Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella calls India’s “communal”citizenship law ‘sad’

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Nadella on Monday said he was saddened by “what is happening”, amid protests in India over the new Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

His comments come amid ongoing, sometimes violent, protests against the law.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been criticised as it is seen as discriminating against Muslims.

“I think what is happening is sad… It’s just bad…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,” Nadella told BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith at a Microsoft event for editors in New York.

Nadella who grew up in India’s Hyderabad city is now an American citizen.

Soon afterwards Microsoft India issued a statement quoting Mr Nadella where he reiterates his hope for “an India where an immigrant can aspire to found a prosperous start-up”.

But adds that “every country will and should define its borders, protect national security and set immigration policy accordingly.”

The CAA, which was implemented on 10 January, fast-tracks citizenship applications by non-Muslims from India’s neighbouring Muslim-majority nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Along with a proposed national register of citizens, critics termed as the law “communal” and “unconstitutional” as the CAA will discriminate against India’s Muslim minority population.

The legislation has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests. Huge demonstrations have been held in the capital Delhi, as well as in the major cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Protests in the cities of Mangalore, Kanpur and Muzzafarnagar saw violence and several deaths.

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