NEW DELHI: Industrialist Rajiv Bajaj on Thursday said that a badly managed hard lockdown has “flattened the wrong curve”, the economy, as he questioned the decisions to manage the corona pandemic and urged the PM to build confidence among people to retrieve the situation post-lockdown. He also appeared to question the government’s decision to provide limited direct cash support to people and organisations.In a video interaction with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Bajaj also revealed he was warned of trouble if he did the proposed interview, as he underlined that people were increasingly nervous about expressing opinions.
“We have ended up with the worst of both worlds. On one hand, a porous lockdown makes sure that the virus will still exist and it is still waiting to hit you when you will unlock. But you have definitely decimated the economy. You flattened the wrong curve. It is not the infection curve, it is the GDP curve,” Bajaj said.
He also argued that a hard lockdown has created a fear among people that corona infection was fatal. He said the mindset thus created is proving a big hurdle in restoring normalcy.
“The first problem is to get this fear out of the minds of the people, there has to be a very clear aligned narrative, I would say from the PM because, right or wrong, when he says something, people seem to follow,” he added.
When Rahul said that the Centre had finally agreed to leave decision-making on restrictions to states which he said should have been done right at the start, Bajaj remarked, “To our perception as a common citizen, it is happening as passing of the buck and not passing of the strategy.”