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Words Matter but so Does Intent (Dr. Raghuram Rajan Governor - April 20 2016 - at the 12th NIBM Convocation Pune)

News and Press Release - Dated:- 20-4-2016 - Congratulations to the graduating class, to their professors, and to their proud parents, siblings and friends. If you are typical, you are happy to be leaving university and embarking on a new journey, sad to be leaving familiar settings behind, and worried whether you will measure up to the challenges of wherever you are going for work or higher studies. You are also concerned about whether you have taken, or will take, the right next step. This is .....

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er advice, for what it is worth. To get to the experience, start first with where India is. India is the fastest growing large country in the world, though with manufacturing capacity utilization low at 70% and agricultural growth slow following two bad monsoons, our potential is undoubtedly higher. Growth, however, is just one measure of performance. The level of per capita GDP is also important. We are still one of the poorest large countries in the world on a per capita basis, and have a long .....

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large economy. Our current growth certainly reflects the hard work of the government and the people of the country, but we have to repeat this performance for the next 20 years before we can give every Indian a decent livelihood. This is not to disparage what has, and is, been done. The central and state governments have been creating a platform for strong and sustainable growth, and I am confident the payoffs are on their way, but until we have stayed on this path for some time, I remain cautio .....

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as if we already have it, we stop doing all that is required to continue growing. This movie has played too many times in India s past for us to not know how it ends. So in speaking to a foreign journalist the other day, who asked what it felt like to be the bright spot in the world economy, I used the phrase Andhon mein kana raja or In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is king . The proverb has a long multinational history. The Dutch philosopher, Erasmus, used it in Latin when he wrote In .....

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the surrounding context, but few read beyond the headline. So the interview became moderately controversial, with the implication that I was denigrating our success rather than emphasizing the need to do more. More generally, every word or phrase a public figure speaks is intensely wrung for meaning. When words are hung to dry out of context, as in a newspaper headline, it then becomes fair game for anyone who want to fill in meaning to create mischief. Worst, of course, are words or proverbs t .....

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t more than make up for their disability. Indeed, the sheer willpower and hunger to succeed of the disabled can help them become over-achievers in a seeing man s world. Moreover, because their other faculties such as touch, smell, and hearing, are more finely honed, the blind may add new perspectives and new variety to our world, making it richer and more vibrant. So I am indeed sorry for implying the blind were otherwise than capable. But this leads to an important question. How much of our lan .....

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iscriminatory. Yet Gandhiji s focus was on the absurdity of a policy of revenge, not on blindness, and his intent was not to disparage the blind. My second example comes from a faculty meeting I once attended where a male professor used the phrase As a rule of thumb to make his point. A female history professor became visibly agitated and angry. She explained that the rule of thumb referred historically to the maximum width of the stick with which a man could beat his wife without breaking the l .....

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cate because no one will listen. For instance, An eye for an eye will only make the world go blind could be replaced by Revenge reduces collective welfare . The latter is short, inoffensive, and pithy, but meaningless for most listeners. Alternatively, we could say The taking of any body part for another will temporarily reduce the collective capabilities of the population thus affected, until they develop the faculties that will allow them to compensate for the missing body parts. This restatem .....

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