Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan has finally broken his silence on the Subramanian Swamy controversy saying he doesn't want to give legitimacy to allegations that are baseless and wrong. He said this to an interview with NDTV.
"Certain allegations are so fundamentally wrong and baseless that to address them is to give them legitimacy they don't deserve," he said in the interview adding that he "welcomes genuine criticism of our policy but will not address ad hominem attacks".
The comment should serve as a tight slap for Swamy, who has written two letters to the prime minister Narendra Modi raising various allegations against Rajan and asking him to remove Rajan from the governorship at the earliest.
At the press meet after the monetary policy review on Tuesday, Rajan had refused to make any comments on his exit from or extension at the RBI. He just read of a statement which said any decision on his tenure will taken in consultation with the government. He also said he didn't want to spoil the fun the press is having on the issue.
Swamy in his letters had alleged that by holding interest rates high Rajan had hurt the economic growth and also that he is not fully Indian as he holds a green card.
Rajan's comment in the interview seems to be in response to these allegations. As Firstpost's Dinesh Unnikrishnan noted earlier Swamy is wrong on several counts. For one, Swamy's economic rationale - that Rajan held interest rate high and wrecked the economy - is just half truths or rather a nonsensical argument. Also, Rajan has in fact brought back the credibility to the central bank's functions.
One may argue that with breaking the silence on the issue, Rajan has drawn into the controversy, but he remains well guarded and also unaffected by the developments. This is clear from a comment he made in an interview to the Hindustan Times.
"...Individuals may come and go, but the institution remains," he said reacting to a comment that it is the first time the RBI is associated with an individual so strongly.
"First, I think perceptions may be associated with a person. The reality is that everything that the governor does is based on work done by colleagues. We have a strong group of deputy governors and very effective executive directors, all of whom work together to create policies," he told the newspaper.
Clearly, Rajan is not in awe of personalities.