NEW DELHI – Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, joined Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra on Wednesday, underscoring the need for “internal harmony”. This was also the way the sufferings of the “lower middle class” could be addressed, he noted.
Dr Rajan had become the part of the footmarch from Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur. The Congress tweeted the video clip of the march, captioning it: “The increasing number of people standing up to unite the country against hatred shows that we will be successful”.
By evening, another clip was doing the rounds of social media, which showed Rajan having a sit-down discussion with Gandhi.
“Farmers and the poor constitute one India. Then a group of 5-10 people constitute another India,” Gandhi is heard saying.
“The ones who are caught in the middle, the lower middle class, has suffered the most,” Dr Rajan responded. “They lost their jobs. Unemployment is spiralling. Loans are going up too, as they are taking loans. Interests are rising. Regardless of what political parties are doing – Bharat ko jodna hai (the mission is to bring India together). Which house can stand when the brothers are fighting. You have to have internal harmony to have external security,” he added.
Dr Rajan, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, was recruited for the RBI post by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in 2013. He quit in 2016 without seeking a second term amid sharp attacks from the BJP’s Subramanian Swamy.
Swamy had accused Dr Rajan of an “apparently deliberate attempt to wreck the Indian economy”. He also alleged that Dr Rajan was “mentally not fully Indian” since he continues to renew the Green Card issued to him by the US government.