RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's decision of not opting for a second term has seen quite a few reaction. The disappointment is perhaps more than elation, but Rajan's resturn to his own field of academia has proved that we love to be a mediocre race which hates to change.
For those who had a firm belief in Rajan, his exit is being seen as a lost opportunity to bring substantial changes in the finacial system and cure the ills that the country's economy has been facing.
Rajan looked a man on a mission but his tenure was too short to see the results
That Rajan had a big international exposure and never minced words (he even had an opinion on other issues like intolerance) made him look the perfect doctor to attend the country's economy. The 53-year-old former chief economist of the IMF challenged the status quo by asking the banks to be honest and transparent---something which would curb the problem of crony capitalism to a significant extent.
But despite all, Rajan's work remained unfinished and at the end, it was his political critics who celebrated and not those who are at the receiving end of a financial system which has been hijacked a few influential people.
Rajan issue not just about RBI or India's finances; it's about lack of the leadership's will
The Rajan episode is not just about the RBI or India's financial fortunes. It is the rule of the game which we have formulated for ourselves. No matter how much good work Rajan puts, it is impossible for one individual to change the system for the better.
In the 1950s, Nehru had backed PC Mahalanobis's economic model; Rao had also backed Manmohan
And herein, lies the importance of the political leadership. India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had backed Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, the renowned statistician who had emphasised on heavy industries as his plan for economic growth, to the hilt and the noted Mahalanobis Model was implemented during India's Second Five Year Plan and remained the basic tenet of India's economic policy till the late 1980s.
Whether the Mahalanobis Model was right or wrong is an anachronistic question in today's world but the most important part is that it had got the backing of the political leadership.
Nehru had given PC Mahalanobis a free hand and he attracted talents from across
Late Indian prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, too, had stood by his finance minister Manmohan Singh, who became the prime minister later, when it came to liberalising the economy in 1991.
The Modi leadership could also have treated Rajan in the same way and enable his positive image to prevail for another few years by giving him free hands. Coupled with Prime Minister Modi's image of a political leader who means business, Rajan's goodwill as an economic mastermind could have done a big service to the nation's economic progress but the real world is far from perfect.
Raghuram Rajans have no stake to run after the useless political class; it is we who need to give them their worth
The more we allow our key avenues of survival to be poisoned by petty political influence, the more we are going to lose personalities like Rajan. They have no business in fighting a political battle and play second fiddle to people who are either illiterate or have no zero understanding of anything apart from dividing the electorate to grab the power. The onus lies on our shoulders to ensure that quality people have their freedom and space and rein in the useless criticism.
But having said that, India today is dominated by mediocrity more, shooing away the cream of talents to others to make use of them---be it in any field. This is a tragedy that can't be rewritten unless the political leadership shows some spine.