Suppressing criticism was a 'sure fire recipe' for policy mistakes, cautioned former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan in a hard-hitting blog arguing that people in authority should tolerate criticism.
Dr Rajan also said it was only criticism that prompts government to take period policy course correction. "If every critic gets a phone call from a government functionary asking them to back off, or gets targeted by the ruling party's troll army, many will tone down their criticism. The government will then live in a pleasant make-believe environment, until the harsh truth can no longer be denied," Dr Rajan said while recalling the achievements of noted jurist and doyen of liberalism in India Nani Palkhivala.
People in authority, he emphasised, had to tolerate criticism.
"Undoubtedly, some of the criticism, including in the press, is ill-informed, motivated, and descends into ad-hominem personal attacks. I have certainly had my share of those in past jobs. However, suppressing criticism is a sure fire recipe for policy mistakes," he said.
Dr Rajan, currently a professor of finance at the University of Chicago, said constant criticism allowed period course correction to policy. "Governments that suppress public criticism do themselves a gross disservice," he added.