Globalization – The Great Equalizer


    The last weekend’s edition of the WallStreet Journal has an interesting Cover Story Caste Away, It uses the story of Venugopal Thoti, a Dalit or the lowest caste person in the Indian Caste System making it in the world of software. It also talks about how it enabled him to overcome most, if not all humiliations that his father had suffered under the caste system!

    This is another story that a lot of anti-globalization do-gooders need to remember! There is nothing like Globalization and the global search for merit and talent to equalize things for people of this world. When all the plusses and minuses are added up, it seems like Globalization and the high tech industry have done more good than bad, especially for those that have been downtrodden under one pretext or other; color, caste, language, etc. If not for high technology, people like Venugopal Thoti would have waited a long long time for social ills to be corrected.

    This is not something new. For almost four decades, companies like Infosys have set very high standards for how people are recruited and treated internally. These instituitions have been examples of how merit overcame all other considerations for the most part!

    What was even more strking is the ability of Globalization to FORCE peace upon previously warring factions, wherever they are!! During the India- Pakistan standoff some years ago, the two countries had come very close to starting a war. What put the brakes on, was the interference of vested commercial interests in the form of corporations that had outsourced a lot to India. Behind the scenes they had expressed enormous concern and pressured the Indian Government to put the brakes on what was a slippery slope to war!

    Military superiority is an obsolete vestige of the 20th Century. Economic interdependence will make sanity prevail upon the bitterest of enemies even if one of them has the world’s most superior weapons. There is nothing like the wallet to bring people to the table and see reason quickly, especially in democracies!

    I bet that even the countries crawling with religious terrorists would change quickly and retool their fundamentalist religion studies to teaching Java and Windows in a hurry if they see that it is benefiting them financially and putting to work young people running around with machetes or RDX so far because of very high unemployment and boredom.

    Even in the United States I have seen a lot of change in the past 22 or so years I have spent here. When people like Indra Nooyi can be CEO of Pepsico  or Padmasree Warrior can be CTO of Motorola, the Wall Street Journal could do just as well in how the Glass Ceiling is being tested globally as much as the Caste system in India. My guess is that the same factors may be at play!

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.- Winston Churchill