At a time when several questions have being raised about India’s prolonged lockdown, Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj said India has flattened the wrong curve, not coronavirus but GDP.
Bajaj, who had been expressing dissent against the prolonged strict lockdown in India, said, “I think unfortunately India not only looked West it went to the wild West, we stayed more towards the impervious side. We tried to implement a hard lockdown but it was still porous. We have ended up with the worst of both worlds.”
Bajaj criticised the fact that India followed the western countries like the US, Spain, and Italy instead of countries like Japan, who have managed to find a balance in the fight against coronavirus.
Speaking to senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Bajaj said, “On the one hand, the porous lockdown makes sure that the virus will still exist.”
“So, you have not solved that problem, but you have decimated the economy, you flattened the wrong curve. It is not the infection curve, it is the GDP curve.”
Watch: In conversation with Mr Rajiv Bajaj on the Covid19 crisis. https://t.co/wLwUpAwxDd
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 4, 2020
He also called the lockdown a “bitter-sweet” experience and it has favoured only those who can “afford” the economic difficulties caused by the prolonged lockdown.
“When you see what’s happening around you, it is certainly more bitter than sweet,” he said and added that India’s lockdown has been draconian in nature.
Bajaj also criticised the government for failing to disclose facts, logic, and truth. He added that it has triggered “enormous” fear in people and it would be difficult to change the mindset now.
“People still think infection means death, it is a herculean task to open up. To get this fear out of the mind of people there has to be a clear narrative from PM because when he says something people seem to follow,” Bajaj explained.
In an earlier interview to a news channel, Rajiv Bajaj had said India’s COVID-19 relief package lacked the “wow factor” in comparison to measures announced by western nations.
Bajaj also criticised the government for not helping people who have lost their jobs during the lockdown.
“Not just the migrants but even the others who have been displaced. I have read that 12 crore people have lost their jobs. That’s a huge number,” Bajaj said.
He also expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that big businesses have not spoken enough about the inadequacies of India’s relief package.
“I am not very happy about the fact that big businesses are not speaking up. They are not conveying their view, as we should in a free country about what we think is amiss and what needs to be done,” he said.
“Maybe they do not deserve a stimulus,” he added.