Rajan and RaGa

MANASI PHADKE | Updated on January 20, 2018


What their stars foretell

The scene opens in the UPA office, where Netaji is in deep thought about reaching sycophancy Level 3.

Clever Guptaji: Did you see the news, Sir? He has kept the repo rates unchanged! The guidance is oil prices are firming up and we are on a wait and watch for the monsoon. And, of course, there is the dollar factor as well. With Janet Yellen saying growth is firming up, the Fed may well hike the rates, Sir! And I think she has been really planning this upward move for a long time. And he is maintaining status quo today. Errr, Sir? Sir? Are you listening to me?

Netaji ( suddenly jerking out of his favourite “Down with the NDA!” reverie): Uh? Yes, Guptaji! She has been planning to make this upward move all the while! And we fans are actually insisting that she does it on his birthday — June 19, Guptaji! But what a man! He wants to maintain status quo. I tell you ( now overcome with emotion), it is not everyday that you see such a clear-minded, such unselfish, such pure leadership!

Clever Guptaji ( impressed that Boss has such unsuspected inside news on the Fed): What? You know that she plans to do this on June 19? But Sir, with this news, we could then really make money in futures.

Netaji ( flustered): Really now, Guptaji! How can you be so callous and ghastly about this? We are not in this for the money. Look at the man, Guptaji. He is pure gold! The gold man of India. Sach!

Clever Guptaji ( confused): Goldman Sachs? Nnno, Sir, I always thought he was with the IMF. Anyway, I thought it was very astute of him not to change anything in a hurry. And while his stance is precautionary, the policy will still continue to be accommodative. This man is good, I tell you, Sir.

Netaji ( swelling up with pride): You couldn’t have put it better, Guptaji! All these resignations have created such issues. But even in such difficult times, our leader says exercise precaution, but remain accommodative! Poetry in politics, Guptaji! And he is really trying to clean up the party, you know.

Clever Guptaji: Yes, that clean-up was necessary. It reduces profitability in the short run, but it really ensures long-run stability and growth. Presence of NPAs within public sector banks also has slowed the transmission. When it comes to asset quality, our man is undaunted. It is so difficult to make sure that the deserving get credit but that all those causing stress on quality are restrained.

Netaji: Yes, presence of NDA has really messed up all of our calculations! As you said, it is so difficult to make sure that the deserving get credit, but yet the others don’t get jealous! It’s quite a tight ropewalk, this one! And then, if under extreme duress, our leader fumbles sometime, they say this talk is cuckoo!

Clever Guptaji: Don’t say that, Netaji! He hates bird analogies! Oh, I really hope this guy stays here some more! But this Swamy controversy is in such bad taste!

Netaji ( face darkening): Oh, let that Swamy say what he wants to. But on June 19, our Baba will become the Congress President!

Clever Guptaji ( understanding and horror dawning on his face): What? Is that what you were talking about all the while? Your party politics? And here I was, thinking of the monetary policy of India.

Netaji ( smiling): I know. But it’d be cruel of me to spoil the fun you were having!

The writer is a Pune-based economist. She blogs at

Published on June 08, 2016

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