Vinod Mehta was the consummate commentator who never saw either side of the political coin as any less brighter. In fact, he deduced the cause and effect, using both. In his columns, he placed firm opinions without a preface, followed by the very minimum of arguments in support. He had the patience to let the readers mull on an issue and, in the process, mature in the art of political appreciation. He neither flogged a political fault to death nor sang paeans to a success, the hallmark of a quintessential observer. It was the visual media that brought out Mehta’s persona, in full flow and endeared him to countless admirers. Handsome and debonair, with a shock of white hair, twinkle in the eyes and the lips trying hard to suppress the bemusement inside, he often stood out in the panel at debate. He gladly suffered the cacophony of panellists and overbearing anchors and, most of the time, was the last to be heard. The channels must be happy it was thus, as viewers waited till the end to hear him. Brevity is the soul of wit as also expression of an incisive thought. And Mehta provided that capsule of politics to the viewers as a reviving night cap and one went to bed with a feeling that politics is not that bad after all!
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad
Guv’s view distinct from RBI’s
Apropos of your interview with former RBI Governor C Rangarajan, “RBI Governor should have casting vote in monetary policy panel” (March 5), how can Rangarajan say that decision of RBI is the decision of the Governor? Perhaps RBI, during Rangarajan’s tenure as Governor, would have functioned in that way. If we are equating a position with the institution, then it is against public policy. Usually inflation policy and such other important policies are decided by the Governor not only in consultation with his colleagues in the central bank but also with the functionaries from the finance ministry. No individual, howsoever, endowed with knowledge and intelligence, can equate himself with an institution. Even the institutions, including RBI, do not have internal norms that bestows unilateral authority on RBI Governor. If a particular policy is communicated to the market by the Governor, it does not mean that it represents Governor’s decision. In case of divided opinion, the Governor should strive for consensus.
KV Rao, Bengaluru
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