Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Is Aziz Premji Muslim Enough?

In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, Sept 11, 2007 "How a Muslim Billionaire Thrives in Hindu India", the author Yaroslav Trofimov discusses how Mr.Premji's secular principles are at odds with the general Indian Muslim population.
Trofimov says that in a country where Muslims often fair worse than Dalits in some economic and social measures Aziz Premji, CEO of Wipro Inc, is a huge anomaly.
The question posed is should he embrace his heritage at least as far as promoting development and education to the under privileged Muslim masses. He is secular to the extent of rarely mentioning his Muslim ethnicity, not observing Islamic holidays at his work places and in not particularly favoring Muslims (or any religious group) in his private philanthropy or hiring practices. He claims he is an India first rather than a Muslim or Hindu. But with an estimated net worth of $17 billion is there a motive behind his lack of religious identity, charity or support. Is he being socially irresponsible when he could make a huge difference in uplifting Muslims and helping them be better prepared for a modern India? Or does he feel that by embracing globalization, capitalization and modernism he clashes to severely with the conservative Muslim ideology to be able to help or have his help accepted readily. Care to venture?

No comments: