I've been assigned to write an article on the potential business implications of the extension of caste-based reservations to the private sector. For this piece, I'll be speaking with executives from some of India's top companies to learn about their current hiring practices, as well as their thoughts on how reservations might affect their future operations. I'll also talk to some advocates of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Caste workers, as well as some staunch opponents of these kinds of employment quotas.
But these "representatives" don't always represent the feelings of real people, especially real people who aren't terribly interested in politics and already have good jobs with respected Indian or international companies. That's why I'm sending out this call for comments, if anybody's out there. What's the real dope on reservations? Have they worked at all? What problems have they caused? Is caste-based discrimination still a problem in Indian life? Did reservations rob you of your chance for a good job? Or, on the contrary, did reservations save your family from a life of poverty and humiliation? Are there qualified SC/ST and OBC candidates out there to fill jobs in the private sector, whether in the service industry or in manufacturing? Would quotas simply force companies to bloat their work force with unqualified personnel, or could they find SC/ST or OBC workers with the education, skills and brains to do the job? If so, why can't they get these jobs without quotas? If not, does that show that the reservation policies in education have failed to end the legacy of discrimination? Why and how?