Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Monday said the prevailing situation in the country "is sad".
Amid the furore over the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Monday said the prevailing situation in the country was sad.
"I think what is happening is sad... I think it’s just bad. If anything I would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant who comes to India and creates the next unicorn in India, or becomes the CEO of Infosys, that should be the aspiration. If I had to sort of mirror what happened to me in the US, I hope that’s what happens in India," Nadella told Buzzfeed.
Following Nadella’s remarks, Microsoft put out a statement attributed to the CEO: “Every country will and should define its borders, protect national security and set immigration policy accordingly. And in democracies, that is something that the people and their governments will debate and define within those bounds.
"I’m shaped by my Indian heritage, growing up in multicultural India and my immigrant experience in the US. My hope is for an India where an immigrant can aspire to found a prosperous start-up or lead a multinational corporation benefitting Indian society and the economy at large."
Nadella was speaking to editors at a Microsoft event in Manhattan.
Reacting to Nadella’s statement, historian Ramachandra Guha said, "I am glad Satya Nadella has said what he has. I wish that one of our own IT czars had the courage and wisdom to say this first. Or to say it even now."
Meanwhile, author and columnist Sadanand Dhume said, "I’m somewhat surprised that Satya Nadella touched this issue, but not at all surprised that he disapproves of India’s citizenship law. A successful firm like Microsoft is built on the principle of treating all people equally regardless of their faith."
The citizenship law, which came into effect from January 10, aims to make Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship in India.
At least 26 people have been killed in the wake of the ongoing protests against the Act. Uttar Pradesh has been the worst affected. At least 19 protesters have lost their lives during violence across the state. Following damage to public property in the anti-CAA protests, the Uttar Pradesh government has slapped notices on 372 people (out of 478 identified) to recover damages.
The impact of nationwide protests against the Act has begun to show up on corporate numbers — from automobiles to restaurants and even watches.
Titan Company Ltd, India’s largest watchmaker that controls nearly half the country’s Rs 8,000 crore watch market, disclosed in a regulatory filing that sales “in all divisions” in the second half of December were “impacted to some extent due to forced store closures due to the protests in the North East and in many other parts of the country”.