What is missing in the article “Return of the mansabdar” (March 19) is the role of the private sector, which is now performing the homogenisation function in India. It has been doing so since the 1940s but the outreach has increased tremendously now. National sports such as cricket have done this, and now they are watched everywhere. Movies and TV have always been national because marginal costs are low, it pays to expand your viewer base.

Further, the newly emerging companies — software — hire without regard to region. All major telecoms players would like a national market such as the one created by Amul.

Homogenisation is driven by economies of scale and scope in the marketplace — for goods as well as labour. This still leaves plenty of scope for regional/local business but it is within the overall framework of a national market. States that do not understand this are at risk. Prominent are Bengalis and, to some extent, Chennai. You have to pay a huge premium to get young talented north Indians to take a job in Chennai. And the Bengalis don’t want them.

Subodh Mathur,

Washington

Keywords: Indian economy

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