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    Zoho clears the air, says Sridhar Vembu attending RSS event to speak on rural job creation

    Zoho clears the air, says Sridhar Vembu attending RSS event to speak on rural job creation

    Zoho clears the air, says Sridhar Vembu attending RSS event to speak on rural job creation
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    By Jude Sannith   IST (Updated)

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    Days after Zoho Co-Founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu’s decision to attend an RSS event in Chennai sparked online outrage and product boycott calls, Zoho has issued a clarification, on why Vembu has agreed to attend the event.

    Days after Zoho Co-Founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu’s decision to attend an RSS event in Chennai sparked online outrage and product boycott calls, Zoho has issued a clarification, on why Vembu has agreed to attend the event. The statement also delves into some detail on the content of Sridhar’s speech at the RSS IT Professionals’ Resurgent Bharath event, scheduled to take place on February 2.
    “Creating jobs in rural areas, a pressing priority in India, is a subject Sridhar is passionate about. As a result, Zoho has been creating high-paying jobs in rural communities,” reads the statement mailed to CNBC-TV18.com by a Zoho spokesperson. It goes on to add: “Sridhar has agreed to share his expertise and experience at a forum focussed on this topic. There is nothing more to it.”
    When an invite from the RSS listing Sridhar Vembu’s name as ‘Chief Guest’ at ‘Resurgent Bharath’ began doing the rounds, angry Twitter users and several Zoho customers said they would stop using Zoho’s products as a mark of protest against Vembu associating himself with the RSS. His decision to attend an event hosted by the organisation was seen as an open endorsement of the RSS’ “divisive politics”, especially in the context of the Anti-CAA protests and ABVP-led violence on students at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
    The invite also listed the name of Rama S Ramachandran, a managing director at Accenture India as ‘Guest of Honour’. However, Ramachandran and Accenture were quick to clarify that the former had no affiliation to the RSS and had not consented to attend the event.
    Vembu, however, chose to brazen out the criticism, tweeting: “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.”
    Although Zoho’s official communication to CNBC-TV18.com initially held that the company had nothing to add beyond Vembu’s lone tweet, a spokesperson has now claimed that Vembu’s intentions have been misconstrued. “Why Sridhar had agreed to attend (the event) was because it was a platform to share his views on development, particularly that in rural India,” said the spokesperson.
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