Industrialist Rahul Bajaj questions Amit Shah on intolerance, lynchings in India

Marco Green
December 2, 2019

The audience included Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, among others.

"[Mohan] Bhagwat says that lynching is a foreign word - that lynching used to take place in the West".

The video went viral on social media with #Rahul Bajaj trending on Twitter.

After industrialist Rahul Bajaj's remarks against the Modi government, his son and Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj has called his father Rahul "uncommonly courageous" but said nobody (from the industry) wants to join him and that they "conveniently cheer from the sidelines". The Home Minister denied allegations there was an atmosphere of fear in the country.

At The Economic Times' ET Awards event in Mumbai on Saturday evening, Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Group, had told Sitharaman, Home Minister Amit Shah and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on dias that people are afraid of criticising the BJP government's policies and added that no one in the business community would speak about this issue.

Critics say Narendra Modi's administration poses a threat to India's traditions of tolerance and public debate.

"No need to fear about anything", Amit Shah responded. "But, if you are saying that there is such an environment, we need to work to improve this".

The 81-year-old industrialist also questioned the government over giving BJP MP Pragya Thakur a ticket and her subsequent remarks about Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse being a patriot. "Though personally, I'm not sure of the relevance of raising such a sensitive and subjective issue at a public function to celebrate corporate excellence", he said, the daily reported. "Always a better way to seek an answer than spreading one's own impressions which, on gaining traction, can hurt national interest", Sitharaman's tweet, which also had a video of a conversation between Shah and Bajaj embedded, reads. "Wear your political affiliation on your sleeve and don't hide behind inanities like there is an atmosphere (sic) of fear and all that". "You (the government) are doing good work, but despite that we don't have the confidence that you will appreciate if we criticise you openly", Bajaj said.

After the series of tweet directed towards the businessman, Sanjukta Basu, a writer-photographer in a tweet lashed out troll army. Defending the Narendra Modi-led Centre further, the Home Minister stated that the government has run in the most transparent way, and we have no fear of any kind of opposition, and if anyone does criticise, we will look at the "merit of the same" and make efforts to improve ourselves. Within minutes this unsafe IT cell has dug out some random 30 seconds to pull him down, troll him.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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