To understand this Open letter, viewers are requested to read Shobha De’s post in The Deccan Chronicle dated June 26, 2016.
You have done a fine job of whipping yourself into a frenzy over the remark “mentally not fully Indian”. Having lived half my life in the US and the other half in India, let me try and put some perspective into what Dr. Swamy meant. I will be brief…
When Rajan made the comment “In the kingdom of blind, one-eyed man is king”, it created an uproar in India. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Minister of State had said that “better words could have been used”. Link: http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/minister-nirmala-sitharaman-critical-of-raghuram-rajans-one-eyed-king-phrase-1396919
Why did she (who too spent a fair amount of time abroad) say this?
Let us examine the statement itself. In the US, it is common for someone to be self-deprecating in accepting compliments for something they didn’t quite have a hand in, by saying, “In the kingdom of blind, one-eyed man is king”. Perhaps Rajan meant that the world should not see too deeply into India’s growth rate. I will not put words in his mouth. Only he can answer this question.
There are many in the cabinet today who have lived a significant part of their lives in developed countries and no one (so far) has said anything that makes you sit up and take notice. I have noticed a new self-confidence in India where they are not afraid to be in-your-face, be it in Sports or in real life. They don’t like it when some of us “imported” types start pontificating.
Another term that is used commonly in the US is that of “mindset”, as in “you need to have the right mindset to solve this problem”. It is largely contextual but suffice to say it means that you need to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes to fully appreciate a problem. And that is what I think Dr. Swamy meant when he said Rajan is “mentally not fully Indian”.
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