Microsoft CEO Nadella 'saddened' by India's citizenship law

Updated January 14, 2020

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Satya Nadella, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise, addresses employees during the One Microsoft Town Hall event in Seattle, Washington in this July 11, 2013 photo. — Reuters/File
Satya Nadella, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise, addresses employees during the One Microsoft Town Hall event in Seattle, Washington in this July 11, 2013 photo. — Reuters/File

Microsoft Corp’s India-born Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said he was saddened by a new citizenship law based on religion that was recently implemented in his home country, BuzzFeed News reported on Monday.

"I think what is happening is sad, primarily as sort of someone who grew up there [...] I think it's just bad," Nadella told BuzzFeed at a Microsoft event in Manhattan.

Nadella grew up in Hyderabad, a technology hub in India that is home to the biggest Microsoft research and development centre outside of the United States.

India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which eases the path for non-Muslims in the neighbouring Muslim-majority nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests in the world’s second-most populous country.

If combined with a proposed national register of citizens, critics of the CAA fear it will discriminate against India’s Muslim minority and chip away at its secular constitution.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The company's India Twitter handle put out a statement quoting Nadella as saying he was shaped by "growing up in a multicultural India" and 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 benefiting Indian society and the economy at large.”