Reserve Bank of India has not have had a Governor who could tickle funny bone in the most intelligent way in many years. Raghuram Rajan for this one reason also stands out among the other luminaries who have held the prestigious post before Rajan.
While the whole of India is busy talking about Rajan not seeking the second term, the RBI Governor is busy going about his day's work. However, he isn't missing a single chance to give it back to those who have already written him off.
Yesterday while attending a programme hosted by Assocham, an industry body, in Bengaluru, Rajan said, "I feel like in the last few days I have read lot of my obituaries and I am still here for two and a half months in this job." He further added that, "After that I will be still around somewhere in the world, probably a lot in India so don't write me off."
RBI Governor has in the past also made very cheeky comments that have shown his excellent sense of humour. Here are some comments made by Raghuram Rajan:
Raghuram Rajan's comment on India's high growth rate:
"I think we have still to get to a place where we feel satisfied. We have this saying - 'in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king'. We are a little bit that way."
This is what the RBI Governor had to say in apology after making the comment, "I want to apologise to a section of the population, the visually impaired, who might be hurt by my statement. My intent in saying 'One-eyed King in the land of blind' was to say that our outperformance is in the midst of global weakness."
After an apology on one-eyed man is king comment, Rajan had this to tell about his role as RBI Governor
"India is the fastest-growing large economy in the world. But as a central banker, I cannot get euphoric with India's economic growth rate as it is at the cusp of substantial pick-up in growth. I see scope to grow faster given capacity utilisation and agricultural output."
Rajan's comment after Rate Cuts:
"My name is Raghuram Rajan and I do what I do." He had told this to a journalist who wondered if he was Santa Claus that he had announced a 50 basis points rate cut when all people expected was 25 basis points rate cut.
Rajan had also further commented that, "We want to make sure that word sustainable and growth go together. Both are important. And that's why we used what room we had. But I don't think we were excessively aggressive. We were not throwing out Diwali bonus."
Rajan's comment on inflation:
"We have always used the room we have had. We have never had excess room. When people look at today's inflation reading 4.87 per cent, they can't understand why rates haven't been cut more. They do not understand the fact that we are trying to look at future inflation. Now, that is an art, not a science."
Rajan's comment on intolerance:
"Speakers need to be more careful with words and listeners need to place words in context to understand the intent."
Rajan on him not being cheerleader:
"The RBI is not a cheerleader."
"The governorship of the central bank is not meant to win one votes or Facebook 'likes'. But I hope to do the right thing, no matter what the criticism, even while looking to learn from the criticism."
But the most epic comment came from RBI Governor in January 2014 when he was addressing the press conference after RBI increased the rate. Raghuram Rajan had then said, "We are neither hawks, nor doves. We are actually owls."