RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan was taken aback for a short while on Tuesday when asked whether issues regarding his nationality were settled.
Responding to a question by a journalist at the customary post-policy media interaction, a piqued Dr. Rajan said: “I will answer this question once and only once.”
“I am an Indian citizen. I have always been an Indian citizen. I always held an Indian passport. I held an Indian diplomatic passport when my father was in the foreign service and when I travelled on behalf of the Ministry of Finance.
“I have never applied for the citizenship of another country. I have never been a citizen of another country and have never taken a pledge of allegiance to another country.”
When Dr. Rajan’s name was cleared by the government for the top job at the RBI, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi had given a notice of calling attention in Parliament asking how a foreigner could be appointed as the central banker. He had also said there were enough Indians to run the RBI.
Admitting that he holds a U.S. green card, Dr. Rajan said: “The Green Card does not require you to take pledge of allegiance anywhere...it simply is a work permit which you need to have to work in another country.”
In a lighter vein, Dr. Rajan said his green card was expiring, and he has to restart the whole process of applying for it just to keep it going.