Skip to content


Sympathy going out of fashion in India?

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!

Posted in India, Society on May 3, 2005


8 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Pleomorphous says

    You do not like my right to sleep at work!! I feel sleepy already…

  2. Surya says

    err..not me, ur employer..=) and I like the employer not liking ur sleeping.

    btw, i dont think u have a “right” to sleep at work..

  3. Pleomorphous says

    If I am expected to work during my sleeping hours, I don’t see why I cannot sleep during my working hours as well.

  4. Arun says

    Well,the labour rules are going to find a major change when they will enact a new labour law in the Special Economic Zone in Kochi.The state govt is supposed to create the law acc. to the new SEZ rules,but remains to be seen whether they’ve got the guts to do it.
    Any ways,the work culture in the newly coming up Smart City would be that in Dubai Internet City’s,it is being widely reported in the press now.
    Other than Kochi,it will be the same old “trade union millitancy”

  5. Surya says

    Cochin would be a good start! Lets hope it will spread to other parts at some point in the future, even if its not too soon..

  6. Balachandran says

    Those of us expatriates who are eloquent about nostalgic memories and of our love for Kerala, according to me, dont genuinely love our state! Why then are we electing the same people over and over again: We know fully well these so called “leaders” are not going to do anything positive/constructive for the state. What we, including me, are interested is the gossip that follow in the political scene like we are seeing a TV serial or a movie?

    The young politicians of every colour are quick to demonstrate, smash up KSRTC buses, destroy shops etc. lamenting about the lack of jobs in Kerala. When a new project like GIM, Cochin Smartcity they cry foul.

    The saddest part is that why the so called media, both written and electronic, not asking the youth leaders the rationale behind their strange behaviour?

    The wise might ask me ” who is interested”? The primary job of any media is to make a story out of trouble. If there is no trouble they will have to search for stories!!!

  7. Efby Antony says

    I agree…

    The workers have to demand their share of the pie by making themselves indispensable to the organisation, by exhibiting consummate skills. Not by arm twisting their empoyers…

  8. Surya says

    Surprisingly, workers still away with arm twisting, esp in Kerala.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Please answer: (required) Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.