New Delhi: A day after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's comment opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) sparked a flurry of reactions, Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith on Tuesday released the complete transcript of his statement on "popular demand".
In the statement, made in response to Ben Smith during a Microsoft event, Nadella talked about growing up in a multicultural society and how he was saddened because of the state of affairs.
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
"I always felt it was a great place to grow up, we celebrated Id, we celebrated Christmas and Diwali. I think what is happening is sad, primarily as someone who grew up there, I feel," he said.
He then goes onto express his gratitude for the equitable immigration policy in America that made a story like his "possible".
"I would love to see a Bangladesh immigrant who comes to India and creates the next unicorn in India, or become the CEO of Infosys, that should be the aspiration," he said.
His view was tempered by the understanding that countries should care about national security and immigration is a looming issue everywhere.
"But, the approach that one takes to deal with what is immigration, who are immigrants and a minority group, that sensibility," he further said.
Nadella finally remarks with the hope that liberal values will eventually thrive. "The good news at least as I see it is it's a messy democracy and people are debating it, it's not something that is hidden, it's something that is being debated actively but I'm definitely clear on what we stand for and what I stand for."
The Centre last week had issued a gazette notification announcing that the CAA has come into effect from January 10, 2020. The Act grants citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
According to the legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Thousands of people have taken to the street to protest against the law terming it as discriminatory.