Our Children Deserve a Hate-Free Society: Rajiv Bajaj on TV Ad Row
Bajaj Auto does not endorse hate mongering in society, Rajiv Bajaj said.
Speaking to Gulf News, after Bajaj auto withdrew advertisements from three “news channels” over allegations against them of indulging in “toxic hate mongering”, managing director Rajiv Bajaj said:
”MS Dhoni is a close friend and I was incredibly hurt when someone gave a rape threat to his five-year-old baby girl, who is part of my family. I said enough of this toxic hate. Bajaj Auto does not endorse hate mongering in society and a strong brand is the foundation on which you build a business.”
Further, elaborating on his reason to pull out of those channels, Bajaj said that a friend of his “told me when I was upset about Dhoni’s daughter and the way Amitabh Bachchan was wished death on social media when he was suffering from COVID-19 that you can do something about this. Stop funding this hate.”
“To me, it is a wise decision because my child, my brother’s children, can’t inherit an India and a society where such hate festers. It was a simple choice and I made it.”Rajiv Bajaj
Further, Bajaj went on to talk to Gulf News about how his mother had told him to always listen to his conscience.
Recalling an incident from his childhood, in which workers in his father’s industrial plant were agitating, he said:
“A lady called Heera Bai used to look after me and my brother. I saw her son, who worked in the plant, also agitating. Heera Bai was almost like a mother to me. When I saw her son I was confused – had my father done something wrong? My mother understood and said there is still a small voice you should always listen to and that is called your conscience. If in life you wonder what to do, just listen to it. I have always been guided by this.”
Bajaj further informed Gulf News that he had never been in any great trouble for speaking his mind.
On being asked about being the only industrialist who had criticised demonetisation, Bajaj said that he lost his father-in-law around the same time, and wanted to gift some cash to the nursing staff who had looked after his father in law at the hospital, but he didn’t have enough cash to do so.
“I thought if we are having so much trouble, imagine how less fortunate people must be suffering.”
When Gulf News asked him about entering politics, he said that he would end up with “constipation” if he ever becomes a politician, but also reportedly added “never say never”.
On Thursday, 8 October, Bajaj had told CNBC TV18 that his company had “blacklisted three channels” for advertisements, as Bajaj Auto does not want to endorse “toxicity”.
Bajaj added, as per Livemint: “A strong brand is a foundation on which you build a strong business. At the end of the day, the purpose of a strong business is to also contribute to society. Our brand has never associated with anything we feel is a source of toxicity in the society.”
Other brands, including Parle, soon followed suit.
A media buyer told Livemint that the advertising companies have been receiving inquiries from clients since the TRP issue came to the fore.
(With inputs from Gulf News, Livemint)
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