He was minding his own business: The prickly right wing is wrong in plastering Raghuram Rajan

If one were to go through the speech of Dr Rajan, it is evident that he makes a series of generalised statements which draw on centuries of western liberal thought and tries to show how a participatory democracy which constantly challenges itself with new ideas can end up ensuring robust economic growth.

hidden November 02, 2015 07:24:11 IST
He was minding his own business: The prickly right wing is wrong in plastering Raghuram Rajan

By Sreemoy Talukdar

Right wing intellectuals in India, it would seem, are still a rudderless, reactive conglomerate more interested in picking up petty fights than developing a cogent ecosystem that resists the misinformation and manipulation machinery of the well-oiled 'secular' brigade.

This was evident in the way some of those sympathetic to the right of centre formation started criticising Dr Raghuram Rajan shortly after the RBI Governor delivered a lecture at an IIT convocation in Delhi on Saturday.

If one were to go through the speech of Dr Rajan, it is evident that he makes a series of generalised statements which draw on centuries of western liberal thought and tries to show how a participatory democracy which constantly challenges itself with new ideas can end up ensuring robust economic growth.

While some of his remarks, in isolation, may be twisted to serve the confirmation bias, there is very little evidence to show that he was making subtle points against the incumbent government at the Centre.

Here’s an excerpt:

He was minding his own business The prickly right wing is wrong in plastering Raghuram Rajan

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. Reuters

“So what does an educational institution or a nation need to do to keep the idea factory open? The first essential is to foster competition in the market place for ideas. This means encouraging challenge to all authority and tradition, even while acknowledging that the only way of dismissing any view is through empirical tests. What this rules out is anyone imposing a particular view or ideology because of their power. Instead, all ideas should be scrutinised critically, no matter whether they originate domestically or abroad, whether they have matured over thousands of years or a few minutes, whether they come from an untutored student or a world-famous professor.”

When it comes to “fostering competition” among ideas, it points to the stranglehold that the leftists enjoy over every conceivable position in organisations that shape intellectual capital, refusing to allow contrarian views to develop among impressionable minds.

When the RBI governor talks about exchange of views, tolerance and mutual respect while criticising rival ideas, it could just as accurately be applied to the thought-mafias in India who are now shedding liberal tears over what they perceive as “crisis of intolerance” and yet are hysterically intolerant when it comes to accepting that human perceptions differ, their paths of reaching conclusions differ.

Dr Rajan goes on to say:

“...Groups should not be looking for slights any and everywhere, so that too much is seen as offensive; the theory of confirmation bias in psychology suggests that once one starts looking for insults, one can find them everywhere, even in the most innocuous statements...”

For a section of the intelligentsia afflicted with a curious case of insultatitis and suffering from the hallucination of approaching jackboots of fascism, this statement calls for a more level-headed approach.

All the more pity then when the right wing allows pseudo-leftist mafia to appropriate Dr Rajan’s general observations and helps them make a case where there is none.

If the right-wing (if there is indeed such an ecosystem, even if nascent) stoops to criticising Dr Rajan, it would point to an absolute bankruptcy of intelligence which, in turn, has made the job easier for the “left-liberals” in India.

Extracted from a Facebook post of the author, with permission.

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