservations is not available to you. You cannot have the cake & eat it too. So, try to use your brain and be rational on the reservations issue.

  8. This is an article by Sudha Murthy. In that she says that her husband was a communist and a wannabe politician before marriage. I dont know what his political inclinations are now. But that could be a clue.

  9. i’m an engineering student.i’m planning to present a project on same topic”should reservations be allowed in private could you please sent me more articles on the above matter.hoping you would reply at latest possible

  10. I would like to address specifically to A N Nachar’s article. I think you have misinerpreted the Indian History. Its not like there was reservation for high caste Hindus for past 5000 years, but social functional areas were divided in such a way. People were not didved into casts but they were known as such according to the work/job they were involved. A person who used to teach was known as Brahmin – and not that a Brahmin only could teach. Reservations which we are talking now a days are like this – Only SC can join on this post. Is it fair? I support reservation in education to all those people who are not able to afford. Tell me is it acceptable that one person who belongs to well-to-do familly but bcoz he is SC so he will not pay fee? Today reservation word has become controversial and believe me my dear its not we people , its not the Hindu Society responsible for , but only the politicians who do not care for society or country but only VOTES!

  11. excessive uncontrolled reservation not a good idea
    India has an average low Intelligence Quotient compared to many other
    countries. Even with ZERO reservation they would find it very difficult
    to compete with other countries with much higher IQ levels such as USA,
    Germany, UK, China, Japan etc. This is seen in the fact that there is
    no major international brand names or advanced technology that has
    originated from India at present.
    These are the IQ levels of a few countries: India (81), China (100),
    Germany (102), Japan (105), UK (100), USA (98), South Korea (106)
    Full IQ list on page below:
    Therefore, uncontrolled & excessive implemention of reservation will
    result in India being rendered totally incompetitive at the international

  12. here are the answers to some of your (A N Nachar) questions:
    >>There was 100% reservation in all sectors for high caste Hindus for past 5000 years. To make justice, why not have 100% reservations for Dalits for next 5000 years. Do you believe in justice my friends?
    It is like punishing son for his father’s crime. Your justice sounds absurd. Do you really want us pay for our ancestors’ mistakes? We don’t feel too good about what our forefathers have done in the past. If you keep lookgin back, you’ll only be left behind.
    >>2) In these 5000 years what nerit have you seen? India has lost to every invader and has been at the bottom of every list, be it GDP, development, Olympics or clean & hygenic civil life and honesty. What is the merit of high caste Hindus?
    It is like saying “if I was made the prime minister of India, I would turn India into Japan”. Don’t try to play the blam game. A handfull of jerks in our own country thought that India would be better off under english rule. And that is the reason our country came under the english rule. You cant’ blame the whole community for a fault of a few traitors.
    >>Why not give the tested theory a try again? Remove the high caste Hindus with third class merit and bring in the meritorious Shudras & then see what happens.
    It is not a question of high class hindus with third class merit or meritorious Shudras. What we we need is merit not cast. There are all types of people (good and bad) in all castes.
    What the industry needs is talent, if you have it in you, try to compete. There are reservations at academic level to provide you with all the opportunities you need. You are given a chance to improve your skills. I have many friends in my own engineering college who made the best use of the oppertunity and got excellent grades. They can succeed in industry even without reservations. Reservations at employment level is only an easy way out for dumbest of the dumb. And again those dumb people are present in all castes.
    >>If you guys want caste (and you do, please don’t be hyppocrates on this!), you will have to accept reservations
    Nobody wants caste, it is only the politicians who are still making a fool of ignorent people like you. I have many friends, nobody ever cared to ask what caste I belonged to and neither did I ask any one. None of us know each others caste. How old are you? 70 years? You need to realize that we are in the 21st century, and I never heard anybody of my generation talking about caste. You really need to grow up.
    >>You cannot have the cake & eat it too.
    This sentence doesn’t make sense to me. Why can’t I eat my cake?

  13. Some dalits have recently flown pakistans flag in meerut. How many dalit groups condemned that act ?
    When two dalit’s were given death sentence in Andhra Pradesh a few years ago for burning a bus with passengers , many dalit groups went on dharna and brought pressure on politicians and finally the President at that time, K.R. Narayanan commuted death sentence to life improsonement . Why ?

  14. Reservation promotes inequality. India has not made much progress because truth and justice never took firm roots in the Indian society. Mr. Nachar like those in many other Dalit websites has completely put the blame on Brahmins for the India’s lack of progress. It should be noted that Brahmins have been only involved with religion and intellectual persuits. They never had control of state or trade. Kings and their dynasties are to be held responsible for poor defense in the face of external agression. Trade had flourished in the past so even merchants would have been in a strong postion in the society. If brahmins were committing grave injustices against others how come the kings and business community of the past failed to take corrective action? Does the awakening take 3000 years that only today’s political parties are in a position to demand justice? Brahmins have monopolized Vedic religion – especially rights to perform Vedic rituals that they invented – but that should be considered proprietary and patented. But did that hurt anyone?
    No, everyone else invented their own demi gods and started their own temples and rituals. Therefore we see no dearth of gods and goddesses. So brahmins are no way responsible for backwardness of other so called castes. Infact rest of the world also had not progress much until past 300 years. With renaissance the western world world has changed especially in the last three hundred years. Thanks to the west that we have far better quality of life in India. Atleast they shared and are sharing their technologies with us even though they plundered our wealth in the past. But how much have we progressed after we got freedom? Not much, and why? How much have we Indians contributed to the scientific discoveries so far? And even now we are not seeing any major contribution from Indians (except select profressionals from various fields)?
    BTW, Tamilnadu has not improved because of reservation. The conditions are worser than ever before (which is true for even other cities). It would do far good to the country if there were no reservation – this practice should end. Instead govt. could provide loans to the economically backward candidates. Infact govt. should shrink and most of the things privatised so that we citizens get better service instead of our tax monies ending up with corrupt politicians and employees.

  15. This is what bill gates has to say on affirmative action.
    1. Women and people of color are presumed to be incompetent until
    2. Since the perfect technique for measuring people has yet to be
    it is in these areas that subjectivity enters the assessment process
    groups of people who are viewed negatively (Blacks/ethnic
    for their differences in a given society, tend to suffer in this type
    3. Diversity enriches our performance and products, as well as the
    communities we live in.
    When a case was registered in american supreme courts against
    affirmative actions bill gates, GE and other top 50 compamies came up
    a counter suit saying that if affirmative action is cancelled, they
    not be able to hire minorities and that is going to affect their
    Now top notch companies who have proved merit in production and sales
    have these views on affirmative action. Why does not Mr Subash GOyal
    some lessons from people like them. Just because the bible said that
    was flat did not make galileo wrong. If we keep looking at the great
    thoughts of people like Mr goyal no progress is possible. Why does
    not he
    look at the article of CBP as to how reservations will cause the
    sector to prosper.
    Can lessons be learned by an private enterprise which does not even
    up 3 percent of the world share of profits.

  16. Well the most important issue with reservation is that after some time everyone will demand for it. Start with SC/ST. Later on OBCs will join, then minorities, and so on… I guess ultimately every resources (not only jobs) will be distributed as per your number/strength. China and India are already proving that bigger is the merrier. So if there are 20% muslims in India then 20% jobs should be reserved for them. In hindus if 22% are SC then reserve 22% for them. Moral of the story is that your intelligence or merit doesn’t matter anymore. You will get free education in good colleges, nice job in MNCs, may get promoted out of turn. Why?? Just because you are SC/ST/OBC/Monority.. Ha ha i guess after some time the general category will be the only minority left.

  17. Not meaning to sound rude, but i think that enough has been done for the so called lower castes in the past 40 years. If they have not been able to “uplift” themselves, it is their fault. Why is the UPA government punishing meritorious general category students by taking their jobs away and giving them to undeserving candidates just because the latter belong to a particular section of the Indian community which has done nothing except whine about their so called oppression. If the Congress Leaders and Think Tank are thinking about the possible 49.5 % votes they may get from the SC/ST/OBC/MBC/BC communities, then they have forgotten about the remaining 50.5 % of the populace, which might possibly never vote for the Congress ever again.
    Chew on that Mr Manmohan Singh & Co because my vote is certainly not going your way..

  18. They talk of reservation in Private Sector. Many Indian companies and MNC’s (viz. TCS, Infosys, CSC etc…) don’t allow applicants who did their degrees part time OR correspondence and or secure less than 60%. Then how can the reservation be implemented in such a competitive environment where merit and skills does only matter?

  19. Hey guys:
    It is over. Now we should think about what to do. If they come up with idea of “reservations in marriages”.

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