Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella created ripples on Monday with his comments regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) stating that he is saddened by what is happening.
"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," Satya Nadella stated at a Microsoft event in the US.
"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 benefiting Indian society and the economy at large," Nadella later stated in a tweet that was shared by Microsoft.
The Microsoft boss’ tweet was also retweeted by Indian-origin Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who said “Thank you @satyanadella for speaking out & raising your voice about the #CAA. You expressed beautifully what I, too, feel. We are both shaped by our Indian heritage, growing up in multicultural India & our immigrant experiences in US.”
Nadella's response on CAA was to a question by BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, who on Tuesday proceeded to release the entire transcript on "popular demand" after being flooded by comments on Twitter. In the complete answer Nadella spoke about India's inherent multiculturalism, the need to create equal opportunities for all, and the importance of debate in a "messy democracy". He concluded his response by saying that he was "definitely clear on what we (Indians) stand for and what I stand for".
A group of over 150 Indian-origin IT professionals from companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook had earlier written an open letter against the CAA and a possible nationwide National Register of Citizens on online publishing platform Medium, urging business leaders such as Nadella, Alphabet Inc CEO Sundar Pichai and Reliance Industries Limited head Mukesh Ambani to "publicly denounce" the central government's actions.
Meanwhile, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Monday called for unity in opposing the Act. The comment came after several prominent Indian political parties skipped a meeting of the opposition to discuss the CAA, the National Register of Citizens and the protests by students happening in several parts of the country.
"For any kind of protest, opposition unity is important. Then protests become easier. Unity is important if the protest is for a proper cause," Amartya Sen, 86, told journalists.
A few days ago, Sen, who has been critical of the Narendra Modi-led Union government, said the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act should be scrapped.
On Tuesday, the Kerala government put in a plea in the Supreme Court, filed under Article 131 of the Indian Constitution on disputes between Centre and states, stating that the CAA violates the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution of India, right to life under Article 21 and freedom to practice religion under Article 25.
Chief Ministers of Indian states such as Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Amarinder Singh in Punjab and even BJP ally Nitish Kumar in Bihar have spoken out against implementing the legislation in their respective states.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had, however, reiterated that it was the “constitutional duty of the States to implement laws passed by Parliament”.