Bloomberg reports on how sympathy is going out of style in India. A rather harsh statement, but given the context, one might agree that this is a move in the right direction.
India has had a legal system that was ‘kind’ to employees often at the expense of fairness. How else would one explain a decision by an Indian court that said it is too harsh to fire an employee who has displayed a pattern of sleeping on the job? Or even someone who abuses his superior and had displayed violent behavior in the past? At long last, the Supreme court has finally ruled that these decisions were within the rights of the employers!
Having lived in Kerala, I have often experienced first-hand the inordinate power and the resultant arrogance of the labourers, who are protected by labour unions and labour courts. Sure, it is good to protect the labourers – in fact I am very proud of the high standard of living that labourers in Kerala have compared to other Indian states. But fact remains that there needs to be a balance on the scale. And the Supreme court seems to be moving in the right direction to finally reach a more appropriate equilibrium. What the labourers and labour unions need to realise is that, this is not just a capitalist protect-the-companies-only move. With a fairer labour system, the companies will be willing to invest more, be less reluctant in hiring more people. On the long run, it will definitely benefit everyone through more jobs, a more competitive working environment and ultimately, access to a higher standard of living.
Kudos to the Supreme Court of India!