Satya Nadella, currently the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft has made news for his alleged comments on the Citizenship Amendment Act. Nadella was born in Hyderabad, and lived in India till graduation. Subsequently, he went to the United States for a masters programme in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin.
Later, he completed his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Satya Nadella is highly admired not only in his karmbhoomi United States, but also his Janam Bhoomi – India. Any comment of Nadella on CAA or other important decisions of the government was bound to hit the news, as it has now.
Speaking at a Microsoft event for editors in New York, Satya Nadella said: “I think what is happening is sad, primarily as sort of someone who grew up there… I think 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.”
Asked Microsoft CEO @satyanadella about India's new Citizenship Act. "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" cc @PranavDixit
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) January 13, 2020
Nadella, while answering Ben Smith (Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed) on a question he raised, allegedly made these remarks. And then all hell broke loose. Liberals worldwide acted as though their existence had been validated. Modi-baiters were having a field day, and anti-India media publications (both within and outside) were vigorously reporting on the comments made by Satya Nadella. All this collective joy came to a grinding halt after Microsoft released a strongly worded statement, by Nadella himself, which if read, is a clear validation of India’s CAA.
Statement from Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft pic.twitter.com/lzsqAUHu3I
— Microsoft India (@MicrosoftIndia) January 13, 2020
This statement left many liberals embarrassed, as it was more than evident that they had been directed to believe in a certain narrative around Nadella’s comments in New York. It is highly unlikely that an executive of Satya Nadella’s stature would comment on any given topic without having sufficient knowledge about the same. Liberals read between the line on his comment, and concluded that Nadella was saying that the entire legislation was ‘sad’, while, in all probability, what he meant was that the violence being orchestrated as a result of the passage of CAA was ‘sad’.
And if that is not the case, and Nadella was indeed deriding the CAA, then I can safely assume that he does not harbour the slightest knowledge about the legislation. Anyone who would have knowledge about it would certainly not go around foolishly suggesting that immigrants to India are treated as some secondary class citizens.
Further, there is a clear distinction between a lawful immigrant, and an illegal infiltrator, a difference I fear Nadella is not aware of (if indeed he was speaking against CAA, that is). CAA is about giving citizenship, and not taking it away from someone. As such, the Bangladeshi reference seems awfully out of place and outright inane.
In the statement released by Microsoft, Nadella says that India, like all other nations, has the right to define and protect its borders, secure the nation and set citizenship policies. This is a very sane comment, especially after the confusion stirred by his comments in New York. It makes it clear that Nadella supports India’s decisions and respects its right to frame citizenship-related laws. However, what Nadella still does not seem to understand is that immigration is not the subject of discussion here. Of course, any immigrant, who is an Indian citizen, can and should strive to be a top-notch executive and entrepreneur. The CAA does nothing to prevent that from happening. Therefore, the dream of a ‘Bangladeshi immigrant creating the next Unicorn’ is very much possible, provided that he/she is a lawful Indian citizen. The first thing which Nadella and liberals who read between the lines must do is take a crash course to study the difference between immigrants and infiltrators, and refugees and infiltrators.
The anti-Modi and liberal brigade made full use of this confusion. Media houses span stories of Nadella openly calling out this government’s discriminatory decisions. However, they all reacted too soon, only to have eggs on their faces later.
The Hindu had “It’s just bad” as its headline for this story. What is really bad is The Hindu’s lack of comprehensive abilities.
— The Hindu (@the_hindu) January 14, 2020
Sagarika Ghose did what she does best: Make no sense.
It takes #SatyaNadella to remind us that its an open humane society that can create a talent-rewarding growing economy. Backward looking, state power wielding hard Hindutva is terrible for the economy and bad for business.https://t.co/7dZP42RyuC
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) January 14, 2020
Arfa from The Wire found herself some time to call Bhakts ‘confused’ and said that this was out of syllabus for them. Whether she clarifies on Photoshop being a part of this syllabus or not is yet to be seen.
Total mayhem in Bhakt Camp !
Bhakts are confused if Satya Nadella should be the new Anti-national or new Urban Naxal ?
This was totally out of syllabus. #SatyaNadella
— Arfa Khanum Sherwani (@khanumarfa) January 14, 2020
There were countless such specimens, who, after being caught in a peculiar position, thought it best to call-out the ‘bhakts’. The few hours of joy which these individuals experienced today are indicative of their desperation to deride the right-wing at any given chance. All such plans backfired with Microsoft’s statement, however. The media misquoted and took Nadella’s comments out of context, and those blinded by Modi-hatred gladly obliged. Today serves as a lesson for all such outraged early-birds, keep calm the next time such an incident is reported by the media. Else, all you would have as cover later would be an act of seeming funny by calling out ‘bhakts’.