In the leaked pages of WhatsApp conversation between Arnab Goswami and BARC former CEO Bartholomew Dasgupta, Arnab is asking for a Bartholomew recommendation for his daughter’s internship. There is also a conversation in 2018 asking for a recommendation for her daughter’s internship with the best lawyer in Mumbai. Arnab responds that he is working on it.
The area we do not discuss much in these recent times is social capital. Social capital is the support that one gets through one’s status in society.
For example, if a person has been working as a farm labourer for many years, his acquaintances will be more than his fellow farmers and labourers. At most, their employer knows the postman in that town and likely to know those people in positions such as VAO.
When it comes to what they need they can at most stand up for help from officers like VAOs or employers who pay them. It is the only property they have in the community. At the same time, after a few generations, at most, if one of the family members becomes an engineer or a doctor, there will be contacts available through it.
Well, if there are people who have been educated for many generations in a family, imagine what a circle of people they know would be like. For example, if there is a lawyer, he or she may know a large number of lawyers, judges, and the police. The circle of acquaintances will expand if the person marrying such a person is from a well-educated other field or from a family with status in the community.
When this has been going on for generations, their contact with those in power or the affluent will be greater. The person who comes from such a situation is more likely to benefit from social capital. For the same first graduate, the benefit of social capital was minimal. The fact that the number of first graduates is highly reserved is also of great help.
When someone from a family with a lot of social capital goes for exams like IIT it may be easier for them if their relative or acquaintance is at work there or has experience of writing exams before. You can get direct help to join the job or get information about recruitment while holding high positions in private companies. Likely many aids are more likely to be available.
A small example of this is the WhatsApp chat between Arnab Goswami and BARC former CEO Bartholomew Dasgupta. Bartholomew Dasgupta, who holds a high position as BARC CEO, is able to arrange an internship for his daughter with the best lawyer or other best lawyer in the Supreme Court because of his connection to the politically connected Arnab Goswami. That is why such a great connection is unthinkable for a member of a normal family. This is what social capital or social capital is all about.
Imagine the gap between a first-time graduate who knows nothing even about things like an internship, wandering the streets and doing a big guy who is doing some big things just like that with a WhatsApp message to those in power.
– Iyan Karthikeyan