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Amidst backlash, Accenture India MD denies agreeing to attend RSS event

Amidst backlash, Accenture India MD denies agreeing to attend RSS event

Amidst backlash, Accenture India MD denies agreeing to attend RSS event
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By Jude Sannith  Jan 7, 2020 3:07 PM IST (Updated)

Less than 24 hours after two top executives at Zoho Corp and Accenture India received flak on Twitter amidst calls to boycott their products for choosing to attend an RSS event for IT executives in Chennai, Accenture India MD Rama S Ramachandran has denied agreeing to attend the event, in the first place.

Less than 24 hours after two top executives at Zoho Corp and Accenture India received flak on Twitter amidst calls to boycott their products for choosing to attend an RSS event for IT executives in Chennai, Accenture India MD Rama S Ramachandran has denied agreeing to attend the event, in the first place.

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“I am not sure how this misunderstanding happened, but I have no affiliation to this group and never agreed to speak at or attend this event,” tweeted Ramachandran, MD for Communication, Media and Technology, at Accenture India. An e-mail from Accenture’s corporate communications team has also endorsed Ramachandran’s tweet, as the company’s official line. The company’s communications team has also furnished an invite from the RSS that has apparently removed Ramachandran’s name as ‘Guest of Honour’.
The Accenture boss’ clarification came even as angry tweets called for the boycott of Accenture and Zoho’s products as an invite that named Ramachandran and Zoho co-founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu as ‘Guest of Honour’ and ‘Chief Guest’ at ‘Resurgent Bharath’, an event organised by an RSS branch, the RSS IT Professionals, began doing rounds on social media.
While Ramachandran’s claim may seek to put an end to the controversy surrounding Accenture’s supposed endorsement of the RSS or its activities, one question remains. If Ramachandran claims he did not agree to speak at or attend the RSS event, how did his name end up on the original invite?
Vembu defends decision
While Accenture’s official communications team says that Ramachandran’s statement would be the final word on the matter, sources within the company have said that the Chennai wing of the RSS added his name on the invite without waiting for an RSVP. The RSS denies this.
“Rama S Ramachandran had informally confirmed his participation to attend the event, only after which we went on to add his name on the invite,” said B Prakash, Public Relations Officer, RSS Chennai, “We would not put someone’s name as a guest of honour if they hadn’t consented to participate in the event.”
Both Vembu and Ramachandran were slated to speak at the event on February 2 in Chennai. CNBC-TV18.com spoke to the RSS’ Chennai wing, which confirmed their participation in the programme. Earlier, Vembu defended his decision to attend the event, tweeting that he would do what “his (conscience) dictates”. Vembu added that he won’t be responding to any further backlash on his decision to attend.
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