Pandemic is terrible challenge for country after independence: Raghuram Rajan

Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Saturday that the Covid-19 epidemic is perhaps the biggest challenge in the country after independence. Rajan also said that in many places the government was not present to help people due to various reasons. Addressing an online event organized by the University of Chicago Center in Delhi, he said that there is a need for a quick process to declare India bankrupt for the micro, small and medium enterprises sector. He said, ‘It is a tragedy for India due to the epidemic. The post-independence covid-19 epidemic is perhaps the country’s biggest challenge.

Raghuram Rajan

Rajan said, “When the epidemic first came, the challenge was mainly economic because of the lockdown, but now the challenge is both economic and personal and as we move forward it will also include a social element.” During the recent weeks, more than three lakh cases are being reported daily in the country and the number of dead has also increased continuously. He said, ‘One effect of this epidemic is that we did not see the presence of the government due to various reasons.’ Rajan underlined that the Maharashtra government is able to provide oxygen beds to covid-19 patients. He said, ‘In many places, the government is not working even at this level.’

The former RBI governor said that if we do not seriously question the society after the epidemic, then it will be as big a tragedy as the epidemic. Rajan is currently a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He underlined many times you have to do reforms not by stealth, but completely. Recalling his speech at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Rajan said, “My speech was not a criticism of the government.” Sometimes things are over-interpreted too much. ‘ According to Rajan, the press saw his speech at the convocation ceremony of IIT Delhi on 31 October 2015 as a symbolic protest.

In his speech at the convocation of IIT Delhi, from where he has studied, on 31 October 2015, Rajan had said that tolerance and mutual respect are very important for the exchange of ideas. No group should be harmed and verbal injury. He had said, ‘We need the freedom to speak, we need the freedom to criticize, it will build 21st century India.’ The former RBI governor, known as a vocal speaker, said that the government needs to be adjusted and corrected and this can be done in a polite mannerRajan said, ‘But for this people will have to speak within and outside the government, otherwise we will see tragedy only.’

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