It is a sad day when one cannot even voice their opinions in a democratic country in fear of retaliation and the public ire. It is even worse when a government official cannot do so.
In what is possibly a thinly veiled attack on the ill-conceived beef ban imposed in many states across India, Arvind Subramaniam, India’s chief economic advisor refused to answer a question on beef ban saying he did not want “to lose his job”.
“You know that if I answer this question I will lose my job. But thank you nevertheless for asking the question,” he said while interacting with economic students of Mumbai University.
The Chief Economic Advisor is under direct charge of the Minister of Finance
He was asked if the beef ban would have any adverse impact on farmers’ incomes or on the rural economy and his tongue-in-cheek reply was applauded by the audience.
Only last week, Subramanian in lecture for the New India Foundation had said, The way you react to social cleavages has a critical impact on economic development. India is a wonderful example. What have reservations done, what have they not done, what has religion done, what has it not done illustrates the general principle that these things have a huge impact.”
The economist did not elaborate on the social conflicts but said, the “particular manner in which they have an impact is much more controversial’’. “When I leave office I will speak of it more freely,’’ he added.
We can’t wait to hear his thoughts on the matter.