Industrialist Adi Godrej on Saturday warned that rising intolerance, hate crimes and moral policing can “seriously damage” and hamper India’s economic growth, PTI reported. He made the remarks during the 150th anniversary celebrations of St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, his alma mater.
“It’s not all a rosy picture now,” PTI quoted the head of Godrej Group as saying. “One must not lose sight of the massive impoverishness plaguing our nation which can seriously damage the pace of growth going forward and prevent us from realising our potential.”
The industrialist said economic growth would be affected if “rising intolerance, social instability, hate-crimes, violence against women, moral policing, caste and religion based violence and many other sorts of intolerance that are rampant across the country” were not contained to ensure social harmony.
He also highlighted that unemployment in the country was at a four-decade high of 6.1%, and called on the government to tackle it at the earliest. However, he also congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for presenting a “grand vision” to build a new India and his new goal to take the Indian economy to $5 trillion. He also lauded the prime minister’s vision to create a new India where “we don’t live in fear and suspicion and can trust the political leadership for being accountable”.
He spoke about the severe water crisis that has gripped the country and said many matters must be fixed at a fundamental level or else the country cannot achieve its full growth potential. Godrej noted that on the ground things take time to change when it comes to accountability, but simultaneously exuded confidence that the measures initiated will lead to significant changes in the future.
His comments came at a time when incidents of people being assaulted for refusing to chant “Jai Shri Ram” have been reported from Jharkhand, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. In the most recent instance, a group of men allegedly attacked madrasa students in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh for not chanting “Jai Shri Ram”.
On June 18, a 24-year Muslim man was assaulted by a mob and forced to say “Jai Shri Ram” in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharsawan district. He died four days later.