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State capitals must be melting-pots

State capitals must be melting-pots
Highlights

A few days ago I went to Bangalore to see my brother who had been ill. He worked for 30 years for a reputed company. Morning walk is a compulsory item with me throughout my life, wherever I am. As usual, on one of those days I ventured out for a walk. When I saw a group of young men between 18 and 20 years, I stopped them and started inquiring about them. I got different replies when I asked them about their native places. One was from Orissa, the second one from Kolhapur and the third from Dharwad. I continued my grilling with questions like “where do you work”.

Though there are industries in certain locations, the people there are not involved and public resources are siphoned off to private individuals

A few days ago I went to Bangalore to see my brother who had been ill. He worked for 30 years for a reputed company. Morning walk is a compulsory item with me throughout my life, wherever I am. As usual, on one of those days I ventured out for a walk. When I saw a group of young men between 18 and 20 years, I stopped them and started inquiring about them. I got different replies when I asked them about their native places. One was from Orissa, the second one from Kolhapur and the third from Dharwad. I continued my grilling with questions like “where do you work”.

They said that they were working as security guards in IT companies spread all over Bangalore in nearly a radius of 70 to 100 miles. They were in a hurry to reach their destinations. When I covered some more ground, I met a batch of young girls speaking Tamil among themselves. They were from Tamil Nadu and studying nursing. Though there were many colleges in Tamil Nadu, they had come here seeking their destiny since they knew that there were many private corporate hospitals in and around Bangalore city.

After some time I also met one group speaking Telugu. They were working in various pharmaceutical companies. I came to know that people from many far-off places would work in these companies. Besides being a centre of I.T companies, Bangalore is also the hub of pharma industries. Ramakanth, who had worked for almost 25 years in New Jersey with an MNC, had come down to Bangalore to start his own company. He said that out of 200 working in his company local people were only 30 to 40.

Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka State. At the same time, it is also an economic power centre whose network would certainly go beyond the geographical borders of Karnataka. All Metropolitan cities are not only political capitals of their States but also economic power centres whose influence can be felt far and wide.

Political institutions create economic institutions and certainly the philosophy of these institutions shapes economic activity. But, at times, the economic activity operates in myriad ways and comes back to political institutions in different get-ups. Economic institutions are of two kinds. In inclusive economic institutions people have freedom to choose the vocation. The institutions provide a level playing field and give opportunities to all. Those who have good resources or mobilise resources with good ideas start their own business. Workers go to the activities where their productivity is greater.

In exclusive economic institutions workers are forced to take up works irrespective of whether they like it or not. They merely work for salaries. Though there are industries in certain locations, the people there are not involved and public resources are siphoned off to private individuals. We see this kind of industrial developments in many Latin American countries. Sustained economic growth enables labour, land, existing capitals, buildings and machines and makes them more productive. A century ago, our forefathers did not have such options as we have now today.

Economic institutions now pave the way for many other ancillary occupations too. Information technology now leads to new markets, new private enterprises and new contractors. So technology development leads to a new world which is intimately linked to skills of education. The knowhow of the work force adds energy to the economy. Schools act as supplementary agencies.

With machine changes, workers have to equip themselves with newer knowledge. The jobs demand new types of workers. No society can survive with old technology. There must be some dynamic agencies to innovate, and human resources have to play a key role to make technology accurate.

Technology places are an important part in the economy of the country. To make it a level playing field and inclusive one, the skills of students, the income levels of workers and the prosperity of society should be protected. Besides technology, ethics of the workers are also very important. Ramakanth told me that they had to import many goods and sometimes even living beings like dogs. They administer drugs to dogs to test the effectiveness of a new drug. To achieve this purpose, dogs must be normal and not diseased in anyway.

His company has to pay a severe penalty because he got vocally diseased dogs from some outside source where ethics did not matter that much. This unethical practice chops the very trunk of the business. Now Bangalore belongs to Karnataka people but its economic activity is not only with Karnataka people. Whether it is a political capital or not, it must continue to be an economic capital to give prosperity to all people; 21st century dynamics have changed. There is no reason to be afraid of, if a metropolitan city is a part of this State or that. We have to preserve the conditions to make a city an economic capital.

I think Hyderabad also continues to prosper as an economic center of activity whether it is the capital of Telangana or united Andhra Pradesh; only political bosses might worry about its geographical borders and I believe it keeps its economic activity flourishing. It continues to attract people from far and wide and keep all of them safe and secure.

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