News India Times – that’s all you need to know News India Times January 24, 2020 6 U.S. Affairs By Dina Bass T wo high profile Indian-born business leaders —Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla — have added their voices to criticisms of India’s new religion-based citizenship law that has roiled the country and led to vio- lent protests. Nadella, Microsoft Corp’s chief executive officer, said the Citizenship Amendment Act, which bans undocumented Muslim migrants from neighboring countries from seeking citizenship in India while allowing immigrants from other religions to do so, is “sad.” “I think it’s just bad,” Nadella said on Monday at a Microsoft event for technolo- gy editors in NewYork. “If anything, I would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant who comes to India and creates the next unicorn in India, or becomes the CEO of Infosys. That should be the aspiration.” Longtime SiliconValley venture capital- ist Khosla, echoed Nadella’s comments on the topic. “I strongly believe India should be a secular country!” he wrote via email late Monday, when asked about the law. The software maker’s Indian Twitter account later tweeted a statement from Nadella that seemed to moderate the ini- tial comments, beginning with the thought that “every country will and should define its borders, protect national security and set immigration policy accordingly.” “I’m shaped by my Indian heritage, growing up in a multicultural India and my immigrant experience in the United States,” the written follow-up statement continued. “My hope is for an India where an immigrant can aspire to found a pros- perous startup or lead a multinational cor- poration benefiting Indian society and the economy at large.” The comments were reported earlier by Buzzfeed, which asked Nadella the ques- tion at the event. Protests, led mostly by students of all faiths, have erupted across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s govern- ment pushed the Citizenship Amendment Act through Parliament in December. However condemnation from prominent Indians, within the country and abroad, has been slow to come. -B LOOMBERG Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, seen here in February 2019, has criticized India’s new religion-based citizenship law. Bloomberg photo byStefanWermuth Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Calls India’s Citizenship Limits ‘Sad’ By StaffWriter W ithin the next two months, the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy organization for Indian-Americans of the Sikh faith, plans to begin training volunteers who can help members of the community fill the 2020 Census forms which begin being mailed nationwide that month. In a Jan. 13, 2020 press release, the Sikh Coalition said in the lead-up to the mid-March mailing of initial census forms, the Sikh Coalition will recruit and train volunteers at gurdwaras across the country who will help community members submit their census information online “in a safe and supportive environment.” Those who are interested in assisting with this work should email, the press release said. This endeavor is a “formal partnership” with the United States Census Bureau in advance of the 2020 census. And As a formal partner of the Census Bureau, the Sikh Coalition is committed to raising census awareness and participation among the Sikh community, the organization said. “The Sikh Coalition is partnering with the Census Bureau because Sikhs have traditionally been a ‘hard to count’ population in the United States,” Satjeet Kaur, exec- utive director of Sikh Coalition is quoted saying in the press release. “Our community matters, and we want to make sure that Sikh families are appropriately counted and accurately resourced wherever they are across our country,” she added. The initial work will therefore focus initially on inform- ing the community that completing census forms is sim- ple, safe, and essential. The census is a national headcount undertaken by the U.S. government every 10 years. The Census form asks a series of simple demographic questions about all mem- bers of each household in the nation. “Because an accurate count is the goal, the census never asks about citizenship,” the Sikh Coalition said, adding, “It is safe for everyone, regardless of their immigra- tion status, to fill out the census.” Data from the census ultimately determines how the government allocates resources for things like schools, hospitals, roads, and parks; where businesses choose to move and invest; and how legislative seats and electoral votes are allocated. Throughout 2020, the Sikh Coalition said it will be launching new initiatives to increase civic engagement. These efforts, including 2020 census and “Get Out The Vote” projects. Thousands gathered at Times Square for Turban Day organized by the non-profit Sikhs of New York, April 7, where more than 9,000 turbans were tied to establish a Guinness record on most turbans tied at one place. Photo:Peter Ferreira Sikh Coalition To Train Volunteers To Help During Census Talks Underway For Trump To Visit India As Impeachment Heats Up By Joanna Slater -NEW DELHI ndian and American officials are discussing a poten- tial visit by President Trump to New Delhi as early as next month, two people with knowledge of the talks said. They emphasized that the talks were preliminary and subject to change, particularly in light of the impeach- ment process in the United States. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not author- ized to discuss the matter. If finalized, the visit would be Trump's first to India as president. The United States has sought to cultivate India as a partner and potential counterweight to China, and Trump has spoken of his "great admiration" for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In September, the two men appeared together, clasping hands and smiling, at a rally Modi held for Indian Americans in Houston. Over the past month, Modi has faced the most signifi- cant show of opposition to his government since he came to power in 2014, with protests sweeping the country over a new citizenship law. News of the potential visit by Trump to India was first reported by the Hindustan Times and the Hindu, two Indian newspapers. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi declined to comment and referred questions to theWhite House. An attempt to reach theWhite House press office was unsuccessful. The "two sides are in touch" and "trying to work out a mutually convenient date," said one Indian official. Another said the visit could take place in February or March. India and the United States have deepened their mili- tary and security cooperation in recent years, but trade tensions have shadowed the relationship between the world's two largest democracies. Last year, Trump withdrew a preferential trade status for certain Indian goods in a sign of U.S. displeasure, and India retaliated with tariff hikes of its own. Since then, the two countries have engaged in talks to bridge their trade differences but have yet to resolve them. While Trump frequently criticizes India's trade policies, he has hailed his personal rapport with Modi. Like Trump, Modi is a right-leaning nationalist politician who inspires both adulation and opposition. After Trump appeared with Modi before cheering crowds at a stadium in Houston, Trump likened the Indian leader to rock star Elvis Presley. -T HE W ASHINGTON P OST India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the President of the United States Donald Trump, in Washington, DC. REUTERS-Jonathan Ernst-File Photo I