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We must support Muslims and other minority communities: Pichai

Google's Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai.   | Photo Credit: LLUIS GENE

Sundar Pichai, Chennai-born CEO of Google who came to the U.S as a university student and rose to be one of the highest corporate leaders, recounted his own experience to rebut on Saturday the anti-immigration rhetoric that looms large over the country. Mr. Pichai also linked the success of Google to the “vibrant mix of races and cultures” among its employees.

“Let’s not let fear defeat our values,” Mr. Pichai wrote on Internet platform Medium in a clear reference to the cacophony triggered by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S, after the Paris terror outrage last month. “We must support Muslim and other minority communities in the U.S and around the world,” Mr. Pichai wrote.

Trump’s remarks

Mr. Trump’s remarks provoked worldwide outrage but condemnation by other Republican candidates has been muted, even as a section of the U.S media continues to cheer him. Mr. Trump has reiterated his statement several times hence.

Mr. Pichai said he debated whether to post a response, “because lately it seems that criticism of intolerance just gives more oxygen to this debate”. He finally did. “…I feel we must speak out particularly those of us who are not under attack.”

Mr. Pichai said it was diversity that made Google a “special place”. “We are urgently working to become much more diverse, because it’s so important to our future success,” he said. Google employs nearly 60,000 people worldwide.

“I came to the U.S from India 22 years ago. I was fortunate enough to gain entry to a university here, and time after time, I saw that hard work opened other doors. I have built a career and a family and a life here. And I’ve felt as much a part of this country, as I felt growing up in India.

Land of opportunity

My experience is obviously not unique. It’s been said a million times that America is the “land of opportunity for millions of immigrants, it’s not an abstract notion, but a concrete description of what we find here,” Mr. Pichai said, adding that America provided access to opportunities “that simply didn’t exist for many of us before we arrived”.

“And it’s not just about opportunity. The open-mindedness, tolerance, and acceptance of new Americans is one of the country’s greatest strengths and most defining characteristics. And that is no coincidence— America, after all, was and is a country of immigrants.

“That is why it’s so disheartening to see the intolerant discourse playing out in the news these days— statements that our country would be a better place without the voices, ideas and the contributions of certain groups of people, based solely on where they come from, or their religion,” Mr. Pichai wrote.

“I walk around the campus where I work and see a vibrant mix of races and cultures. Every one of those people has a different voice … a different perspective … a different story to tell. All of that makes our company an exciting and special place to be, and allows us to do great things together. …I firmly believe that whether you’re building a company or leading a country, a diverse mix of voices and backgrounds and experiences leads to better discussions, better decisions, and better outcomes for everyone.”



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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 2:02:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/we-must-support-muslims-and-other-minority-communities-pichai/article7981670.ece

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