With the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) triggering protests across the country, India’s ruling national Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological parent, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have been organising outreach programmes with various groups and opinion makers to dispel misgivings about the CAA.
The RSS has convened a meeting of top executives of Tech majors in the southern city of Chennai that will take place on 2 February, 2020 and named several leading names in the IT industry as guest speakers, including Sridhar Vembu, founder of IT major Zoho, Rama S. Ramachandran, Managing Director of Accenture, inviting strong criticism on social media.
A poster, which was shared by a Twitter account "Yeh Log", slammed the IT leaders for agreeing to attend "a function of a religious extremist paramilitary group that seeks to target minorities and has been responsible for the most brutal acts of violence the country has seen”.
Hello @Accenture, why is your India MD at a function of a religious extremist paramilitary group that seeks to target minorities and has been responsible for the most brutal acts of violence the country has seen? pic.twitter.com/Be0m16rZM9— Yeh Log ! (@yehlog) January 6, 2020
Vembu however, hit back at his critics saying “please do what your conscience dictates and I will do what mine dictates.” The Accenture MD has not reacted to the controversy yet.
I don't decide my views based on Twitter attacks. If you dislike which events I attend, please do what your conscience dictates and I will do what mine dictates. We earn our daily bread due to our work and we will continue to do quality work. I won't be responding to attacks.— Sridhar Vembu (@svembu) January 6, 2020
Twitter users, however, continued to mount sharp attacks on both IT professionals with some accusing them of siding with the “fascist” ideology and others calling them technical Nazis. A few have also called for boycotting the company.
@Accenture @zoho @zohocrm @AccentureAI When corporates start attending functions being organised by universally accepted religious extremists aka terror group then you are definitely doomed ! What is your compulsion ? https://t.co/ppmQrDH4Ei— Elixir Of Hope (@speak_2_me) January 6, 2020
Public Advisory:@Accenture MD and @zoho CEO are chief guest at a RSS event to be held in Chennai.— 𝑨𝒏𝒊𝒗𝒂𝒓 𝑨𝒓𝒂𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒅 | انوار اروند (@anivar) January 6, 2020
It is time to avoid companies and their products supporting & strengthening Fascists. #CAA_NRCProtests pic.twitter.com/iGQiy1VMml
India has been grappling with turmoil and violence over the new citizenship law that grants citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted minority immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who entered India on or before 31 December, 2014. The law was enacted on 12 December 2019 after the legislation was cleared by both houses of the Indian Parliament.
While the opposition and protesters termed the law discriminatory towards Muslims, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party President and federal Home Minister Amit Shah have said that no Indian Muslim or Indian citizen has anything to fear from the new law.
“CAA manifests India’s ethos of harmony and compassion. Sadly, the vested interest groups opposing the Act are now protesting against India’s Parliament,” Modi tweeted.