Microsoft’s Satya Nadella criticized Citizenship Amendment Act as ‘sad’

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Satya Nadella criticizes India's CAA. Source: AP
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Daily US Times, New York: Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella described India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as ‘sad’.

He made his comments about the issue, which currently creates lots of tensions in India at a Microsoft event for editors in New York.

The India-born CEO said he ”would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant succeed in the country’s technology industry.”

“I think what is happening is sad, primarily as sort of someone who grew up there… I think it’s just bad.”

Buzzfeed reported quoting Nadella of saying, “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.”

Mr. Nadella grew up in Hyderabad, the capital of southern India’s Telangana state, but now a US citizen.

After Nadella’s comment in New York, Microsoft India issued a statement where the CEO expresses his hope for “an India where an immigrant can aspire to found a prosperous start-up.”

He also said countries should define their borders, set immigration policies accordingly, and protect national security.

The CAA raised lots of criticism and tensions not only across India but also from the outside world.

The act allows non-Muslims from India’s neighboring Muslim-majority nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh to grant citizenship.

It was implemented on 10 January.

Critics say the law will discriminate against India’s Muslim minority population.

Protests against the act met violence, police brutality, and death. Major cities of India like Mumbai, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Bangalore, and Hyderabad has seen the protest.

What is the controversy about the law?

The law named as Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from India’s neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. As the law gives citizenship to the follower of other major religion except for Islam, critics fear it undermines India’s secular constitution.

India’s govt. is trying to convince people that only persecuted people, who have no other place than India to go will be granted India’s citizenship. But BJP govt’s this move has drawn criticism from opposition parties and international rights groups. BJP has the majority in both of the houses in the Indian parliament.

It is also controversial because it follows a government plan to publish a nationwide register of citizens that it says will identify illegal immigrants – namely, anyone who doesn’t have the documents to prove that their ancestors lived in India.

The law is also controversial because it follows a government plan to publish a nationwide list of citizens, those who don’t have the documents to prove that their ancestors lived in India will be identified as illegal immigrants.

A National Register of Citizens (NRC) only published in the north-eastern state of Assam and it created a huge mess their. The list made 1.9 million people effectively stateless. Many people are taken to detention camp.

The NRC and CAA are closely linked, but only the later will protect non-Muslims who are excluded from the register and face the threat of deportation or internment.

Why are people protesting against it?

The law has sparked a huge backlash among students from different university, teachers, intellectuals and general people.

The protestors main argument is this law is against India’s secular constitution. Many Muslims fear that they could be made stateless if they don’t have the necessary documents.

Indian PM and Home Minister said the law ‘no effect on citizens of India, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Christians and Buddhists’.