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Ben Smith Satya Nadella’s comment on CAA reflects his poor understanding of subject, but shoddy media coverage amplified controversy

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Ben Smith Satya Nadella’s comment on CAA reflects his poor understanding of subject, but shoddy media coverage amplified controversy

Ben Smith This is one fancy item!!

  • Ben Smith No country takes a lenient view of illegal immigration of economic opportunists, least of all the US where Satya Nadella resides.

  • Ben Smith Any immigrant from anywhere in the world, including a Muslim from Bangladesh, may apply for Indian citizenship and can contribute greatly to India’s economic development or cultural enlightenment as an Indian citizen.

  • Ben Smith The controversy also reflects poorly on the media and exposes its propensity to run sensationalist campaigns bordering on fake news.

The controversy over Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s statement tells us everything that we need to know about the campaign surrounding the amendment to India’s Citizenship Act. It tells us that even knowledgeable individuals — in this case the top honcho of one of world’s biggest tech companies — have poor information on the topic, and that their views are not any clearer than the misinformed protestor on the street.

Nadella believes that India’s ‘flawed’ citizenship law might make it difficult for an immigrant to become a successful entrepreneur or high-profile CEO of a multinational firm. This is an unfounded fear based on incomplete understanding of the issue.

Ben Smith Satya Nadellas comment on CAA reflects his poor understanding of subject, but shoddy media coverage amplified controversy

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Reuters

In reality, nothing stops a Bangladeshi immigrant to come to India and become the next CEO of Infosys or create a successful startup. Certainly not CAA that does not interfere with India’s citizenship laws, but only fast-tracks citizenship for a group of religiously persecuted people from neighbouring Islamic nations who have taken refuge in India.

The controversy also reflects poorly on the media and exposes its propensity to run sensationalist campaigns bordering on fake news. Nadella’s comments were taken out context to completely strip those of any nuance, and then entire news cycles were spawned based on those edited remarks. Commentators added their two bits of partisan positioning to make it a full-blown controversy. Truth, as always, was lost in translation.

It was a tweet by the editor of an American media outlet that triggered the latest row. Ben Smith claimed that during a conversation with editors, the CEO of Microsoft Corporation has said that what’s “happening” in India over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) “is sad… It’s just bad…”

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

That was all that was needed for commenters to weigh in, based purely on what their understanding is about Nadella’s reported comm

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