Dalits and Level Playing Field for India’s E-commerce Giants


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Indian Banias who mainly head the E-commerce businesses are demanding level playing field from the Government of India. The founders of E-commerce giants, Flipkart and Ola are constantly demanding level playing field to fight Amazon and Uber their competitors. Flipkart claims that it is an Indian firm and this is a blatant lie as many venture capitalists and investors have poured crores in its kitty to be where they are today. Similar is the case with Ola. This is true for the majority of the internet-based companies. The idea of level playing field is equivalent to the idea of reservation policy. It is a trick of words but it means the same.

The so-called Indian upper castes oppose the reservation policy which reserves the certain quota of seats for the citizens of the lower castes. It makes over 85 percent of India’s population. India’s all the fields have been occupied by India’s so-called upper castes.

They have cornered media, economy, and through an organised syndicate of RSS, politics through BJP. India’s Upper castes have distorted the field. Therefore India’s lower caste needs level playing field. For example, 99 percent of the editorial positions in the leading newspapers are from the so-called upper castes. They manage the media and hence the public opinion. The opinions of the people are directed in favor of the so-called upper castes. The businesses are dominated by the Upper Caste. They own 93 percent of the capital according to one study.

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The Upper Caste are not cornering these positions because of the inherent talent but because of the India’s caste system which is designed in a way to benefit only the people at the top. They have all the opportunities to get to the different fields because of the social capital they have and the social capital is based on the caste in India.

It is funny that the Banias in India demand level playing field vis a vis companies from “abroad”. It is hilarious to demand level playing field and oppose the same demand of India’s majority of the citizens. In fact, level playing field demanded by the SCs, OBCs, and STs is not a matter of profits or corporate survival, but it is their basic human right to have a reasonable life and equal life.

In E-commerce or any Business, Corporate India must have a level playing field which means the SCs, OBCs, and STs can easily become majority part of it.

The India’s lower castes have not yet demanded the representation in the Corporate the way the Malaysian Bhumiputras got it and have become an integral part of the businesses. But the demand from the so-called lower castes is often not met. Before Indian corporate demand level playing field from the Government, Indian corporates should themselves become the field of equality so that all the citizens can become an integral and the most important driver of it.

Modi has been boasting about India’s economic growth, but as the Economist knows growth is immaterial if the economy is not developed. The most important part of development is equity and end of poverty. The trickle down theory is not a reality. Nothing trickles down. Only the targeted policies can ensure equality and end of poverty. Modi has not developed any of these. The infatuation with growth rate which can be manipulated is not the real indicator of the economic development.

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China has successfully fought poverty and it is more an equal society compared to India. India’s caste system is the greatest hurdle to India’s development in the economy. We must begin with where it matters and that is with our majority citizens and the constitution of India has roots of this development. But it seems that in order to chase economic growth for a few, the Government is destroying the constitution itself by using undemocratic methods to make laws.

Creating a level playing not only in E-commerce but in all fields for every community is essential for India’s growth.

Author – Mangesh Dhaiwale

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