Home > Europe, India, Indian Economy, Indian education, Politics, Social Trends, World Economy > ILO and Indian Government partner to train domestics

ILO and Indian Government partner to train domestics


The first requisite of a good servant is that he should conspicuously know his place. It is not enough that he knows how to effect certain desired mechanical results; he must, above all, know how to effect these results in due form. Thus wrote the legendary academic Thorstein Veblen in The Theory of the Leisure Class, that superb treatise on the effect of wealth on behaviour. “Any departure from these canons of form is to be deprecated, not so much because it evinces a shortcoming in mechanical efficiency, or even that it shows an absence of the servile attitude and temperament, but because in the last analysis it shows the absence of special training.”

… a couple of weeks ago it appeared Delhi had taken Veblen seriously. To ensure that such a lacuna should not reflect on its image as the capital of an economic superpower in the making, it launched the programme for skill development of domestic workers, a programme to turn out trained housemaids for the rich and the burgeoning middle class. And in this endeavour, it had impressive sponsors: the International Labour Organisation (ILO) no less, the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Delhi government, all under the umbrella of the high-sounding National Skill Development Programme. (via Latha Jishnu: The commons and the classes).

This may yet come to pass!

This may yet come to pass!

The next great ‘revolution’ in Indian economy after the BPO revolution is being scripted by the ILO and the Government of Delhi under their Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit. They are going to train domestics and ‘upgrade their skills. With this ‘revolution’ India’ can become the global source for ‘true’ coolie labour – a source for domestic for any country in the world.

Apparently, colonialism never died. We now just have Brown masters instead of White masters! What a waste!

Of course, like Latha Jishnu (the author) of the article points out, no one is really interested in ensuring that all Indians go to equally good and high quality schools. Because then where will and “how would one get the endless flow of domestic helpers”.

Advertisements
  1. Pravin
    August 23, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I dont get it. Should we all move to egalitarian utopia where no physical labor services should exist?. Will everyone having ‘high quality education’ -whatever that means (personally it is a meaningless concept at an aggregate level) find that their high quality education provides them opportunities to become brown sahibs themselves?

    What is wrong with coolie labour?Should they give it all up and starve to death in proud desperation?.
    Why should everyone have HIGH QUALITY education?Should everyone also have HIGH QUALITY homes?Why not HIGH QUALITY cars?.whats the logic?. why is education such a holy cow that the word profit coming close to it makes the marxist sadagoplan shudder.
    State sponsorship of english is one point.But to belittle the work of millions of Indians by calling it undignified is just elitist.

  2. August 24, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Should we all move to egalitarian utopia where no physical labor services should exist?

    Should all our choices be influenced and perverted by misuse of taxpayer money? It is the abuse of tax payer money which is detestable! To use tax payer money, to train domestic servants for the use of a small elite, is gross abuse of governmental authority!

    Will everyone having ‘high quality education’ -whatever that means (personally it is a meaningless concept at an aggregate level) find that their high quality education provides them opportunities to become brown sahibs themselves?

    Good quality education may make good carpenters, systems analysts, masons, programmers, plumbers, engineers, et al. Why are you assuming that good quality education means becoming brown sahibs only? In fact, any good quality education, will ensure that brown sahibs are not created.

    What is wrong with coolie labour?Should they give it all up and starve to death in proud desperation?

    Any labour of any kind, is a matter of pride and appreciation. But to create an exploitative situation, where some people are deliberately kept backward, to suit the interests of a dominant class, is the matter in question – and concern.

    Why should everyone have HIGH QUALITY education? Should everyone also have HIGH QUALITY homes?Why not HIGH QUALITY cars?.whats the logic?.

    Quality! I think your question is more about what is quality.

    I like the Japanese definition – Quality is when a product or service meets 100% agreed user requirements, which is evidenced as supplier specifications.

    If any service goods provider is taking money and providing products or services that do not meet agreed upon quality, that is a fraud.

    So, the user will define what is good quality education – and not the State.

    why is education such a holy cow that the word profit coming close to it makes the marxist sadagoplan shudder.

    I cant answer for Sadagopan, whose columns, writing I have not read!

    But to take your question on profit and education.

    I think the entire debate about profit is a matter of ethics! Indian business ethics approve of शुभ लाभ shubh labh. Western debates do not have the concept शुभ shubh, and focus the debate on only the लाभ labh (profit). Western debates do not understand the (small?) difference between लाभ and लोभ.

    I have never read Sadagopan, so I will go by your definition and description. So, if Sadagopan is debating Marxist concepts, he is possibly using Western conceptual frame-work as reference point. At least, I have never advocated ‘free’ education as a way forward.

    State sponsorship of english is one point.

    Why just English? Any State sponsorship, especially by stealth, which perverts our choices, especially under foreign influence, is a matter of concern.

    While India recovers, there is a weak case to be made for temporary State support.

    But to belittle the work of millions of Indians by calling it undignified is just elitist.

    Entirely agree! The Pandavas became dasas in the Court of Raja Viraat. Raja Harishchandra became a das and so did Nala (of the Damayanti) fame. So, temporary servitude due to adverse circumstances may be understandable.

    But if a Government were to promote any profession which has a clear ulterior motive of benefitting the elite, it is something that needs to condemned and opposed.

  3. Galeo Rhinus
    August 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Anuraag – you went down the slippery slope when you quoted Latha Jishnu saying “no one is really interested in ensuring that all Indians go to equally good and high quality schools.”

    The answer is that “no one SHOULD be interested…other than parents and the teachers…”

    Education became a tool of the government to destroy India’s private education system.

    While compelling on the surface – Latha Jishnu is echoing Marxist ideas (I have no idea if she actively represent Marxist ideals or is simply a lethargic intellectual who doesn’t recognize the history in her rhetoric).

    However – while I think we agree that the government should not be in education – the transition to privatized education is not going to be simple.

    India’s private education system did not simply “evolve” out of nothing. There was a method in the design. Roughly a third of the students were private tutored… roughly a third were home-schooled – when the parents had the ability and the time and about a third went to pathshalas and a small portion studied in the gurukulas.

    The pathshalas is where the churning of the guna-karma took place. It created a system that allowed a dynamic economic mobility. There was no one “overlooking” these schools – yet – there was an intellectual standardization across schools and districts in the country. Post 1835 – once these schools were actively shutdown – the entire core was wiped out.

    Once the pathshalas were “allowed” by the English to recover – they were a Frankensteinian version of the original… highly segregated and elitist… this is what the Marxist tell us about all Indic education…

    …Jishnu is either ignorant about the true nature of Indic private education or her agenda is consistent with that of the Marxists.

    You will invite the wrath of most people who see through the Marxist veil of subverting Indic ideals – if you quote Marxist ideas – without realizing the import of what you are doing 🙂

  4. August 25, 2009 at 6:56 am

    you went down the slippery slope when you quoted Latha Jishnu saying “no one is really interested in ensuring that all Indians go to equally good and high quality schools.”
    The answer is that “no one SHOULD be interested…other than parents and the teachers…”

    Agree. A fine semantic distinction, but an important one at that!

    Education became a tool of the government to destroy India’s private education system.

    I presume you mean the colonial Raj!

    While compelling on the surface – Latha Jishnu is echoing Marxist ideas (I have no idea if she actively represent Marxist ideals or is simply a lethargic intellectual who doesn’t recognize the history in her rhetoric).

    Probably a mix of both! Though I like the issues she raises and the context with which she raises this issue. What business (apart from dirty business) does Sheila Dikshit in teaming up with the ILO to ‘improve’ domestics?

    However – while I think we agree that the government should not be in education – the transition to privatized education is not going to be simple.

    And it is in this context that one needs to read the statement that ‘no one is interested’. Because there is weak case for State subsidy while we transit to private education!

    Once the pathshalas were “allowed” by the English to recover – they were a Frankensteinian version of the original… highly segregated and elitist… this is what the Marxist tell us about all Indic education …

    I am sure you are right because that is what I ‘know’ of the last 100-200 years of Indian education!

    But this narrative cannot be true. It needs a 2ndlook!

    You will invite the wrath of most people who see through the Marxist veil of subverting Indic ideals – if you quote Marxist ideas – without realizing the import of what you are doing

    The path to hell is paved with good intentions! Ignorance is not always bliss!

  5. Galeo Rhinus
    August 25, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    >>Education became a tool of the government to destroy India’s private education system.

    I presume you mean the colonial Raj!

    Post 1947 – with “socialist” ideals in mind – the attack became progressively worse. Pathshalas were made irrelevant by creating state enforced curriculum that marginalising organizations that could not meet the standards. The only only ones that survived had foreign support (ICSE or other similar boards)… so between CBSE, SSC and other state boards and ICSE and now (IB) – any “non-board” schools are viewed a mockery of education… the madarsas are “allowed” special recognition because it fits into the marxist paradigm – yet they are viewed in dim light.

    …because there is weak case for State subsidy while we transit to private education!

    I agree. But I will view any state intervention that views Indic education with jaundiced eye with great suspicion.

    The Indian society is largely coached into an progressivist paradigm… not unlike substance abuse – any transition out of this addiction needs accepting that the government involvement cannot be eliminated overnight.

    Therefore – assuming an Indic friendly government becomes in charge of India… and it does choose to create state-sponsored pathshalas – I will welcome them as long they show a path towards complete privatization.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: