Strange bedfellows

MANASI PHADKE | Updated on January 24, 2018

What do RBI and FTII have in common?

The RBI, which has been reeling under the nasty shock of having four government representatives on the Monetary Policy Committee, has found a new friend. Just as Dr Rajan was wondering how to best indicate delicately to the government to leave the RBI alone, he got a call from the President of the Student’s Association at the FTII.

“Don’t worry Sir, we are on our way to Delhi!” yelled the young student on the line.

“And we’re definitely taking up your case! After all, our issues are the same. Government intervention where it’s not needed. We’ve written a letter to the government indicating that the post of a chairperson is an academic one, not an honorary one. Holds for you too, Sir. Just substitute the word chairman with committee. You want me to send you our draft letter? It’s perfect for you, Sir. We’ve further said that we’ve always had chairpersons with credibility. Same for you. So why meddle now? How can the country run with RBI governor discussing interest rates with people randomly appointed by the government? Just look down from your window, Sir, and you’ll see how creatively we’ve represented you problem.”

Rajan looked down from his 18th floor window, where, to his consternation, he found seven seats with question marks atop them, with stones in four of them.

There were also some students painting graffiti on the walls. In red. Heaven help me! “We don’t like the Monitory Policy Committee” And the other one read “Good-bye, Autonomy! Welcome, Autocracy!” Whaaaaaaat!

“Hey, you listen to me..”, he began, suddenly unsure how to react to such a filmy representation of the monetary policy committee issue.

“Brilliant, isn’t it?” shouted the Students’ President in glee. “And we’ve also made banners for you, Sir. Very interesting theme. Game of thrones, Sir. Optionally, do you want to go on a 40 day strike? I am telling you, Sir. Nothing works like a strike. Just take a chill pill and rest at home. They will immediately take interest in the interest rate, Sir. You are too mild and hence, they are putting pressure. Don’t worry. We are on your side.”

Now Rajan got seriously scared. “Listen, young man, this is no way to protest. We’ve got our own methods of protesting. Academic ones. Very dignified. After all, I am meeting with the FM early next month. I am sure I can convince the FM.”

“Excellent, Sir!” came in the youthful voice, now sounding uber-excited. “You’ve got FM on your side? Which one, Sir? 93.5 Red FM? Bajaate raho, Sir! Or 98.3 Radio Mirchi? It’s hot! And you’re so cool, Sir! Best for you is 94.3 Radio One. Maximum Music, Maximum Choice. But you are facing maximum music and minimum choice, Sir! Very clever of you to get media partners. Superb. Wish we had thought of this before.”

Aaaaaaaarrrrrgh! Now how do I tell this guy not to help me, Guv was thinking, when to his horror, came the next piece of advice.

“Rahul Gandhi is visiting us next week, Sir. To show solidarity to our cause. You want him in Mumbai? I’ll get him there.”

Rajan, who’d been stunned into silence with all these creative happenings, suddenly found his voice.

“Listen. I do NOT, I repeat, do NOT want Rahul Gandhi here. Ok? Neither do I want any of these strikes and banners. We’ll handle this our way own way.”

The Student’s President sounded a bit doubtful. “Are you sure? I’ve heard that once Yudhishthir comes to FTII, the other four Pandavas will come to the Monetary Policy Committee!”

The writer is a Pune-based economist. You can read her blogs at manasiecon.wordpress.com

Published on July 30, 2015

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