Is Mr. Raghuram Rajan a Karmayogi?

Karmayogi does his duty without caring for the results - Is Rajan a Karmayogi?

Is Mr. Raghuram Rajan a Karmayogi?
Is Mr. Raghuram Rajan a Karmayogi?

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n a recent television interview, on a question about patriotism Mr. Raghuram Rajan professed to be a Karmayogi. Although difficult to translate in English, it can loosely refer to “as acting selflessly”. Most likely he must have been referring to Chapter 2, verse 47 of Bhagavad Gita wherein Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna “to do his duty without looking into the fruits of it”.

Has Mr. Raghuram Rajan acted selflessly in his years with the Government of India and has he done his duty for the country?  He was the Economic Advisor to Prime Minister of India when the previous government committed two major blunders – economic stimulus and retro tax amendment.  Former Finance Minister Mr. P Chidambaram attributed the high inflation during the entire tenure of Congress government to the fiscal stimulus package of 2009 (violating the fiscal and revenue deficit targets) which he said was the main cause of the electoral debacle in 2014. And there have been abundant analysis on the retrospective tax amendment and its consequences for the Indian economy. Mr. Raghuram Rajan who has an informed opinion on all things like fiscal consolidation, intolerance, beef politics etc and one who is not afraid of voicing them was strangely silent on these two important issues.

And later as Economic Advisor to the Finance Ministry, he relegated Gujarat to 12th place in the economic development index of Indian states during the peak of general election campaign to dent the then Prime Ministerial candidate Mr. Narendra Modi’s development credentials for political expediency. These certainly cannot be deemed as a “selfless acts” but quite to the contrary borders on selfishness.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]H[/dropcap]as RBI under Mr. Raghuram Rajan made banking easy for the common man (Aam Aadmi)? It takes more than ten signatures with three pieces of documents to open a bank account. It requires sixty three signatures and seven signed blank checks to get a two or a four wheeler loan. It takes more than hundred signatures to open the popular three-in-one account – Savings, Demat and Securities trading account in banks. By this long drawn process, banks ensure that customers waive off most of their rights at time of opening an account or taking a loan. Rather than being a Karmayogi, Governor has looked the other way and been mum about customer’s woes.

Moreover, banks have been slapping unwarranted charges and excess interest charges on gullible customers who get no support from the banking regulator. RBI Deputy Governor Mr. Mundra admitted in a recent speech that banks mete out shoddy treatment and quite often harass customers. He also confirmed that many banks have been mi-selling third party products to consumers.  In August of 2014, after Mr. Raghuram Rajan tookover as Governor, RBI decided to frame a Charter of Consumer Rights. Till today, the charter has not seen daylight thanks to pressure of big banks on the regulator. It looks like the Karmayogi in Mr. Raghuram Rajan was fast asleep with him.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he most important failure of Mr. Raghuram Rajan as a Karmayogi has been the inaction of RBI on the needs of 700 million Indians living in the hinterland. Citizens living in small towns and villages are desperate for banking services and products and have been crying for financial inclusion for the last several years. Indian banks have been too slow to incorporate technological advances in Banking primarily due to regulatory restrictions imposed by RBI. African countries have taken a giant leap in mobile banking leaving India far behind. According to a survey by Gates Foundation and IMF, 15 of the top 20 countries in mobile banking are African with Kenya alone accounting for 80% of the world’s mobile transactions. It is a mystery to many that a much technologically advanced country like India is yet to get a start on mobile banking.

Payment Banks, which the RBI saw as a radical step towards financial inclusion is fast unraveling. Three of the eleven licensees have dropped out while others are seriously re-evaluating their business model. And much to the consternation of RBI officials and the Governor, the 23 entities that were granted small bank license, 10 of them have failed the pre-conditions. And one entity which has been accused of money laundering by the German regulator has also been granted a license by RBI.

Rather than examine Mr. Raghuram Rajan’s record, the Punditry and so called intellectual giants have been practicing what they very often preach against – scare mongering and attacking the messenger. Some have predicted the collapse of the Indian economy and a run on the Indian Rupee if the government decided to let the RBI Governor go which is a laughable proposition. And many others have shamelessly been attacking the messenger – Dr. Subramanian Swamy. Ever since the distinguished economist wrote to the Prime Minister about the unsavory record of RBI Governor, he has been assailed ad nauseam.

How can Mr. Raghuram Rajan redeem himself as Karmayogi? He would do a yeoman service to the country by announcing his return to academia after the expiry of his current term.

N. V. Krishnakumar is an investor and ardent follower of economic and political developments in India and United States. After graduating from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service with a Masters in Public Finance and Policy, he returned to his hometown of Bengaluru. He is active politically and engages in civic activities.

He tweets at @envyk_blr.
N V Krishnakumar


  1. 1. In 2008 USA was in economical disaster and its main banking system collapsed. At that time Raghuram Rajan was sent to India and at the same time Western Media made this guy a champion and claimed that He predicted 2008 disaster which was bullshit.

    2. Till 2013 Raghuram Rajan was well settled and this guy gets post of RBI Governor.
    Just after he become Governor, he devalued Indian currency and Rupee started falling. Then citing reasons of Rupee fall he purchased 28 billion USD bonds which helped USA to recover feom disaster.

    3 Most surprising fact, He while purchasing 28 billion USD bonds put maturity date as Dec 2016 which is post retirement.

    4. Now Indian Banks have to pay this 28 billion USD to USA. Do you know What the amount is ?
    1.33 lakh crore and this has to returned till December.

    5. Hope you understand the reason of MODI’s visit to USA. Our Foreign Currency Reserves is still 363 billion USD which will help India to recover.

    6. But Certainly it is a burden. 28 billion USD is not a small amount.

  2. If you think all this is going to change with Raghu’s exit,you are in for a disappointment.Namo should also think about improve the common man’s lot

  3. No i can’t accept him as karmayogi
    All govt servants have to do their duties
    I feel nothing special in his duty
    The indian economy is based on public savings
    He never encouraged It
    He is brain drain party
    Several time he slipped from his boundings i feel
    There are plenty of super brains in india
    Let the government find out

  4. Well written. Karmayogi ? What a joke. Namo is the only karmayogi at that level. No one has any right to take the title.

  5. यह मुझे बहुत पहले लगने लगा था कि एम. रघुराजन की कार्यशैली देश की अर्थव्यवस्था को हानि पहुंचा रही है और यह भी कि वे ऐसा जानबूझ कर कर रहे हैं, पर इसे व्यक्त करने में संकोच व्यक्त कर रहा था क्योंकि मैं अर्थशास्त्र की एबीसीडी भी नहीं जानता। यद्यपि बाजार के प्रत्यक्ष प्रमाण मुझे सही ठहराते थे। जब यही बात विद्वान् माननीय सुब्रह्मण्य स्वामी ने भी कही, तो मुझे प्रतीत हो रहा है कि मैं सही सोच रहा था।

  6. It was Rajan Only Who Introduce Two More Weekly paid Holydays Second And Fourth Saturday for already KaamChor Nationalised banks Staffs,They are not working even 11 to 4 Not(9 to 5)

    • You hve been misinformed and kindly get your facts right Sir. You surely don’t have any idea about how banks work and the risk involved in the everyday transactions … let alone the knowledge of the various aspects of banking.
      Kindly update yourself wiyh anyone known to you who is working on the banks for your own knowledge.
      Thank you.

  7. wrong tanslation of karmayogi,instead must be-“one who does his duty without caring for personal benefits but collective results”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here