By far one of the most popular Reserve Bank of India Governor, if not the most popular, Raghuram Rajan got a colourful send-off last week as the central bank’s employees designed a beautiful portrait of his using rangoli colours, along with a whole host of different bank notes.
The gesture is a great example of how loved Rajan was among his colleagues. With September 4, 2016, being his last day as RBI governor, the rangoli send-off was given during the last week. The intricately designed rangoli had the RBI emblem in the centre, with Rajan’s portrait just under it. The whole thing was surrounded by colourful currency notes, with the words “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna” (Never Say Goodbye) on the left, and “Suswagatam” just beside it.
The last message is a bit ironical, since many were surpised that the International Monetary Fund economist did not continue for a second term, turning his three-year tenure as the shortest since 1991.
Photos of the rangoli were posted on various social media websites all through last week, with people commenting on how much they will miss the glib-tongued, erudite and rockstar governor. His successor, Urjit Patel – an economist from Yale University, with a stint at IMF – will have an uphill task ahead but seems up to the task, with many having commented on his zero tolerance policy towards inflation.
During his tenure, the witty Rajan has not only regaled people with his acute sense of humour, but also for standing up to pressure when it came to taking decisions regarding rate cuts. His most famous line, of course, is: “My name is Raghuram Rajan, I do what I do”. Now, that’s as close as he could get to the iconic ‘Obama Out’, in our opinion.
The finance ministry held a farewell dinner for Rajan in the Capital on Saturday (September 3).