Techies urge Google, Amazon, Facebook to denounce CAA

Last Updated 27 December 2019, 12:14 IST

Describing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) as "divisive and fascist schemes" by the BJP-led government, a grouping of Indian and Indian-origin professionals working with tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook have urged business leaders like Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella and Mukesh Ambani to "take a stance and publicly denounce" such measures.

In an open letter 'Tech Against Fascism' posted on a social media platform, the " engineers, researchers, analysts, and designers of the technology industry" said, "we refuse to silently witness the violence unleashed on Indians. We will fight fascism back."

The letter said "multi-cultural soul and democratic ethos" of India is now being "mutilated through divisive and fascist schemes" by the government.

"Militarisation, suppression, surveillance, illegal detention, sexual abuse, and religious polarization by the current government are unrecognisably splintering the democratic nation. The CAA 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," it said.

"The Act is political and electoral towards building a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, while excluding persecuted Tamil Muslims from Sri Lanka, Ahmadiyya and Hazara Muslims from Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar," it said.

Emphasising that they "refuse to silently witness the violence unleashed" on protesting Indians, the techies urged technology leaders like Sundar Pichai (Alphabet), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Dara Khosrowshahi (Uber), Mukesh Ambani (Jio), Gopal Vittal (Bharti Airtel), Kalyan Krishnamurthy (Flipkart) and Shantanu Narayen (Adobe) to take a "stance and publicly denounce the fascist acts" by the government.

"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 mobilization, and ensure that content moderation is not skewing pro-government," the letter said.

"While portraying India as marching towards ‘Digital India’ and courting tech company business investment, the regressive government views the Internet as a political tool for suppression of citizen dissent, while utilising the same networks to organise and spread fake content," it said.

It also said with record high unemployment levels, plummeting growth, 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.

With "record high" unemployment levels, "plummeting" economy and "rising" farmer suicides, it said, such "ultra-nationalist and diversionary tactics" are attempts by the government to "mask over its incompetence" over the "biggest socio-economic crises" in the country.

(Published 27 December 2019, 12:14 IST)

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