BV Rao | December 15, 2010
The $ 50 billion BPO industry shuddered on Monday when Congress president Sonia Gandhi is said to have expressed her strong opposition to outsourcing.
The industry, which was just about recovering from US president Barack Obama’s strident anti-outsourcing stand, has reacted predictably strongly to this new threat from within.
Kiran Karnik, ex-NASSCOM chief and IT industry lobbyist, denounced the inexplicable shift in the ruling party’s outlook on outsourcing. “This is a blinder. It took us nearly two years to convince Obama that outsourcing is a global economic reality and just when he seems to be easing off, we have this unseemly attack from home. Mrs Gandhi is forgetting the contribution of the BPO industry to India’s galloping growth rate. Let me make this clear, if the BPO industry goes bust, the India story does too.”
As word spread like a computer virus in the BPO industry, the Congress was forced to clear the air. Party spokesperson Manish Tiwari rubbished the report. “The honourable Congress president did not utter a word on outsourcing during the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting this morning. I do not know where Mr Karnik picked up this garbage.”
But Karnik was unwilling to back off. At a subsequent press conference, he brushed aside the Congress party’s vehement denial. “Very clever of Mr Tiwari. But we do know that in politics what’s left unsaid has more meaning than what is said. So, here, first listen to what Sonia Gandhi said at the CPP meeting (clicks on audio clip no. 801 on www.outlookindia.com). The voice is unmistakably Sonia:
“Let me reiterate in the clearest terms: our government has nothing to hide, our government has nothing to fear. Our concerns are that we should not undermine established institutions such as the PAC and the CBI. Nor should we do anything that will denigrate the institution of the Prime Minister…”
The journalists are now confused. “But Mr Karnik, Sonia was just telling her party why she refused the JPC probe. Her contention is that the Opposition only wants to denigrate the office of the prime minister by calling him as witness before the JPC. There’s indeed no mention of outsourcing.”
“That’s the problem with you journalists. Even when the audio is so clear, you can’t make out what’s going on. Sonia is saying she will not allow others to denigrate the office of the prime minister. What she is not saying is that it is a job she has been holding for six years and she will not let others handle it. In other words, she is saying she is against outsourcing. If you can’t see that, you can’t see anything.
"Oh god! We are doomed.”
PS: The author wishes to point out that only Sonia Gandhi’s statement is true and all other content has been outsourced to his imagination.
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