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‘Holier than thou’ approach may not work

Attributing purported growth slowdown in one quarter to ‘Hindus’ is crass, intellectually debasing one’s self, Dr Raghuram Rajan!


Social media handles went on a rampage with Nehruvian socialist misnomer of ‘Hindu rate of growth’ was picked up from dustbin and hurled by RBI’s former governor Raghuram Rajan.


Why attribute it to ‘Hindus’ or Sanatan Dharmic followers when the economic expansion in India or elsewhere slowed down to 3 – 3.5 per cent?

On both counts, lower growth rate attribution to ‘Hindus’ and Rajan’s growth estimates have gone off the mark with no plausible or logical explanation.

S.Gurumurthy succinctly put the coinage of term ‘Hindu Rate of Growth’ during 1950s and 1980s to Raj Krishna, a self-styled thinker in socialist – Nehruvian moulds. And, slow growth attribution to ‘Hindus’ was not only an affront to practicing dharmic people but purely an illusion  and economic figment of imagination that found favour with former World Bank chief Robert McNamara.

For long this term vanished like the now jinxed socialist order or Nehruvian development model that collapsed like it never existed before.

Derailing the genuine economic growth story of which Raghuram Rajan and his boss Rahul Gandhi may have been the objective. But, intellectually, it’s rather crass to make such attributions to ‘Hindus’.

Rajan’s narcissist traits may have forced him to debunk the genuine ‘Hindu’ and ‘India’ growth story that’s been feted globally at a time when there’s talk of economic recession in Europe and even China’ National People’s Congress under President Xi Jingping lowered the dragon’s growth estimate to 5 per cent.

Is Raghuram Rajan making desperate attempts to hog headlines when most international fraternity has been in India by attributing growth moderation in fourth quarter of this fiscal ending March 2023 to ‘Hindus’. Or has Prof Rajan gone full throttle into ‘hindu-phobic’ or ‘Hindu-hatred camps, is the question?

Why is Dr Rajan not convinced of possible seven per cent plus growth in 2022-23 that would be highest in a large economy globally? Or, has he lost it out on economic fundamentals and macro-economic indicators that serious economists use as tools to extrapolate growth estimates?

Or, has his increasing tilt towards Congress and its ‘pappu’ that undertook ‘jodo, todo’ yatra triggered this derogatory ‘Hindu rate of growth’ pronouncement?

If Narendra Modi as Prime Minister always bracketed with Hindus and RSS in most analyses, why not dub the government’s clean track record of nine years on economic front to be ‘Hindu led’?

It’s only logical to deduce that such below the belt comments from a former RBI governor belittles the great institution he governed beginning September 2013 and continued till 2016 even after Prime Minister Modi took reins at centre.

Or, was Raghuram Rajan’s comments designed to scare away the investment community from committing huge foreign funds in India to capitalize on her growth story?

Of all, should Rajan come up with this off the cuff remarks on a day when National Statistical Office announced doubling of per capita income during Narendra Modi regime to Rs 172,000 in 2022-23 from Rs 86, 647 in 2014-15, the year he took charge as Prime Minister?

Worst phase of banking sector besieged with ‘sweet heart deals’ and fuelled by phone calls from crony leaders was reported during Raghuram Rajan’s tenure as RBI’s governor and then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

As admitted by Dr Rajan in an interview, ‘cleaning operation’ in banks began after Modi government took charge in 2014.

(Author is Director & Chief Executive at New Delhi based think tank,  Centre for Integrated and Holistic Studies)

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