My parents didn't believe in the caste system, were opposed to it strongly and therefore it's impossible to figure out which caste I am from just by my name (ambiguous last name). I can't count the number of times people have tried to fish for information about my caste. Some ask me directly while others try to be "more polite" about the question. I just smile and tell them I am not telling you because it's not relevant and I don't believe in it. This makes them very upset. Then some of these people try to make guesses based on the colour of my skin (light skin in India is consider superior and dark skin is looked down upon), my height and other characteristics.
And this has happened not just in India but more so in the US and Canada, where I now live.
Seriously brahmins barely make up 5% of Indians. Before British rule, Indians switched caste just like people move between classes in the UK. The British used caste as a divide and rule tool to create further wedges between different castes so it was easier to rule them all.
Though Would like to add the that original brightwork article sounds like a conspiracy theory
That's it guys. Pack it up, this Quora commenter is omniscient. To solve this problem at Microsoft, fire Satya Nadella because he's from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. After all, he's a no-talent and was only hired by a board of Telugu speaking Brahmins because he belonged to their caste, right?
Wonder what other narratives can be built from cherry picked frog-in-the-well anecdotes on Quora? Pretty much anything you want to.
Here's the truth: A high percentage of resumes you normally get are Indian. Plus, the green card situation has made it hard for such folks to switch jobs, so they are almost guaranteed to work for several years reducing training costs. Some anecdotes in the article may be true but apply to only very specific cases. Trying to apply this to a broad set of people from one region in India is a conspiracy theory with no footing.
Infosys, Tata, HCL etc. will recruit anyone as long as they can pay them less, and make more money from them. Also, the courts have ruled that workplace discrimination based on immigration status is legal. i.e You can legally dump more work on someone that's not a citizen, because they're not a citizen.
As an aside, all the grammatical mistakes in the article don't inspire confidence in the author.
And the worse part is that this is the culture that the education system promotes from a very early age.
I have seen 6th graders divided into tribes based on how well they perform on specialised tests that are essentially tickets to high paying corporate firms.
Instead of focusing on teaching kids the value, importance and the beauty of STEM, we're teaching them how to game a stupid test and get ahead in a rat race. No wonder you get such a tribal mindset out of all this!
And the scale is absolutely HUGE. We have around half a million students actively preparing for this specialised test, which in practice involves literally leaving school education for at least 2-3 years to prepare for this monstrosity exclusively.
There's literally a whole city dedicated to tuitions for this one goddamn test.
Just recently India removed the need for publishing Ph.D thesis to get a degree because most of the research was just republication of already published research, after slight modification.
And It's only getting worse with politicians getting into this game, and literally manipulating children's textbooks, making an already broken education system into a net negative for society :/
I agree with your sentiment. I hope that in the next generation, India will become economically prosperous and following the subject of your interest will become a viable way to lead your life. Until then, the grind working on a subject that's a distant second choice cannot be avoided. I feel sorry for the kids.
But the part that I want to emphasize on, is the pseudo-STEM that we as a nation promote. This is a battle that G.H. Hardy seems to have fought before.
Particularly, the description of the Tripos as a "game", full of imaginative tricks and stunts that are merely a figment of human imagination is very much in resonance with the exam we have in India today.
In my experience, the "distant second choice" is not a first choice, even for the STEM loving community :(. It benefits no one other than the tutors who earn large bucks by mastering this game, which in reality, is far from the game of nature, that engineers and scientists IMO are supposed to play!
Honestly I can attest to this from big tech. It's anecdotal but my experience is that Indian engineers will self-organize into their own teams, start bringing LOTS of people on both remote and in-sourced, and effectively push anyone out who's not Indian by implementing super authoritarian leadership structures where everyone's vague on their standing in the company.
Those leadership structures often push non-H1B visa holders out because the quality of work plummets, and they don't want to put up with VERY terse management (ie: the type that will call you at 10:30pm screaming at you because your overseas Indian counterpart can't read the English documentation you wrote and now it's your problem).
I've now seen this at one old-school Midwest aeronautical corp, one startup trying to save costs, and one "big-tech" bay area company most people would recognize. This article very much speaks to me on something I have seen in my life.
Yeah that's by design. Companies like the ones I've worked/contracted for want the H1B visa holders is because it's incredibly risky/etc. for them to find work if they're laid off, fired, need to find another position, etc. I think the max time they even get to search is 6 months (I've also heard 3!) - would need to fact check this.
Simply put - the organic parts of the US job market literally just don't work for H1Bs. It's wrong, and I hate how they pay these guys approx. 60% (less if outsourced!) of what I make only to require more hours from them.
If you're a citizen/greenie then the US job market magically works for you hah. It's as simple as that.
There was. And it was really bad there, and deserved to be called out. Likewise women in programming, etc... For the same reason, it's bad here, and pointing out the bias is certainly not "a hit piece against Indians".
The problem was everyone on an H1B visa would work any hours, pick their phone up 24/7 etc. Effectively they were always on-call and for a lot of the local/US engineering talent we disagreed with the "always-on" culture they brought. They also contributed to that "always-on" culture by never finishing work, pushing deliverables out the door with zero security review, no documentation etc. It's also worth mentioning these budget teams of H1B "engineers" come in and create their own cyclical work by constantly fixing problems they caused. This is what happens when you treat engineering and management as a "cost center" :(
Mostly though, it was insane to hear how blatant they were with bigoted comments, like "we don't hire _those_ kind of Indians", and "if it wasn't for foreign talent we'd have none at all." I felt the need to speak up on this one but when you're a middle-aged white male you're not afforded the right to speak up on any of this without being IMMEDIATELY labeled a racist (hence the throwaway!).
It's a side effect from hiring people from a culture with a caste system.
What should we do about it? No idea. A good start would be only allowing a certain percent of hires from each country through the H1B program. You can create a curturally mixed team without denying any visas.
However this requires that the person in charge actually nips this kind of behaviour in the bud. And the group manager had a 15 year career in a very big company. So apparently he could do what he did without a problem for 15 years.
Of course the other employee (that we kept) was not happy about this "system".
Yeah - and for an American this is just the weirdest thing ever. I struggle with this a lot and have been told to not equate it with racism - but what the hell is it otherwise?
It's just that I feel the R-word carries so much more weight on how we're judging something. When I hear people talk down on other people like that I have the same physical reaction of unease in my stomach that I have with the classic "brown people are bad" American racism that I was taught to fight.
If truth be told, just statistically, non-Indian non-white minority women are the hardest to get along with in a workplace. They routinely make false complaints. I say this after more than a decade of workplace experience. If there is one of them in the team, I wouldn't join the team.
This seems like a severe memetic hazard for ill considered racist responses.
There's a different level of nepotism promoted by insecure Indian managers - this is to attract a bevy of cheap and deliberately chosen incompetent engineers who are reliant on the manager for their sustenance and continuing immigration status. This is where the trope of the incompetent Indian s/w engineer comes from. A good example can be seen in the behaviour of Sunny Balwani from Theranos - you can read about it in "Bad Blood".
I don't know what the solution is. As a non-Indian tech worker in America, I've had great 1:1 experiences with many Indian co-workers, but I've also heard of and witnessed many of the problems described in the article.
Isn't "Proof by Quora" a wonderful thing?