A scalding attack on Indian technology giant Infosys by a ruling dispensation-backed mouthpiece has not gone out well with the leading technology companies in the country with many fearing ‘consequences’ if not being able to align with the Union government ‘wishes’.
Over the weekend, a magazine closely associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) launched an attack on Indian tech giant Infosys for failing to resolve glitches in the income tax website it manages.
The magazine went far to call Infosys ‘anti-national’ for letting down the tax system. Just last month, the finance ministry ‘summoned’ Infosys’ CEO over the tech issues and in an unusual step took to Twitter to announce the summoning, heightening a media frenzy around a company that has been the face of India’s IT’s prowess.
Last month the commerce minister also publicly lashed out at the $106 billion Tata Group for criticizing proposed stringent rules for e-commerce and said local companies should not only think about profits. In India, safeguarding domestic businesses has been Modi’s priority as close ‘nationalistic’ groups criticise foreign businesses like Amazon.
The latest events have raised concerns among business leaders about whether Modi is now taking a hardline approach towards domestic giants as well. RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki, while defending Infosys, said it had played a key role in building India’s software reputation globally.
“It needs to explain the glitches, but it doesn’t mean there is a conspiracy to damage the country,” Bhargava said.
The latest Infosys controversy is related to the government’s new income tax filing website launched on June 7. But there were many glitches that Infosys could not fix, despite assurances. When the Infosys CEO was summoned in August, the finance minister conveyed “deep disappointment and concerns,” giving the company until September 15 to fix things.