Published: 21st September 2021
Criticise India but not at the cost of national dignity: Gautam Adani
The Gujarat business doyen said that India's efficiency in handling the COVID-19 pandemic can definitely be criticised but only to a certain extent
It is okay to criticise India but only to the extent that it does not harm the dignity of the nation, said industrialist and Indian billionaire Gautam Adani as he received the Priyadarshni Academy Ramkrishna Bajaj Memorial Global Award for Outstanding Contribution to Industry, Commerce and Infrastructure Development recently. Award winners also included Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Shershah star Kiara Advani.
Adani said that it is time for India to resurge as a greater nation and that this kind of 'divisive' criticism might hamper that growth. "The pandemic has been a wake-up call for every nation and has permanently changed geopolitics. As India recovers from the crisis, we should recognise that the changing times, mean drawing from the principles of our heritage and books like Kautilya's Arthashastra. A greater India must be an India that is visibly more Aatmanirbhar, muscular and much more inclusive. This is not about politics but about the emerging world order. This is the opportunity for us to celebrate our Indianness," he said.
The Gujarat business doyen said that India's efficiency in handling the COVID-19 pandemic can definitely be criticised but only to a certain extent. "We were largely left alone to fight the pandemic. This does not mean that there can't be any criticism. However, criticism cannot be at the cost of national dignity or at the cost of degrading or destroying the confidence of a nation. It cannot be about dividing society. Or else we play right into the hands of those who do not want to see a resurgent India," said Adani who won the award for being 'outstanding' at businesses.
This comes at a time when farmers and social activists have been protesting against the business tycoon for months. From apple price crashes to renaming airports, Adani has also been in the news.
Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and MP Suresh Prabhu were the Chief Guest and Guests of Honour respectively like the past few years. All three politicians have been closely connected to the academy for decades.
Opening the ceremony, Gadkari said that people who do good work are not respected and those who do bad things are not punished, that's what's wrong with the Indian society. He was reminiscing a conversation with a journalist.
Here's a list of all the awards that were given out:
Harbinger of Peace, Priyadarshni Academy Global Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Welfare and Spirituality to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, The Art of Living, Bengaluru, India
Priyadarshni Academy Ramkrishna Bajaj Memorial Global Award for Outstanding Contribution to Industry, Commerce and Infrastructure Development to Gautam Adani, Founder and Chairman, Adani Group, Ahmedabad, India
Priyadarshni Academy Smita Patil Memorial Award for Best Actor to Kiara Advani, Actor, India
Priyadarshni Academy Pralhad P. Chhabria Memorial Global Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism and Freedom of Press to Sang-Hoon Bang, President & CEO, The Chosunilbo, South Korea
Priyadarshni Academy Global Award for Outstanding Contribution to National Economic Recovery to Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Republic of Indonesia
Priyadarshni Academy Harish Mahindra Memorial Global Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Economic Growth and Tackling Climate Change to Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, The London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Priyadarshni Academy Global Award for Outstanding Contribution to Promoting Women's Welfare, Rights and Gender Equality to Baroness Sandip Verma, Chair, UN Women UK; Member of House of Lords, United Kingdom