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Outrage over RSS event for IT firms, Accenture exec denies attending

Online outrage as top execs of the two companies decide to attend RSS event in Feb

Neha Alawadhi 

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Technology firms and found themselves at the centre of a controversy on Monday. This came after a user pointed out that top executives of these firms were reportedly attending a (RSS) event for IT professionals in Chennai. Zoho’s co-founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu is set to be the chief guest at the ‘Resurgent Bharath’ event in Chennai on February 2. Accenture’s managing director (MD) & head of operations (Chennai) Rama S Ramachandran was said to be the guest of honour, but he denied this.

“I am not sure how this misunderstanding happened. I have no affiliation with this group and never agreed to speak at or attend this event,” he tweeted late Monday night.

With popular sentiment not in favour of the government because of the ongoing Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register for Citizens across the country, as well as the recent attack on students, several users took to the microblogging platform.

They questioned the for supporting the right wing (RSS), regarded as the ideological backbone of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Several users called for a boycott of and services. “People if you do business with @@zohosocial @zohocrm, you are funding the RSS. People if you do business with @, you are funding RSS. You are funding fascists in India,” said one user.

Zoho, co-founded by Vembu, is a web-based online office suite, like Microsoft Office, which provides word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, wikis, web conferencing, customer relationship management, project management and invoicing, among other applications.

Several people questioned companies’ allowing their employees to attend such events organised by “religious organisations.”

Vembu tweeted his response, “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.”

An email sent to the company regarding its policy on such matters did not elicit a response until going to press.

“I am not going to renew my licence with @zoho,” said one Twitter user.

The RSS has been reaching out to techies since a over a decade now. It holds “shakhas” over the weekends in different cities, including Bengaluru and Gurugram. One of the volunteers, it has been reported, set up the IT Milan app, and there is a blog on IT Milan as well.

With an aim to take its nationalistic agenda to a wider group of people in the country, the IT Milans do not host the usual “shakha” activities but let techies talk about subjects that may be unrelated to politics. The idea is to instill patriotism through stories and discussions. Techies from prominent IT and trechnology often attend these shakhas.

Zoho’s co-founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu is set to be the chief guest at the ‘Resurgent Bharath’ event scheduled to be held in Chennai on February 2. Accenture’s managing director (MD) & head of operations (Chennai) Rama S Ramachandran was said to be the guest of honour, but he denied this.

“I am not sure how this misunderstanding happened. I have no affiliation with this group and never agreed to speak at or attend this event,” he tweeted late Monday night.

First Published: Mon, January 06 2020. 22:53 IST
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