“Sravana 2021 is also a time of the year when the Reserve Bank connects with the transcendental calm within. Submersed in this inner stillness, it looked beyond the dilemmas and trade-offs in the here and now to contemplate the world of tomorrow.”
Believe it or not, this is the start of the concluding paragraph of the RBI’s report on 'State Of the Economy' in its August bulletin.
Expectedly, this rather unusually un-central bank-like language has got more attention than the 35 pages of graphs and charts which assess the growth and inflation indicators and argue about the trade-offs between the two.
“Sab maya hai, your money, their money, sab moh hai,” read a Facebook post, commenting on this line by the central bank.
“It seems Sadhguru writes the conclusion part of RBI bulletin,” said another. “Nityanandaic,” said a third.
Then there are the incredulous comments: “You are joking.” “You are not serious.” “Who has ghostwritten this?”
And then there are the supporters: “Bravo – ignore the reflexive crackles here, RBI! The sentiment makes perfect sense and we need more poetry in bureaucratic notes, not less.”
This last commentator should be happy with the RBI’s assessments of the economy which, ever since they started late last year, have been replete with quotes from Shakespeare and have a literary style, unseen in central bank commentary.
The author of this assessment, Deputy Governor Michael Patra, is intimately aware of the reactions to his literary leanings.
“The article on the State of the Economy continues to evoke diverse views. Some have said that it has made the Bulletin readable, that it is a statement of hope, and we thank them. Others have been less kind, but they have tended to lean towards issues of form than of substance. They have pleaded with us to please be boring. They see us as going over the top in offering bromides and indulging in quote fests by enlisting luminaries and borrowed philosophy," says Patra, reacting to the reactions to his style (contained in the June bulletin).
"Yes, we rely on the wisdom of our forebears and our contemporaries whose words shine, like light that cannot be hid. After all, knowledge is a chain, with neither beginning nor end. No one is an island, entire of itself; everyone is a piece of the continent, a part of the main (1). So, we can do no better than remember the words of Sir Isaac Newton in 1675 (2):
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”," he adds.
1) Excerpted from the book “No Man is an Island” by John Donne
2) Sir Isaac Newton made this remark in a letter to Robert Hooke in 1675
Read other articles by Latha Venkatesh here