A known pessimist and a product of the Congress license raj era, Rajiv Bajaj has once again crawled out of his burrow to target the Indian government. After failing in his doomsday predictions of an economic downturn and overall destruction after the COVID-induced lockdown, Rajiv Bajaj has changed the target and fixed his guns on the Indian vaccine program. The Bajaj MD whilst talking to NDTV’s Sreenivas Jain enunciated some high-quality gibberish but ended up making a fool of himself.
During the interview, Rajiv Bajaj belittled India’s vaccine program and said that he will not be taking the vaccine. “Between being for or against the vaccine, I believe that there is a middle path where you ask yourself, do the risks outweigh the benefits? For someone like me, I believe they do,” he said.
#NDTVExclusive | “Adar Poonawalla is a friend and I admire him for what he is doing.. but between being for or against the vaccine, a middle path – do the risks outweigh the benefits? For someone like me, I believe they do,” says Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto#ExecutiveDecision pic.twitter.com/Kq4EYf8cq4
— NDTV (@ndtv) February 5, 2021
The netizens had a field day, targeting Rajiv Bajaj for his paradoxical statements. While in one breath Rajiv said that he was not an anti-vaxxer but in the same statement he said that because the vaccine had a 1 per cent chance of inducing mild adverse effects, he would not take the vaccine.
Some Twitter users called out Rajiv and said that riding Bajaj motorcycles carried much greater risk and yet people rode them. So going by Rajiv’s logic, they should give up on his company.
What are the risks involved in driving a Bajaj two wheeler? Statistics say it’s very very high. Is it true? https://t.co/DkCuneOOue
— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) February 6, 2021
Rajiv Bajaj, the epidemiologist did not stop here and called out the government for announcing the nationwide lockdown too soon. “There was no need for the government to completely lock up such a young and relatively healthy country. They should’ve adopted a more calibrated and customised approach,” he said.
#NDTVExclusive | “There was no need for the government to completely lock up such a young and relatively healthy country. They should’ve adopted a more calibrated and customised approach,” says Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto to NDTV's Sreenivasan Jain on #ExecutiveDecision pic.twitter.com/oUdtAnNEct
— NDTV (@ndtv) February 5, 2021
Last year, this hakeem Rajiv Bajaj was saying that herd immunity can be achieved by vaccine or naturally.
He tried natural way and ended up getting 300+ workers at his plant infected.
He tried homeopathy as well and that didnt work
— Aditya Tiwari (@adt007ad) February 6, 2021
However, Rajiv Bajaj forgot to acknowledge the fact that it was the early lockdown that helped the Indian government prepare better and keep the cases in check which has eventually helped in flattening the curve. There’s a reason why we haven’t seen the second wave in the country unlike developing nations such as the USA and the UK where the cases and death rate is still on the higher side, despite vaccination drives.
Reported by TFI, Rajiv Bajaj has a knack for peddling such contentious statements. During one of his infamous sit-in interviews with Congress party prince Rahul Gandhi, the Bajaj MD called the lockdown imposed in India to control the pandemic as a “draconian” and a measure which ended up damaging the economy. According to Bajaj, the coronavirus lockdown had flattened the wrong curve, that is GDP, and hadn’t really been successful in containing the virus.
Painting a very pessimistic view over the future of the automobile industry, he had further said that the cost of vehicles had increased due to various regulations, and therefore, the demand for the festive season would not be sustained. On the day he painted this view, the shares of automobile companies fell by around 6 per cent.
However, a few weeks after his statement, the domestic sale of Bajaj registered 11 per cent growth to 2,68,631 units while exports grew by 29 per cent to 2,01, 659 units. “Pulsar brand recorded sales of over 170,000 units. Highest ever,” Bajaj Motors had said in a statement back then.
Fast forward to the end of 2020 and Bajaj Auto became the first two-wheeler company in the world to cross a market capitalisation of ₹1 lakh crore. If the economy was doing so bad, as Rajiv Bajaj suggested, then those numbers released by him must have been fudged, or otherwise, there appears no rational explanation to it.
The truth is that the entire Bajaj family detests the current Modi administration and wants to go back to the good-old ‘crony-capitalism’ days of the congress regime. The pessimism and misinformation regarding the vaccine is another attempt by Rajiv Bajaj to create an atmosphere of hysteria so that public opinion can be altered and the Modi government be branded a villain. However, the public sees right through Rajiv’s misplaced ideas and allegiances, and thus no one is really taking him or his statements seriously.