Swamy-Samuelson theory, GDP and the mystery of Subramanian’s next target - Firstpost
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Swamy-Samuelson theory, GDP and the mystery of Subramanian’s next target


Is BJP leader, Subramanian Swamy training his guns beyond RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan, and his nemesis, Arun Jaitley? Swamy’s recent tweets, which are now nation’s attention, have an implicit suggestion that the wrath of the 76-year old firebrand politician is falling on the high power centers in BJP beyond Jaitley.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy. PTI

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy. PTI

This is evident especially after the Arnab Goswami-Narendra Modi interview, where the PM ticked off Swamy saying RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan is no less patriotic than anyone and no one isn’t above the system. Modi also seemed to snub Swamy saying ‘publicity stunts’ doesn’t do good to anyone.

Post this, let’s glance through Swamy’s twitter actions in the following days.

Everyone expected Swamy to counter Modi’s criticism, just like he did against Jaitley, through his 2.8 million strong twitter empire.

But, he didn’t.

Instead, Swamy went on a philosophical note. “The world is in general equilibrium. A small change in one parameter effects changes in all variables. So Krishna advised: Sukh Dukhe....”

Only Swamy knows what exactly he meant by this and how this is relevant to his current political situation. Media and his political adversaries guessed, kept guessing and then gave up the guess work.

Swamy relatively tweeted peacefully in the following hours with some general advices to his followers, his “new problem” of publicity relentlessly seeking him and some random tweets on Rajan’s degree. But Swmy swung back to form soon with another attack on Arnab.

He wondered, whether Arnab’s continuous chanting of “Muruga, Muruga” (which he later clarified as Subramanian) in his show is because Arnab is bitten by “a mad unelectable dog”. His PTs (patriotic tweeple) celebrated with the new advance of their undisputed general.

Swamy then began to focus on India’s economy. And here’s the twist that gives clue to why Swamy is openly beginning his fight against his own camp starts. On 29 June, Swamy shot a tweet, quoting junior finance minister Jayanta Sinha, that bank NPAs have touched Rs 8 lakh crore and scolded Arnab for denying that fact on television.

After the RBI financial stability report came out, quoting financial dailies, Swamy said, his prediction about a banking/financial crisis is imminent. By establishing the grave NPA picture in the country, what did Swamy want to prove? Warn PM Modi that the finance ministry is blissfully unaware of the problem and his counsel should be sought immediately? Earlier, Swamy also suggested abolishing income tax to improve growth.

But, the master-stroke came a bit later, on Friday, when Swamy tweeted this. “If I apply Samuelson-Swamy Theory of Index Numbers to India's GDP calculation or RBI interests rates, media will scream anti party activity!,” Swamy tweeted on Friday. Swamy, an economist and academic himself, is known internationally. He has taught in Harvard for seven years.

A quick search on internet shows Swamy and Paul Samuelson had indeed a did a paper together in 2005 titled Invariant Economic Index Numbers and Canonical Duality: Survey and Synthesis, which has formed the basis for theories that points out difficulties for economists in monitoring monetary policies, according to website pgurus.com. But, economists said they do not have much clue on what Swamy meant by his tweet. “Cannot make sense of this!,” said an economist with a leading research house.

The point here is not really whether Samuelson-Swamy theory, when applied, topples the GDP numbers or not. But, why Swamy a BJP MP, who consider himself closer than many in the party to RSS, is on a questioning mode on India’s GDP about which BJP and its top leader, Narendra Modi boast of every other day.

Especially, PM Modi, has taken pride in the fact that India’s GDP growth at 7.6 percent is the fastest in the world even beating China. This is something Modi keep saying during his foreign trips. BJP government considers the high GDP number as an achievement despite widespread criticism from economists in India and abroad against the accuracy of the number. To be sure, Swamy has never said anything against Modi so far explicitly.

Instead, he has expressed his solidarity to Modi through his tweets even after the PM criticised him, saying, “Come hell or high water, I stand by Modi." But, his predictions on banking crisis and his indirect questioning of GDP numbers makes one wonder who is up against next? Is Swamy digging his own grave in BJP?

First Published On : Jul 1, 2016 17:41 IST

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