Indian techies take up pen to write against CAA
Indian and Indian-origin employees of technology companies – including Google, Uber, Salesforce, Amazon, Facebook, Accenture, Microsoft, Tata Consultancy Services, HCL and WiproNSE -1.10 % – have signed up in an open letter against India’s new Citizenship law and a planned national citizenship register. The letter – ‘TechAgainstFascism’ on online publishing platform Medium – comes at a time when hundreds of thousands of Indians across the country and overseas have protested against what they fear are policies that could render many Muslims stateless. Thousands have been detained by the police for protests across India.

“We – engineers, researchers, analysts, and designers – of the technology industry, unflinchingly condemn the fascist Indian government and the brutality it enacts on citizens. The state-sponsored brutality against protestors must stop immediately,” the letter by employees spanning San Francisco to Bengaluru said.

Earlier in the month, the government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act to offer citizenship to immigrants from non-Muslim minorities who have fled Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“The CAA, 2019 combined with the NRC, is a deeply anti-Muslim scheme that will create greater statelessness and global disparity for Muslims, growing worse with India’s economic decline and climate change,” the letter stated.

The letter also called upon Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, both Indian-origin CEOs of the world’s largest technology companies, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, among  others, to take a stand against the Indian government move.

“We call upon the leaders to use technology as a force for good, to refuse to share user details with the government, refuse to shut off the Internet at the government’s whim, provide tools for citizen mobilisation, and ensure that content moderation is not skewing pro-government,” the letter said.

It clarified that opinions in the letter were their own and do not reflect those of their employers.

The letter added that while portraying India as marching towards ‘Digital India’ and courting technology company business investment, the government is using the internet as a political tool to suppress dissent and spread fake content. “With record high unemployment levels, plummeting economy, and rising farmer suicides,such ultra-nationalist and diversionary tactics are attempts by the Indian government to mask over its incompetence over the biggest socio-economic crises in the country,” the letter said.

It has garnered 150 signatures so far, with many personal names withheld to avoid retaliation from the government and their employers, although it includes their employer’s names.