Microsoft's Indian-origin CEO Satya Nadella on Monday voiced concern over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying what is happening is "sad" and he would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant create the next unicorn in India.
His comments came while speaking to editors at a Microsoft event in Manhattan where he was asked about the contentious issue of CAA which grants citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
"I think what is happening is sad... It's just bad.... I would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant who comes to India and creates the next unicorn in India or becomes the next CEO of Infosys," Nadella was quoted as saying by Ben Smith, the Editor-in-Chief of New York-based BuzzFeed News.
Asked Microsoft CEO @satyanadella about India's new Citizenship Act. "I think what is happening is sad... It's just bad.... I would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant who comes to India and creates the next unicorn in India or becomes the next CEO of Infosys" cc @PranavDixit— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) January 13, 2020
By popular demand, here's the verbate pic.twitter.com/I8YcMDJsf8— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) January 13, 2020
In a statement issued by Microsoft India, Nadella said: "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 a multicultural India and my immigrant experience in the United States. 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".
There have been differing reactions to Nadella's statement.
Ramachandra Guha said that he was glad at what Nadella has 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. https://t.co/KsKbDUtMQk— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) January 13, 2020
On the other hand, TV Mohandas Pai said Nadella is very confused in his statement and asked him to not make comments that malign India.
Yes, he is very confused in his statement.Must be the Indian leftist academics in the US who have confused him by misinformation., @satyanadella Pl study the CAA before you comment!We respect you as @Microsoft CEO and you must not make comments to malign India! @narendramodi https://t.co/4WWxmxZkcT— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) January 13, 2020
Meanwhile, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi made this out to be a perfect example on why the literate need to be educated.
How literate need to be educated ! Perfect example. Precise reason for CAA is to grant opportunities to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan & Afghanistan.— Meenakashi Lekhi (@M_Lekhi) January 14, 2020
How about granting these opportunities to Syrian Muslims instead of Yezidis in USA ? pic.twitter.com/eTm0EQ1O25
The Centre last week issued a gazette notification announcing that the CAA has come into effect from January 10, 2020.
The CAA was passed by Parliament on December 11.
According to the legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
There have been widespread protests against the Act in different parts of the country since the law excludes Muslims and protesters also argue that for the first time, citizenship is being defined by religion.
Across India, more than 20 persons have been killed in anti-CAA protests.