Rahul Bajaj | Commons
File photo of industrialist Rahul Bajaj | Commons
Text Size:

New Delhi: Industrialist Rahul Bajaj Saturday said that people in India are fearful of speaking against the Narendra Modi government and said he wasn’t certain if the government can accept criticism in the right spirit.

In his short address at The Economic Times’ ET Awards 2019 in Mumbai, which had Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on the stage, Bajaj said in a shaky, broken voice, that there was freedom to abuse anyone in the government during former PM Manmohan Singh’s tenure, but in the present time, industrialists cannot openly criticise the Modi government.

“During UPA 2, we could abuse anyone. You are doing good work, but if we want to openly criticise you, there is no confidence you will appreciate that. I may be wrong but everyone feels that,” Bajaj said.

Shah, who is also the BJP president, responded to Bajaj’s remark. “Let me say this clearly, no one needs to fear.”

Bajaj then mentioned Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur, who recently raised a storm in Parliament with her remark on M.K. Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, highlighting that she won with the support of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. “Is there a doubt who shot Gandhi… I don’t know.”

Bajaj also referred to PM Modi’s reaction to Pragya Thakur’s earlier reference to Godse as a ‘deshbhakt’ in May, saying “the prime minister had said it would be very difficult for him to forgive her.” “But she was brought into the consultive committee (on defence) later,” he said.

Shah said that “we condemn what Pragya Thakur had said.”

Bajaj’s comments came a day after Manmohan Singh also said that there was a climate of fear and harassment that was “stifling economic activity”.

“Between 2004 and 2014, certain incidents occurred. It will become clear to you if you just look at the finance figures from the banking sector,” Shah said at the event.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

48 Comments Share Your Views

48 COMMENTS

  1. When the emergency was lifted , George Fernandez openly called JRD Tata a RAT for lacking the guts to criticize Indira Gandhi. Nobody dared defend Tata, when the news was front paged by the TOI.

  2. A vague accusation. I see daily in the media most abusive criticisms of Modi and his govt.
    He was accused of putting crored into the pocket of Ambani. He was called chor a hundred times by Rahul. Economists, colunnists, newspaper editorials criticise openly. Some national newspapers publsh on a daily basis articles abusing him. He is called Hitler. While participating in a meeting of Businessladers Modi said he was not afraid of meeting them. He was accused of suited, booted PM who hobnobs with indudtrialists.

    Crooks and those who loot and committing frauds and those who amass black money should be worried. Let them worry.
    Baja should make it clear what kind of society he wants: a corrupt or an honest ones.

  3. If you are genuinely interested in prosperity and progress of India listen to what a highly successful and genuine businessman ( a rare breed in India) wants to convey on behalf of industry. Only true anti nationals will try to denigrate him.

  4. Will Rahul Bajaj tell the public who has gagged him? Betweel January 2014 and until May 2019 election results, I think, Modi is the most abused politician. None has been hanged or jailed for it.

  5. It’s in last 5 to 6 years have seen people express their opinions much openly and many more times than before. Unable to understand why Mr Bajaj gave such untimely and uncontextual comment?! Why is he fearful – has anything to hide?!

  6. Like many other free loaders, Iska hookah paani bandh ho gaya.
    Godse was a patriot. He kived Bharath. No doubt in this. He might have acted rashky but he did it iut of his live for India.

  7. It is funny. He is criticizing govt, Modi and Shaw in presence of Shah himself. Then Why this stement of not being allowed to talk against government. The problem lies somewhere else. These are businessmen built empires using the liscense control regime of earlier days which facilitated double book keeping and Swiss bank deposits. They could sell products made of obsolete technologies and make money. No innovation, no updating they could survive. Now with increased competition might be finding difficulties to survive. New set of honest competent business men must evolve.

  8. It is respectfully submitted that Mr. Bajaj fear is unfounded. The present regimes legitimate and strong action against the tukrey tukrey culprits and black money syndicate has been misconstrued as fearful atmosphere. There is no such fear felt by the common man who are delighted that our country is in safe hands which even the world now appreciates our country.

  9. Rahul Bajaj is the poster boy of India’s licence permit Raj wherein protected industrialists supplied shoddy goods at inflated prices to captive consumers. The waiting list for a Bajaj chetak was 14 years and you could get it quicker if you were a government babu, politico or such. Guess the poor dope is missing those good old days under the benign protection of Nehru Gandhi Raj. Sad luck to those of his ilk who need to get used to this new regime.

    • Despite that, try and recollect what happened to Rahul during emergency at Pune airport. The citizens of Pune had to stage massive demonstrations in the streets to get him released.

  10. Can There b bigger joke than this😂😃Its Understandable if it comes from Pakistani/Foreign Buisnessmen😄”Speaking Infront of AmitShaw-UNABLE TO CRITICISE NaMo Govt.”😃😃😃🤣🤣”Lagta hai Buddha’Sathiya gaya hai”य बुड्ढा सचमुच सठिया गया है”🤣😃😄😄😂😂😃🤣😄😄😄😄😃😃😃🤣🤣🤣🤣😃

      • Rahul Bajaj is perfectly right.This govt feels it has majority in house ,so can do anything.SPG bill is one of 5hem.Security should be provided to person who need it,not to positions on which they are.Every citizens are in fear.

  11. Rahul Bajaj should ask Rahul Gandhi
    He was chanting Modi CHOR CHOR
    Unfortunately Rich Rahuls talk Rubbish
    God save Bharat

    • So his security has been pulled and law was made ,shows the ego of government.Anyone involved in corruption when enter bjp becomes pure.BJP is Ganga for corrupt persons.Keep eye open.This Govt is suppressing all who criticize it.Is it the democracy?Bhakta are trolling who criticize Govt.

  12. Rahul Gsndhi called Modi CHOR
    Rahul Bajaj should ask Rahul Gandhi
    Unfortunately Rich Rahuls talk Rubbish
    God save Bharat

  13. When rahul bajaj revealed that rahul name was given to him by jawaharlal nehr…u ,I closed by ears to hear him. It was like sonia speaking from his mouth. Hahahahaha.
    Do people also fear to vote against modi? rahul bajaj. #Biggestbhakt

  14. गाली देने की छूट आजादी है? सत्य के मार्ग पर चलने बाला कभी समालोचना करने से नहीं डरता? सरकारी कार्य की आलोचना न करके समालोचना होनी चाहिए। किन्तु भारत में हम दिखावे के लिए हिन्दु समाज और सरकार की नीतियों की आलोचना करते हैं?

  15. Some of the comments supporting BJP and Modi particularly are off very low week arguments.

    Imputing motives to the arguments are wrong. You can’t do any civil discussion and debate , if each one of us start doing that. Argument should be debated with logic and defeated on basis of reason and logic not name calling.
    BJP has a problem with their ideology which refuses to expect corrections and criticism. Any one say any thing , they anti Indian.
    India is a great country with diversed ideas , thoughts , world-views, food, clothes, laugage and many other. But RSS wants only one form which won’t survive.

  16. Any honest corporate/ citizen had ever had any problem in constructive criticism. I don’t think i have ever seen any politician who has been decried/ abused/criticised as much as PM in last decade. The criticisms on policies rather than personal, with some constructive ideas for improvement is what government looks at. In fact it has to ne that way irresepective of which party happens to ne at helm. Be responsible citizens and corporate and country would prosper for sure.

    • I have see a politicians who was abused criticized more than pm,it is rahul gandhi,manmohan singh….the way bjp it cell worked to find faults with everything rahul or manmohan singh did and how they editied out rahul’s videos to make him seem dumb and call him pappu and the way bikau media woarked day in and out to reinforce this while bringing forth a megalomaniac image of pm is what people have noticed already and please stop bluffing still…you please be responsible first of all to accept the truth instead of being defensive

  17. Biggest hypocritical narrative from Bajaj, sign of his intellect n honesty rotting! Modi is d MOST abused PM across d globe for just one fault of his ..him being a truly indian, non English speaking background grassroot Mass leader to over shadow Nehru KhanDan. If Bajaj doesn’t have d IQ to know that every tom dick n Harry has abused Modi on every social media n platforms purely out of jealousy or fear of him closing down on every corrupt & anti national system established over decades…then he shld get his facts double checked. It’s shameless of Bajaj to even blurt what Gandhi’s have been wanting to INSTALL since 2002. Utterly shameless lie.

    • Lol,bhakt still defensive….will never have the nerve to accept faults but just attack anyone who questions….modi was the most abused,lol….the ay bjp made fun of rahul gandhi fearing his lies,the it cell propaganda and it editing his videos out and calling him pappu…on the other hand modi was given daily harathis by majority if media,except one or two channels and still you people try to bluff people and attack someone who raises a voice….shameless is you people who are so brainwashed

    • Ha, Ha. Thanks, but you must follow my comments more closely. Every coin has two sides, and a spade is a spade, whether it is Modi’s, Sonia’s or Shiv Sena’s. All said in National Interest.

    • Kudos to Bajaj
      What kudos. The guy prospered under license raj. 14 years to get a tini mini 120cc scooter. Is that a joke? Thats what Nehru and Co. did to the country. This bajaj guy is still making good money but he is afraid. I think the only thing he is now afraid of is how to compete in a free market.

  18. I can only say Mr. Bajaj has conviction and courage to express what he feels about the state of the economy. Trust Mr. Shah, Ms. Seetharaman and Mr.Goyal will have a positive response to it not only in words but in sportive spirit as well.

  19. Bjp is self centered party every thing not good They are using income tax dept cbi and Ed.to scare business community. This is not good

  20. That was protection money…. Skeletons will stumble out very soon… People of this country will soon come out of the communal sedition to understand actual misdeeds of Modi and company. These Industrialists payed protection money to BJP funds against ED, IT and CBI… and officers of ED & IT are drooling in never experienced power which till date IAS enjoyed.

  21. it is all ok. but why pay enormous sums of money to bjp through bonds. corporate india also is responsible for the loot and slow down. Ambani wealth grows by 6 lakh crores , i mean reliance, but gdp comes down to around 5 percent. Model. corporate India , at the most, have been spineless co-travelers of hate, bigotry, and mismanagement and political harakiri.

  22. Rahul Bajaj is being very hypocritical and extremely selective about ground realities. Why did he not feel fear when thousands of Sikhs were slaughtered? Why did he not speak out when fanatical Muslim mobs ransacked Mumbai and desecrated the Martyr’s Memorial? Why did this man not feel fear when half a million Kashmiri Pandits were forced out of their homeland at gunpoint, many of them executed by Jihadis and their womenfolk humiliated? Why does he not feel fear when scores of Islamic enclaves are sprouting all over Bengal, from where the majority is driven out?. Does he have the guts to answer these questions? WHY IS THE PRINT IS SO BLATANTLY PROMOTING A MANUFACTURED NARRATIVE?

    • Because stupid person everyone that time condemn the act and stood against the wrong including the government and took strict action against them…aur jab tum jaise aur tumhare baap modi shah jaise hypocrites kam paaye jaate the….hamesha chalu hogaye what aboutery game lekar.

    • Mr Chokidar Antithesis have any record of his comments at that time .He is a true nationalist if you have guts come with your original Identity & oppose this freedom fighter or keep up ass licking these Thug chokidar chors

    • Exactly this kind of reaction is what keeps people away from speaking against the Government. You have actually proved that Rahul Bajaj was absolutely right. Did he say anything offending against the Government to deserve this malignant response? He simply said that people don’t have the confidence to speak against the Government. But you are ready to tear him and drink his blood. Probably Amit Shah has already given instructions to his troll army to suitably treat Rahul Bajaj so that he doesn’t dare to say such a thing again to the Almighty Amit Shah.

  23. INDIA , AS OF TODAY, SEEMS TO HAVE BECOME A PRINCIPALITY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF NOT-SO-ERUDITE CHIEFTAINS. KUDOS TO RAHUL BAJAJ FOR HIS CANDOUR AND FORTHRIGHTNESS. IT IS TIME MORE JOURNALISTS, TV ANCHORS AND INDUSTRIALISTS HOLD A MIRROR TO THE PRESENT STATE OF AFFAIRS INSTEAD OF COILING AROUND THEMSELVES NOT EVEN SEEN DURING EMERGENCY . ALAS, WE NO LONGER SEEM TO HAVE JOURNALISTS OF THE CALIBRE AND GUMPTION OF EITHER VK NARASIMHAN OR KULDEEP NAYAR

    • When the emergency was lifted , George Fernandez openly called JRD Tata a RAT for lacking the guts to criticize Indira Gandhi. Nobody dared defend Tata, when the news was front paged by the TOI.

  24. I wonder how India fell into the hands of such undemocratic, rather fascist elements..Congress has to take much of the blame for taking people for granted…so much so that people were lured into putting fascists in power

  25. Salute Rahul Bajaj. Hopefully your words will lead to introspection in BJP’s top leadership. Democracy without freedom of speech is a farce. Insecure leaders can only add to the damage done to the institutions over the years.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here