Rahul Bajaj: How much fear is there in ‘elevated picture of elevated India’

Rahul Bajaj: How much fear is there in ‘elevated picture of elevated India’

Industrialist Rahul Bajaj

‘People (industrialists) fear you (Modi government). When UPA-2 was in government, we could criticize anyone. But now we do not believe that if we criticize openly, you will like it.

Rahul Bajaj, one of the most prominent industrialists in India and head of the Bajaj Group, is in the news for saying this publicly in front of Home Minister Amit Shah.

Much is being written about 81-year-old Rahul Bajaj on social media. On the one hand there are those who are praising him and saying that an industrialist showed courage to speak against the government and has brought the reality in front of everyone.

On the other hand, there are those people who are considering his statement as politically motivated and calling Bajaj a ‘Congress-lover’.

Some videos of Rahul Bajaj are also being shared on social media, in which he describes Jawaharlal Nehru as his favorite Prime Minister and appears to praise former Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

But the supporters of the right-wing BJP government, based on these videos, are calling Rahul Bajaj a ‘sycophant’ of the Congress, forgetting that with the support of BJP, NCP and Shiv Sena, Rahul Bajaj as an independent in 2006 Rajya Sabha member was elected. Bajaj won his seat in Parliament by defeating Avinash Pandey by more than a hundred votes and Avinash Pandey was a Congress Party candidate.

At the time when Rahul Bajaj commented on the concerns and perceived fears of the industrialists about the country’s economic situation, Amit Shah said in his reply that ‘no one needs to be scared nor does anyone want to be scared’.

But the question is whether the supporters of the BJP have not lightened the talk of the Home Minister by making a ruckus on Rahul Bajaj’s critical remarks?

In response to this, senior journalist TK Arun said, “This has become a new trend. The sentiment behind the criticism is not being seen, only the uproar is being made against those voices. The comment that Bajaj has made is that This is important because someone said something right. Otherwise, they are not openly talking about the concerns that industrialists have been making in the closed-door meetings of CII for the past few times. “

TK Arun feels that this statement of Bajaj is not against any one party, but he has already made headlines by making such statements earlier.

Industrialist Rahul Bajaj with former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘fifth son’

Born in June 1938, Rahul Bajaj belongs to a family of a select few industrial houses in India, which had close ties with India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

His grandfather Jamnalal Bajaj founded the ‘Bajaj Company Group’ consisting of more than 20 companies in the 1920s. According to publicly available information, Jamnalal, who came from the Marwari community of Rajasthan, was adopted by a distant relative of his. This family lived in Wardha, Maharashtra, so Jamnalal ran and expanded his business from Wardha itself. Later he came in contact with Mahatma Gandhi and Jamnalal Bajaj also donated land for his ashram.

Jamnalal Bajaj had five children. Kamalnayan was his eldest son. After three sisters, Ram Krishna Bajaj was his younger son.

Rahul Bajaj is the elder son of Kamalnayan Bajaj and both sons of Rahul, Rajiv and Sanjeev, currently manage some of the big companies of Bajaj Group. Some other companies are handled by Rahul Bajaj’s younger brother and his cousin.

Those who know the Bajaj family closely, say that Jamnalal was also called the ‘fifth son’ of Mahatma Gandhi. For this reason, Nehru also respected Jamnalal.

The story of Gandhi family and Bajaj family

An anecdote is often told to explain the closeness between the Gandhi family and the Bajaj family.

It is a famous story that when Rahul Bajaj was born, Indira Gandhi reached the house of Congress leader Kamalnayan Bajaj (Rahul’s father) and complained to his wife that he had taken away one of his valuables. This was the name ‘Rahul’ which Jawaharlal Nehru liked very much and he thought it for Indira’s son. But Nehru gave this name to his son, Kamalnayan Bajaj, born in front of him. It is said that later Indira Gandhi named Rajiv Gandhi’s son Rahul for the same reason that his father loved this name.

However, in the 1920s, how his grandson, whose ‘freedom-fighter’ grandfather set fire to foreign clothes to adopt Khadi along with the whole family, became one of the most famous faces of capitalism in independent India! This story is also interesting.

Bajaj in ‘License Raj’

Like his father Kamalnayan Bajaj, Rahul Bajaj also studied from abroad.

After doing Economic Honors from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, Rahul Bajaj trained in Bajaj Electricals Company for almost three years. During this time, he also did a postgraduate degree from Bombay University.

Rahul Bajaj received his MBA degree from Harvard Business School in the US in the 60s.

After completing his studies, in 1968, at the age of 30, when Rahul Bajaj took over the post of CEO of ‘Bajaj Auto Limited’, it was said that he is the youngest Indian to achieve this position.

Recalling that era, economist Mohan Guruswamy says, “When Rahul Bajaj came into the hands of the company, there was a ‘License Raj’ in the country, ie such policies were in force in the country according to which industrialists cannot do anything without government’s consent. It was a difficult situation for the traders. The limits of production were fixed. The industrialists could not fulfill the demand as per the demand. Such stories in those times. It used to be that if someone booked the scooter, the delivery was delivered many years later. “

“That is, under the circumstances in which it was difficult for other manufacturers to work, Bajaj allegedly produced in an autocratic manner and succeeded in making himself one of the largest companies in the country.”

However, in all the big interviews that Rahul Bajaj has given in the last two decades, he has criticized the ‘License Raj’ as a wrong system.

They have been claiming that products like Bajaj Chetak (scooter) and then Bajaj Pulsar (motorcycle) have boosted their brand’s credibility in the market and that is why the company has grown from a turnover of 30 million in 1965 to a turnover of around 10,000 crore in 2008. Was able to reach.

Rahul Bajaj with his hands on the shoulder of industrialist Mukesh Ambani

Will the statement have any effect?

He also credits the achievements achieved by Rahul Bajaj in his life, to his wife Roopa Gholap.

In an interview given to senior journalist Karan Thapar in the year 2016, Rahul Bajaj had said that when Rupa and I got married in 1961, she was the first love-marriage among the entire Marwari-Rajasthani industrial houses of India. Rupa was a Brahmin from Maharashtra. His father was a civil servant and we had a business family, so it was difficult to reconcile the two families. But I respect Rupa very much because I got to learn a lot from him.

Rahul Bajaj has not only been a Rajya Sabha MP but has also been the President of Confederation of Indian Industry, CII, President of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Chairman of Indian Airlines and India’s third largest Has received the civilian honor ‘Padma Bhushan’.

Citing his same experience, senior journalist TK Arun says that Rahul Bajaj has a weight that cannot be sidelined.

He explains that “Rahul Bajaj also spoke openly against the industry reforms of 1992-94. He argued that this would shock the Indian industry and make competition difficult for domestic companies.”

Rahul Bajaj had raised the matter on behalf of Indian industrialists that before allowing foreign companies to open business in India, domestic companies should be provided equal facilities and the same environment so that foreign companies do not become a threat to Indian companies.

However, TK Arun says that at that time too few industrialists were speaking openly on the matter of not hating the government and this time too, Bajaj’s statement will only be able to dare to speak in the public.

Industrialist Rahul Bajaj with British Prince Charles

There were expectations from PM Modi!

In 2014, when Narendra Damodar Das Modi was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India, Rahul Bajaj said that he had high hopes from PM Modi because UPA-2 was a big failure and after which Modi will have a lot to do. .

But within five years, this thinking of Rahul Bajaj seems quite changed.

Economist Mohan Guruswamy gives his opinion on this. He says, “Indian industrialists are getting into the habit of arbitrarily doing business. Investing abroad with discounts in India has created a new pattern. People are not honest about paying back loans. Some laws have been tightened. They are being given the name of fear. While those who talk of fear are the ones who have formed this government by funding crores of rupees. BJP has told the Election Commission that the corporation Rated him as much funds in the election. But they never say is being threatened us for donations, because at that time they are people buying hopes to keep interrupting their ‘protection’ and the government. “

Says Guruswamy, “Industrialists have already exempted corporate tax from the government by basing the numbers of falling GDP and sluggishness in the economy. It may be that industrialists are currently basing the fears that Bajaj is referring to. But ask the government for any new concession. “

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