It was a let-down for many people who had hoped that the RBI governor would give an interesting description about his three years at India’s central bank, on the occasion of his last monetary policy in office.
They were banking on Rajan’s previous quotes about erring promoters, intolerant groups and India being the one-eyed king in the land of the blind; they also hoped (against hope) for a repeat of his famous quote on being Raghuram Rajan.
“I have enjoyed every minute of it…The most important thing is that at the end, you feel you have made a useful contribution. And some people are better off as a result of that. I think from that perspective this has been a fantastic job,” Rajan said in reply to a question about his stint at the RBI.
On critics, of which Rajan has had more than his share, the former chief economist of IMF, who now plans to go back to his teaching job, said: “I have nothing to say...critics are there all the time. (But) there are also people who send messages from the back, anonymous notes saying ‘thank you for what you are doing.’ So you get both the sides…that’s part of the job. You have to take it as the costs and the benefits.”
Rajan’s last monetary policy as governor was also a personal affair as he was accompanied by his family – wife, son and daughter.
The RBI governor, who will complete his three-year term on September 3, has chosen to not seek a second term amid criticisms, mostly from BJP MP Subramanian Swamy who had levelled charges that Rajan was “not fully Indian in the mind.”
“Every day when my fellow colleagues at RBI and I sit together and work, we manage to move the needle forward a little bit and you leave the office saying you did something. There are very few places where you can have that sense of satisfaction. So it has been a fantastic experience and I hope there is some value added.
“Snap judgments either by critics or supporters aren’t really what matter. What matters is how this plays out in the longer run for stronger and sustainable growth. In our view, measures taken by us at the RBI were and are justified given the conditions that we have. People can have different judgments, let us see in 5 to 6 years’ time, how it pans out and then we see whether the judgment was good or bad,” said Rajan.