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World

Web Desk
January 14, 2020

Microsoft chief slams India's controversial citizenship law

World

Web Desk
Tue, Jan 14, 2020
'I think what is happening is sad, primarily as sort of someone who grew up there... I think it's just bad,' said Nadella. Photo: REUTERS

Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said Tuesday he was saddened by India's recent law that makes citizenship conditional on religion.

According to a report published on news website BuzzFeed, Nadella — who grew up in the Indian state of Hyderabad — said he thought what was happening in the Hindu-majority country was bad.

"I think what is happening is sad, primarily as sort of someone who grew up there... I think it's just bad," Nadella, who was also educated in the tech hub of Hyderabad, told BuzzFeed at a Microsoft event in Manhattan.

India has been rocked by protests since the parliament passed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which eases the path for non-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries to gain citizenship.

If combined with a proposed national register of citizens, critics of the CAA fear it will discriminate against the Muslim minority in India and chip away at the secular constitution, reported news agency Reuters.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The company's India Twitter handle put out a statement quoting Nadella as saying he was shaped by "growing up in a multicultural India" and his "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 and Microsoft were among the top trending topics on Twitter in India. On Wednesday, Hindustan Times quoted a official of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responding to the Microsoft CEO's comments.

"How literate need to be educated ! Perfect example. Precise reason for CAA is to grant opportunities to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan & Afghanistan," the official said in response to Nadella.

—With additional input from Reuters