Raghuram Rajan has started off well in RBI with an initial statement that is both brief and meaningful. His determination to stick to what he perceives to be right comes out clearly from his reference to Rudyard Kipling's 'If ':
"If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too:
Kipling’s reference to “men” only dates these lines, but his words are clear."
Rajan's message is subtle, but clear. He is ready to be different from others and yet he will relentlessly fight against forces of exclusion. One cannot avoid the thought that a person like Rajan would be a lot more beneficial to the nation as, say, prime minister rather than RBI Governor.
The Governor is accurate when he says, " The Reserve Bank is a great institution with a tradition of integrity, independence, and professionalism." But when he follows it up by adding, " To the existing traditions of the RBI, which will be the bedrock of our work, we will emphasise two other traditions that become important in these times: transparency and predictability", he is perhaps unwittingly uncharitable to his predecessors. RBI has never been opaque in its functioning. Its decisions have generally been logical and reasonable and therefore predictable though not always to the liking of Finance Ministers.
Further, one does not start a tradition. One may start a practice and if it becomes consistent over a period of time it turns into a tradition.
What is the meaning of the following sentence?
"The RBI will give out new bank licenses as soon as consistent with the highest standards of transparency and diligence." Rajan did pause for a while when he read this. Some word has apparently been missed out.