Satya Nadella answers call to speak on CAA, 'I think what’s happening is sad. It’s just bad.'

Microsoft CEO, Satya NadellaBCCL

  • Satya Nadella says that he hopes for an India where an immigrant can aspire to lead a multinational corporation.
  • Nadella’s comments come after a group of over 150 Indian-origin professionals urged business leaders like Nadella, Pichai and Mukesh Ambani to come out and oppose the new citizenship act.
  • CAA has also drawn criticism from Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who was later supported by Democrat presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today raised his voice against the Citizenship Amendment Act, throwing his weight behind the growing voices of dissent against the new citizenship law.

"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," said Nadella to BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith.


Why Nadella’s opposition to CAA is important

Nadella is amongst the first few from the international tech community to voice his opposition on India’s new citizenship law. He is also amongst the few high-profile Indian-origin CEOs at the helm of top US-based multinational company. Others in the list include Sundar Pichai, Shantanu Narayen and Ajaypal Singh Banga.

Nadella’s Indian origins and his rise to become the CEO of one the biggest tech giants of the world in the US - an immigrant success story - speaks volumes against laws like CAA.

In a detailed statement, Nadella said, “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 is not the only high-profile critic of CAA

Other high-profile critics of the new citizenship law include Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who was later supported by Democrat presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Welcoming Nadella’s comments, noted historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted, “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,”.


A group of over 150 Indian-origin professionals working at Google, Uber, Amazon and Facebook have published a letter urging leaders like Satya Nadella, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and others to come out and voice their opposition against CAA.

While Nadella has come out as the first major voice of opposition amongst these, it will be interesting to see if Pichai and others would join him.

Why is the CAA so controversial?

The Citizenship Amendment Act came into force on January 10, fast tracking the process of citizenship to persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The new law caused widespread criticism and protests in India and beyond, primarily for the fact that it discriminates based on religion.

Over the last few weeks, widespread protests across the country have erupted. The CAA protests have drawn crowds out in large numbers, with many of these protests being held in universities like Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi University, Hyderabad University and more. Several students were also injured in clashes against the police.

See also:
"There is nothing good" about the Citizenship Act, says global broking house CLSA in a report on India's drooping economy

American billionaire Tim Draper is spooked by India's new Citizenship Act that "chooses one religion over another"

India's Citizenship Act gets challenged at the Supreme Court barely a day after passing Parliament