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Microsoft CEO: Would love to see Bangladeshi immigrant create next unicorn in India

  • Published at 02:34 pm January 14th, 2020
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp.
FILE PHOTO: Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks to attendees during the launch event of the Galaxy Note 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., August 7, 2019 Reuters

He made the statement while speaking at a Microsoft event in Manhattan

Terming India's situation over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) "just bad," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant create the next unicorn start-up company or become a CEO in India.

He made the statement while speaking at a Microsoft event in Manhattan on Monday, BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith stated in his Twitter post.

"I think what is happening is sad. ... It’s just bad," he told reporters, adding that: "And even a story like mine being possible in a country like this — 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 [chief executive officer] 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."

In a statement issued shortly after by Microsoft India, Nadella 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."

Nadella's comments came right in the middle of widespread demonstrations that rocked the Hindu-majority nation since the law was approved by the parliament last month.

The Citizenship Amendment Act - approved by the parliament on December 11 last year and signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 13 - provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticized for excluding Muslims.

At least 27 people, mostly Muslims, have been killed, with police accused of using disproportionate force in several states. The protests began at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, then spread to other prominent colleges and to the streets.