Raghuram Rajan has officially put in his papers. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor has stated that he would be not be seeking a second term and would instead return to the world of academia. Rajan, who has been described as “one of the best central bankers” in the world, had recently come under attack from BJP’s Dr. Subramanian Swamy.
The controversial Rajya Sabha MP had held Rajan to be incapable of doing the job and wanted him to be sent back to Chicago. Though Rajan commanded tremendous respect among industry stalwarts as visible from their reaction to the news of his departure, the constant attack which he was subjected to by the likes of Swamy seems to have influenced his decision.
“While I was open to seeing these developments (setting up of monetary policy committee, Asset Quality Review for the purpose of bank clean-up and averting international risks to the domestic economy) through, on due reflection, and after consultation with the government, I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term as Governor ends on September 4, 2016. I will, of course, always be available to serve my country when needed,” Rajan said in a message posted on RBI website.
Nobel laureate and Bharat Ratna awardee Amartya Sen termed the development as “sad for the country” and “sad for the government of the country too.” Rajan’s departure from the RBI makes one thing aptly clear: one needs to possess a certain level of qualification to serve under Modi Sarkar. The RBI Governor who formerly served as Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund and acquired education at MIT, IIM and IIT was missing the same.
Lack of qualification
The first qualification that one requires to serve under Modi Sarkar is not to be qualified enough to hold the office one is aspiring to preside over. As Prime Minister, Modi chose television actress Smriti Irani who had no prior administrative experience to serve as Union Minister for Human Resources Development in his cabinet. She happened to be a political lightweight having contested and lost elections to Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and Kapil Sibal.
Irani never acquired higher education but went on to become the Education Minister herself. It was also reported that she had even lied about her educational qualification under sworn affidavit. Then walks in a gentleman called Gajendra Chauhan. His last taste of success was more than two decades back as Yudhishthira in the television serial Mahabharata. This man was made the Chairman of the illustrious Film & Television Institute of India (FTII). Despite student protests, the government stood by its mediocre choice and lowered the stature of the office of Chairman, FTII.
Now the incumbent government has turned its attention from FTII to NIFT i.e. National Institute of Fashion Technology. Cricketer Chetan Chauhan has been appointed as NIFT’s Chairman with no relevant experience in the concerned field. Chauhan has already stated that he would spend only 20% of his time at NIFT.
The state of affairs is such that there cannot be an appointee like Rajan. After all he is educated and a doyen of his field, a compliment which obviously cannot be extended to Smriti Irani, Gajendra Chauhan or Chetan Chauhan.
Allegiance towards the supreme leader
The second essential qualification is the utmost belief in BJP bhakti. Think about the sanskari Pahlaj Nihalani who happens to be the Chairman of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). He recently recommended almost a hundred cuts in the Bollywood film Udta Punjab and proclaimed that he is “proud to be a Modi chamcha (sycophant).”
Essel Group’s Subhash Chandra is another case in point. He was helped by the BJP in gaining a Rajya Sabha seat from Haryana. But this was not before Chandra appeared on his channel Zee News in the aftermath of the JNU controversy and sort of drew parallels between desh bhakti and BJP. Moreover, if you are a BJP friendly journalist like Swapan Dasgupta who writes columns in a newspaper edited by a BJP member (we are talking about The Pioneer edited by Chandan Mitra) or conducts fixed interviews (Rajat Sharma’s Aap Ki Adalat with Narendra Modi in the lead-up to the 2014 General Elections) then you are bound to fetch Padma awards.
NDA government’s choice of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) President was also guided by similar factors. No wonder the appointee Lokesh Chandra labelled Modi as an avatar (manifestation) of God. If one intends to climb the ladder of success under Modi Sarkar but can’t indulge in sycophancy then that person surely doesn’t have a chance.
This government has been often identified with politics of hate. Hence, it is not surprising that promotions in such an order are deeply linked with the ability to preach hate. In 2014, Giriraj Singh advised those who were opposed to Modi to move to Pakistan. In the present establishment, he is the Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti delivered the infamous Ramzaade remark. She wanted Delhi’s voters to choose between sons of Ram (BJP candidates) and illegitimate children (non-BJP candidates). Instead of being sacked, she was defended by none other than the Prime Minister inside Parliament who cited her social background and let her off with an apology.
Dr. Swamy too is a part of the list. He has repeatedly advocated that India should be turned into a Hindu Rashtra and spoken in favour of the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. He was promoted and sent to the Rajya Sabha. There are many others who should have faced the axe courtesy their hateful remarks but they are in the good books of the powers that be hence they continue unabated.
For what other reason is General V.K. Singh still MoS External Affairs despite having likened the killing of Dalit children to dogs? He learnt this from none other than his boss Narendra Modi who compared the lives lost during 2002 riots to a puppy.
Rajan will be soon gone. It shouldn’t come as a shock. We’ve already had way too many. The President of the ruling party at the centre stands accused of orchestrating fake encounters. The Prime Minister of the country is known world over for his connection to the 2002 Gujarat riots. Can it get worse? Hence the question: where is the republic headed?