A day after Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella voiced his opposition to the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi today termed his statement as the "perfect example" of how even the literate need to be educated on the central government's initiatives.
"How (the) literate need to be educated! Perfect example. Precise reason for CAA is to grant opportunities to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan," she tweeted, citing an oft-repeated explanation provided by the central government on the need for such a law.
In the same tweet, Ms Lekhi also wondered why the United States -- where Microsoft is based -- cannot grant similar opportunities to "Syrian Muslims instead of Yezidis".
The Yezidis, a monotheistic population with their roots in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, were actively targeted by ISIS earlier in the decade. Thousands from the community fell victim to a genocide orchestrated by the terror group, forcing about 15% of its population to flee to other countries.
How literate need to be educated ! Perfect example. Precise reason for CAA is to grant opportunities to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan & Afghanistan.— Meenakashi Lekhi (@M_Lekhi) January 14, 2020
How about granting these opportunities to Syrian Muslims instead of Yezidis in USA ? pic.twitter.com/eTm0EQ1O25
Satya Nadella had expressed his reservations over the Citizenship Amendment Act in an interaction with BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith at a Microsoft event on Monday. "I think it's just bad. 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 said.
A separate statement released by Microsoft India quoted the CEO of the tech giant as saying that he was shaped by a combination of his Indian heritage, the time spent growing up in a multicultural India and later by his "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," he said, but added that there was some good news to be drawn from the fact that people were at least debating the law in what was a "messy democracy".
The statement was applauded by many on social media, including historian Ramachandra Guha.
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. https://t.co/KsKbDUtMQk— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) January 13, 2020
Satya Nadella's comment comes amid ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which aims to expedite citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from three neighbouring countries. While critics claim that the law discriminates on the basis of religion, those linked to the ruling BJP maintain that those protesting it are being misled by Left parties and the Congress.
Last month, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya had sparked a controversy by claiming that only "illiterates and puncture-wallahs" were opposed to the Citizenship Amendment Act.