Before The Hiring Squad

There’s honour among poachers. Home to some of India’s biggest infotech names, Pune’s Hinjewadi IT park is proof. The IT sector’s cut-throat competitors have always specialised in talent heists. But several top firms now want some soul put into scalp-hunting. They’ve reportedly reached an understanding: they’ll hire from one another only if the recruits-in-transit serve out notice periods with previous employers. Salaries lost through unfulfilled contractual obligations won’t be covered by head-hunters. Plus, new employees must produce letters confirming termination of services from the ditched companies. In short, let mian-biwi both be raazi about the modalities of professional divorce.

Pune’s emerging code of ethics is a model for the pan-Indian IT fraternity. The slowdown-hit sector has seen heavy attrition. It’s estimated that IT could be losing nearly $2 billion annually courtesy workers’ exits, in terms of productivity drain and replacement costs. Necessity, then, is the mama mia of invention, peace pacts between brain-drainers included. Only, job-hoppers are devastated. Imagine: no more corporate lures like half a year’s supply of pre-paid pizzas. Ugh. Life without extra toppings.

Last heard, our netas are studying the Pune pact. With a similar accord in the party-splitters’ paradise that is politics, they could exult. For instance, who’d care if the Bellary brothers threatened to carry off ‘supporters’ from among BJP MLAs to patrons elsewhere? A Pune-like pact between political outfits would stop unscrupulous cadre theft. Deserters would need to give (and serve) notices. And they’d require written permission to leave. With mining turned a mine-field, the Karnataka CM could then rest easy. No matter how many agitating opposition MLAs held pyjama parties at the state assembly or where Bellary’s siblings went, he’d never face the fate of the JD(S)’s wrecked boat in the past. And the mining barons would find new job offers harder to extract than iron ore.

Bengal’s Left too could make notice periods a hammer-and-sicken policy against straying flock. And, by staging frequent Bangla bandhs, it could keep its offices closed in order to delay issuance of dismissal letters. The coming into effect of pink slips for Trinamool-bound turncoats could then be timed with a red-letter day: the one after the assembly polls! The Congress, on its part, could tame Andhra’s ever-Reddy yatri. Rumour has it he may run away with quite a few MLAs if the town cries of “CM Jagan!” get any louder. But let’s say he sought a promotion elsewhere. How’d he get the CM’s gaddi if no other parties gave him the blessings (read numbers)?

If only netas themselves realised the worth of their work stations. Oscar Wilde once said: “The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.” Some don’t need to imagine it. Like a just-reinstated BJP prodigal who no longer says: Jinnah bhi do yaaron. Rat-racers often discover it’s a jungle out there. A Pune pact variant in rajneeti would help make movement of labour between rival parties orderly, with all horse-traders, neta-abductors and post-danglers laid off. What would that mean for politics? Jungle mein mangal. 

©Times of India

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