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Raghuram Rajan: My work shows my love for my country

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

"Some allegations are so baseless that to address them is to give them legitimacy," said Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on Subramanian Swamy's allegation of Rajan being 'mentally not fully Indian'. "I welcome genuine criticism but will not address ad-hominem allegations," stated Rajan.

Rajan was speaking to NDTV's Barkha Dutt in his first exclusive interview since Subramanian Swamy's controversy.

"My mother-in-law always told me to be a Karma Yogi. And, I guess my work will show my love to this country," Rajan stated.

He, however, refused to comment on whether he would take a second term.

On being questioned whether he would go back to academia after his RBI term, Rajan said that his true home is in the " realm of ideas" and that's where he would want to return.

On Vijay Mallya

On liquor baron Vijay Mallya fleeing to the UK, Rajan said "The laws work well but only against the small guys when it comes to confiscating property. But when it comes to big guys, it becomes easy to escape the law."

On his views over Mallya's repeated flaunting of his lavish lifestyle despite owing thousands of crores to banks, Rajan commented, "When you give a personal guarantee, your assets are banks' property. In that circumstance, when you have lavish displays you are basically using public money."

Relations with the government

Rajan said that his relations with Finance Minister Arun Jaitely are extremely cordial.

He said that the media has in the past blown his disagreements with the government 'out of proportion".

On the 'Make-in-India vs Make-for-India' controversy he said, "The government was right in their way and I was right in my way. I see the cup as half full. We have a lot more to do. There are complaints from the industry on the environment. There is a need for stronger demand. We have done a lot. But we have a lot more to do. Let's not get complacent."

Situation of the economy

Rajan expressed satisfaction over the GDP growth and said that the statisticians have done a good job with the growth numbers.

Free market without a free environment ?

On being asked if the economy needs a free and inclusive environment to grow, Rajan said that a lot of countries with authoritarian governments have managed to do it. "But it is upto India to set up an example by following a different path and not following other countries blindly. I believe that through debate and free discussions we will grow," said Rajan.

First published: 8 June 2016, 7:27 IST