Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shares concerns over CAA

Hemani Sheth | Updated on January 14, 2020 Published on January 14, 2020

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella.   -  Reuters

Garners mixed response from Twitterati

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed his concerns over the new Citizenship Amendment Act at a meeting held with news editors for a Microsoft event in Manhattan on Monday.

Buzzfeed News’ editor-in-chief Ben Smith shared Nadella’s criticism of the Act on Twitter.

“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,” tweeted Ben Smith (@BuzzfeedBen)

Post furious debates on Twitter and many asking Smith to share the conversation verbatim to avoid miscommunication, Smith sent out a transcript with the exact conversation between him and Nadella.

The statement was ill-received by some Twitterati with #SatyaNadella and #Microsoft trending within hours of the tweet. Following a lot of negative responses, Nadella sent out an official statement through Microsoft’s social media handles to clarify his stance.

The statement shared by Microsoft India’s official Twitter account read, “Every country will and should define its borders, protects its 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 its economy at large.”

The incident while criticised by many led to many noted names in the industry lauding Nadella for his stance on the issue.

“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,” said journalist Sadanand Dhume (@dhume)

“Sameer Hashmi (@sameerhashmi) tweeted, “‘I think what is happening is sad’ - #MicrosoftCEO -@satyanadella expresses his opinion about India’s new Citizenship Act. Will be interesting to see how the Indian government reacts. PM Modi has a huge NRI fan base in the United States.  #CAA#CAA_NRC_Protest#Nadella”

"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," noted historian Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) tweeted. Guha had been detained by the police while protesting against the Act in Bengaluru last month.

Citizens across the country have been protesting against the law many dubbing it ‘unconstitutional’ and ’anti-Muslim’.

The Citizenship Amendment Act came into effect on January 10, 2020, as directed by the Centre in a Gazette notification.

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Published on January 14, 2020
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