RBI's missing links

RBI's missing links: The objective of the book is to make RBI 'easily accessible to the lay reader'...

Monologue in wilderness

This refers to M S Sriram’s piece “RBI’s missing links” (Business Standard, Book Review, April 18). Frankly, media reviews of  TCA Srinivasa Raghavan’s “DIALOGUE OF THE DEAF”  are more interesting reading than the book itself!  Going by his background, if a reader starts searching for TCA’s personal contribution in terms of an objective analysis of GOI-RBI relationship or insight into the functioning of RBI in the book, most likely he will be disappointed. But, it is a well-written summary of the already published History of RBI spread over thousands of pages which, I doubt anyone has read with much concentration, except for research purposes. The author’s enmity to and envy of RBI surfaces wherever TCA has tried to write something of his own. Anyway TCA’s association with RBI for 8 long years has helped him in introducing the history of interaction between RBI and GOI.
Even if one feels envious about  the freedom historians and journalists have (TCA Srinivasa Raghavan is Two-in-One plus!) in timing their responses and the right they can exercise in being selective about subjects, one has to concede that the conclusions arrived at may help in sorting out the relationship issues between GOI and RBI. Going by the abundance of the author’s experience as journalist fortified with his association with editing the RBI’s History, though for the layman it would look a dry monologue in wilderness, the condensed rich content of the book could become a source of reference for future historians.
It is always easier to be wiser after the event. While being judgmental about Dr Subbarao’s performance during the first half of his total 5 year term, one has to ponder over the circumstances in which he got selected for the top job at Mint Road by the then FM Chidambaram. Going by Subbarao’s own revelations in his memoirs and other circumstantial evidences, FM opted for an amenable RBI Governor. Most of the Governors and Deputy Governors who come to RBI from outside, some too soon and some after some time, undergo a metamorphosis and start talking RBI language is a blessing that keeps India’s central bank going despite all efforts, internal and external, to destabilize it.
Unless policy makers take time to read and understand the spirit of monologues like this, such documents will remain in the wilderness, again used only for reference purposes by scholars and historians.
M G Warrier, Mumbai  


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