Former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Raghuram Rajan has been under fire on social media for his remarks related to India on the path to being a superpower.
At an event, Rajan was asked if he could be seen as India's finance minister or Prime Minister in the coming decade. While answering, Rajan expressed his indifference towards India being a superpower. He said it was more important to fulfil the vision of Mahatma Gandhi.
"I don't care about India being a superpower, to me that's not the point. It's about what the father of the nation wanted, which means making every Indian happy," he said.
This has led to sharp criticism of Rajan. Netizens said that his views were extreme and disregarded the contributions made by other leaders.
This is the second time in the last week that Rajan's statements have led to his criticism.
Earlier, in a paper titled "Has India really become a mobile manufacturing giant?" Rajan had raised concerns about the Production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, accompanied by questions over India's rising mobile phone exports.
He said that the value addition is low in the smartphone PLI scheme as it is only about assembling and not deep manufacturing. He added that imports exceed exports and "not even the smallest parts of mobile phones are being made in India".
In response, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for IT, took to LinkedIn and said that the research paper was "built on the false premise that all key electronics imports are only for the purposes of mobile production".
He also contested Rajan's statement that all mobile phones produced in India result from PLI. "This is also wrong. Of the total mobile phone production of $44 billion, only $10 billion or 22 per cent was eligible for PLI incentive in 2023," the minister said.
Challenging Rajan's position that not even the smallest parts of mobile phones are manufactured locally, Chandrasekhar called this comment "complete intellectual bankruptcy and lack of understanding of electronics manufacturing in general, and smartphones in particular".