Nadella hopes a Bangladeshi starts the next billion dollar company in India

Brajesh Upadhyay, Washington
Published : 10:57, Jan 14, 2020 | Updated : 16:37, Jan 14, 2020

FILE PHOTO: Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Nadella addresses the media during an event in New Delhi Sept 30, 2014. REUTERSMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella has criticised India’s new citizenship law calling it “sad”, and expressed hope that a Bangladeshi immigrant creates the next unicorn in India or becomes the next CEO of Infosys.
The tech czar weighed in on the controversial law at a meeting with editors in New York and it was first reported by Buzzfeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on Twitter.
“I think what is happening is sad. ... It’s just bad,” said Nadella.
“I think, 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,” he added.
Later, Nadella also issued a statement through Microsoft India’s official Twitter account.
He said: "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 benefitting Indian society and the economy at large."
Indian historian Ramachandra Guha, who has been a vocal critic of the government’s move, was quick to react to Nadella’s statement.
“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,” Guha wrote on Twitter.
Nadella’s statement follows an open letter written earlier by a group of over 150 Indian-origin professionals employed with tech giants such as Google, Uber, Amazon and Facebook against the Citizenship Amendment Act and a possible nationwide National Register of Citizens.
The statement comes amid widespread protests against the law that is considered by many as discriminatory against Muslims.
The law fast-tracks Indian citizenship for religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before Dec 31, 2014. Muslims coming from these countries do not get the same benefit under the new law.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the new law was "for those who have faced years of persecution outside and have no place to go except India".