TV Mohandas Pai and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who need no introduction, spoke on new IT/BT minister SR Patil, and wondered whether such an industry portfolio could have been given to a younger minister.
It is not that it was only Pai and Mazumdar Shaw were speaking. It could well be Karnataka's $25 billion sunrise industry, expressing its sentiments.
To target the industry veterans is shameful and a crime. The Congress does not seem to have learnt anything in the last eight years being out of power and sudden power has its consequences, incoherence and arrogance.
Whatever be the words or tenor of Pai and Mazumdar Shah, the political class should resist the temptation of power and threats. In a democratic set up, every citizen has a right to speak, and those with voices that matter should speak.
Soon after Patil was given the IT-BT portfolio, Pai and Shaw had commented that a younger minister would have been better suited for the industry; someone who had domain knowledge instead of the 65-year-old Patil. Pai even tweeted: "It is a very sad day for us."
Pai is reported to have said that the industry needs a minister who has the capacity to speak to global CEOs, one who has a good understanding of IT-BT companies, one who can articulate the needs of the community. Shaw maintained that it was unfair to give Patil such a high-profile portfolio. They said the minister should be able to travel around the world, encourage startups and innovation.
Pai is chairman of Manipal Global Education and Mazumdar Shaw is Biocon chief. Considering their credentials, a graceful minister should talk to them to understand their concerns and apprehensions.
Cooperation is key and minister Patil knows the value of cooperative effort as he is a veteran of cooperative movement in central Karnataka. Brand Bangalore needs cooperation and not confrontation.