WEEKEND LIGHTER: RBI restoring trust

WEEKEND LIGHTER: RBI restoring trust
(December 10/11, 2016, No.52/2016)
Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday @mgwarrier.blogspot.in
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to mgwarrier@gmail.com


Opening remarks
RBI restoring trust*
This refers to the report “RBI surprises with pause on rates” (Business Standard, December 8). As always, RBI has once again proved that its decisions are based on its own perceptions and not influenced by media lobbying or other external influences. India could sail through several tough economic crises in the past, only because monetary policy interventions and other measures by the central bank unreservedly supported government policy.
On August 29, 2013, Dr Duvvuri Subbarao concluded his Swan Song on the eve of completion of a tumultuous five year term as RBI Governor with the following observation:
 “There has been a lot of media coverage on policy differences between the government and the Reserve Bank. Gerard Schroeder, the former German Chancellor, once said, "I am often frustrated by the the Bundesbank. But thank God, it exists." I do hope Finance Minister Chidambaram will one day say, "I am often frustrated by the Reserve Bank, so frustrated that I want to go for a walk, even if I have to walk alone. But thank God, the Reserve Bank exists."
Subbarao’s successor Dr Raghuram Rajan  brought  more transparency in the working of RBI and sorted out some relationship issues between GOI and RBI during the 3 year period 2013-16. The transition of Technical Advisory Committee which advised Governor on monetary policy into the present ‘independent’ Monetary Policy Committee, besides unburdening Governor from individual responsibility for all monetary policy decisions has infused more professionalism in RBI’s decision making.
When there is lot of confusion in the air even about the motives of the November 8 announcement withdrawing the legal tender status of high value notes, RBI’s coming  out with the central bank’s perceptions about currency management and related matters will go a long way in restoring people’s trust in the banking system. The clarification that the measure by itself will not have an immediate impact on RBI Balance Sheet should set at rest the speculations about GOI having an eye on a windfall gain from ‘demonetization’. In the business of banking, trust is of paramount significance.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
*A slightly edited version appeared under letters, Business Standard, December 9, 2016

Recent responses

Transparent policy
Apropos Usha Thorat’s article “Well-advised wait and watch stance” (HBL, December 8), one needs to concede that the policy statement together with the post policy announcement interaction with media by Team RBI lead by Urjit Patel have not left any of the policy-related issues ambiguous. As regards the concluding observation expressing surprise over unanimity in the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) over decision-making, one presumes that, after deliberations, among the available options, every member was convinced about the ones finally accepted. This mature approach to team work is the opposite of the one adopted by Financial Sector Regulatory Reforms Commission where the Chairman wrote a monologue report setting aside several dissenting views expressed by members (several ‘dissenting notes’ were annexed to the report also!).
When there is lot of confusion in the air even about the motives of the November 8 announcement withdrawing the legal tender status of high value notes, though little late in the day, RBI has clearly come out with the central bank’s perceptions about currency management. The clarification that the measure by itself will not have an immediate impact on RBI Balance Sheet should set at rest the allegations about GOI having an eye on a windfall gain from ‘demonetization’. In the business of banking, trust is of paramount significance.
M G Warrier, Mumbai
Help cooperatives survive
This refers to the report “Banning DCCBs from accepting demonetized notes unjustified” (HBL, December 6). The need of the hour is finding a solution to a problem that has arisen due to continued neglect of an institutional system which has been serving the semi-urban and rural areas of the country, with all constraints. Issues like politicization, inadequate skills or problems arising from the dual control of cooperatives by Centre and states should be set aside by judiciary, governments and cooperatives themselves for a short period. There is need for cooperation among these agencies in solving the immediate problems the clientele of cooperatives are facing today.
Several short-cuts are being tried by state governments and cooperatives which can only lead to more complications. The short-cuts include bypassing DCCBs by state cooperative bank (as in Kerala), diverting the business now being done by cooperatives to other agencies and taking the problems to courts which helps in postponing decision-making. At this stage Centre should assert and empower state level task forces involving RBI, NABARD, banks and state governments to resolve the problems locally in a time bound manner.
M G Warrier, Mumbai

Stagger this vacation
This refers to the observations under “CJI Beside Ailing Mother” (ET, Third Eye, December 6). One joins others in praying for the fast recovery of TS Thakur’s ailing mother.
The dislocation in handling of urgent matters caused by CJI’s absence for genuine but unexpected reasons does not add glory to the Apex Court. One wishes, the judiciary’s dependence on one man doesn’t result in delay in consideration of crucial issues by three weeks as is made out. Perhaps, their Honorable Lordships may consider cutting short the 2016 winter recess taking into account the near crisis situation the country is going through.
The King of Ragas

Long ago serpents were put to lot of hardships. They  were afraid of other animals. They had to seek refuge in the hermitage of sage Saraba. The sage was a true devotee of Lord Shiva. He used to pray Shiva with melodious songs. As he sang a particular raga the snakes were much inspired and they began to dance,.
Slowly the serpents became friendly with the sage. They brought water in their mouths for the pooja. They secreted  a special fluid in which the flowers got stuck to their bodies. The sage was much astonished by the service of the snakes. As the sarpas became very close to the sage ,they requested him to help having Darsan of Lord Siva.

As requested by the sage Shiva appeared in the form of  a  Kapalika and stayed in the ashram. The music and dance of the snakes continued. The snakes rendered service to the kapalika as they considered him  a Shiva bhakta. Shiva was much pleased with the music which enchanted the snakes and gave Darsan to the Snakes.

The snakes are the ornaments of Lord Shiva. He Is supposed to have adorned himself with Naga Aabarana.
Since the raga which the sage sang, captivated the nagas, the aabarana of Shankara, Lord Shiva himself named the raga as Sankarabharanam.
 In the raga Sankarabharanam the saptaswaras are supposed to represent the ornaments of Shiva -
SA---Sarpa; RI----Rudraksha;Ga-------Ganga; Ma-------Mruga( deer)

Pa---pushpa; Da-----damaruka; ni-------nishakara( moon)
This is a raga which gives ample scope for  elaboration

In 13th century this raga was called 'Ranjani'

Sankarabharanam is called the 'king of ragas'. Its equivalent in Hindusthani is '
Bilawal'. In Western music it corresponds to  C- MAJOR.
In Thevaram this raga was known as 'Pazham Panchuram'
There are as many as 35 derivatives ( janya ragas) of Sankarabharanam.
Tanjore Narasayya
of 18th century was popularly called' Sankarabharanam Narasayya'.

When Muthuswami Dikshitar visited the Shiva temple at kizha Velur, the temple was closed. As he sang the famous kriti in Sankarabharanam' Akshaya Linga Vibho, Swayam Bho, Akhilanda Koti Prabho- Pahi sambho'-the doors of the Garbha Gruham automatically opened.

We know how the movie ‘Shankaraabharanam' was a great success and the song
'Omkara nadhanu' by Shri S. P. B. is still ringing in our ears.

Dikshitar has composed around 40 songs, mostly in Sanskrit  in the raga and Shri  Thyagaraja has more than 30 songs to his credit, the most famous being ‘swara raga sudha'

The beauty of Shankaraabharanam is beyond description.
Source: Vathsala jayaraman. M-170 Exrbites Group

Alone, in the crowd
M G Warrier

I’m an Indian citizen
You’re right
One of the 1.25 billion,
Famously addressed, Bhaio…Bahano…
I was one among the one million,
That bid farewell to Amma
At Marina beach on December 6
I’m mother of CJI, ailing in a bed
I’m mother of Khazanchi
‘Cos I delivered him while waiting for money!
I’m daughter of the headmaster,
Who died standing in a queue,
Again, waiting for cash!
I’m mother of, sister of,
Brother of…
The unidentified body,
Which is in the mortuary, brought to hospital
By police, from a suburban rail track
Who am I, for you?
A character in a spicy WhatsApp story?
Or a subject for a poem, article or a news story?
I’ve heard about pedestrian apathy…
But, how humans have become just:
Gossip-mongers, story tellers and critiques…
Not caring about the people around?
Members of family…
When something untoward happens…
Instead of extending a helping hand…
Why suddenly the ‘witness’ reach for the camera..
 Or contact a ‘reporter’?
When did this change in our mindset…

 Blog Post:W2468/10122016


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The King of Ragas: Sankarabharanam