From times of india:-
It is essential to ensure social justice and democratise wealth.
Social justice is the bedrock of any democracy. A society shaped and controlled by the ideology of caste militates against the concept of social justice.
A fair society is possible only when hierarchies conceived and nurtured by the caste system are destroyed. Reservations in the fields of education and employment for people who have been on the wrong end of the caste hierarchy is a constitutional means to do it.
All this while, the provision for affirmative action in the form of reservations has been employed only in the public sector.
With the State increasingly receding from the spheres of education and employment generation, it is time the policy of affirmative action is introduced in the private sector occupying the space.
Or else, the old social order where the upper castes controlled wealth as well as the means of production and the lower castes took care of jobs that essentially facilitated the status quo will continue to hold fort in the future too.
A total destruction of caste is possible only when both the ideology as well as the economic order it created are defeated. Job reservations are a must for the latter. They are an integral part of the process of democratising the distribution of wealth.
In today’s world, the caste that historically had access to education, power and wealth is at an advantage. That is why one can rarely find a dalit or an adivasi among professionals, be it in the infotech sector or any other private sector industry.
A level playing field in the Indian context necessitates the creation of unequal opportunities favourable to the lower castes. What-happens-to-merit is only an argument that seeks to maintain the status quo in favour of the upper castes.
It is also preposterous to argue that merit is the dominant criterion for employment in the private sector.
Social linkages, including caste and family ties, matter a lot in a sector where an overwhelming amount of businesses are family-run. There is no evidence yet of merit being hereditary.
What the private sector in India needs to do is to take the cue from the developed world. Companies such as Microsoft and Intel have called for affirmative action in admissions to educational institutions as well as hiring in the US.
Rather than wait for the state to legislate, the industry should take the initiative to seek diversity among its workforce. That is how the private sector could play a role in creating a more democratic society in the country.
Protectionism, including that of private (read caste) interests, goes against the spirit of democracy as well as capitalism. MADMAN’S WEB:-
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 employ. 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...