New York: Microsoft's Indian-origin CEO Satya Nadella has voiced concern over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying what is happening is "sad" and he would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant lead a multinational company in India that benefits its economy.
The Hyderabad-born Nadella, 52, also stressed that every country should protect national security and set immigration policy accordingly.
"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," Nadella said on Saturday.
"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," Nadella said.
He was speaking to editors at a Microsoft event here when he was asked by the New York-based news outlet BuzzFeed about his view on the CAA and if he has concerns about working with the Indian government in terms of how they were using data.
BuzzFeed posted Nadella's verbatim response to the question on Twitter.
Nadella described what is happening in India as "sad".
"I obviously grew up in India and I'm very proud of where I get my heritage, culturally in that place, and I grew up in a city, I always felt it was a great place to grow up, we celebrated Christmas, Diwali.
"I think what is happening is sad, primarily as sort of someone who grew up there, I feel, and in fact quite frankly, now being informed, shaped by the two amazing American things that I've observed which is both, it's technology reaching me where I was growing up and its immigration policy and even a story like mine being possible in a country like this," Nadella said.
"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 said in response to a question.
According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 following religious persecution there will get Indian citizenship.
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.
There have been widespread protests against the Act in different parts of the country. In UP, at least 19 persons have been killed in anti-CAA protests.
BJP Reacts, Says ‘Literates Need to Be Educated’
Taking on Microsoft's Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella over his remarks on CA, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament Meenakashi Lekhi on Tuesday said it was the "perfect example" of how the literate need to be educated.
Responding to a question by BuzzFeed on the CAA, Nadella was quoted as saying that what is
"How literate need to be educated! Perfect example," Lekhi said on Twitter in response, and also posted Nadella's statement issued by Microsoft India.
"Precise reason for CAA is to grant opportunities to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan & Afghanistan. How about granting these opportunities to Syrian Muslims instead of Yezidis in USA?" she went on to say.