Days after he warned of social divisions hurting development, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian on Tuesday refused to answer a question on beef ban saying he did not want “to lose his job”. (Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times)


The central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced considerable flak for its inability to control the so-called fringe elements on unleashing the politics of polarisation.

Many senior leaders of the BJP have also been accused of issuing threats to minority community asking them to leave India if they wished to consume beef.

The beef politics, as it has come to be known as, saw an innocent man in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh get lynched and his son brutally attacked.

There have also been countless other occasions when people were thrashed and intimidated over the suspicion of consuming beef leading to widespread criticism for the central government.

But up until now, the criticism and outrage largely came from the opposition parties or those who’ve been the critics of Hindutva agenda of the government.

On Tuesday, however, the Modi government faced disapproval of its beef politics from one of its most high-profile civil servant.

Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian said that he would lose his job if he commented about the beef ban controversy implying that his views on the subject were different to that of the government.

“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 students of economics at the Mumbai University.

According to PTI news, he was asked if the beef ban would have any adverse impact on farmers’ incomes or on the rural economy. His reply was met with a round of applause.

Last week, delivering a lecture in Bengaluru, Subramanian was critical of of the adverse impact of country’s social divisions on the trajectory of its economic development.

He 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, illustrate the general principle that these things have a huge impact.”