Thursday, April 14, 2011

Infosys must redeem itself, reinstate Muslim employee sacked on false terror charges

Rashid Hussain
India's leading software company Infosys may be a an IT giant but its action against an employee on false terror charges has finally been questioned by the court also.

Rashid Hussain was never charged, nor even arrested. However, he was one among the innumerable Muslim youths who were detained and questioned after the Jaipur blasts in the year 2008. The company had readily dismissed him.

The HR departments [Human Resources wings] of most companies [including Information Technology firms] in post-liberalisation era are known for their incompetency and buffoonery.

Most of the companies don't stand by their employees in cases of trivial nature but when it comes to top honchos who are caught red-handed in cases ranging from harassment to molestation or rape, they seem to go extra-mile to protect them.

It takes moral courage, honesty and lot of values to admit a mistake. Today NR Narayan Murthy is seen as an icon. If his company behaves in such a manner, it is shameful and disgusting. The Infosys Technologies Limited must redeem itself.

The issue is not of a job. It's about sending the right signal. Let's see if the Bangalore-based group takes a lead and undo the injustice meted out to the engineer, who even otherwise manages to eke out his living respectfully.

The procedures were not followed and his services were terminated. Hussain, however, chose to fight and after three years, the labour court has held his termination as illegal. The Patna-born computer engineer finally reached the Infosys office at Jaipur and handed over the order.

Now the officials of the IT major refuse to comment. Else they tell media persons that they are studying the judgment. If Infosys took a wrong decision in the past, its officials should have the courage to admit and take corrective measures.
Will the IT major, Infosys, admit its mistake?
If Infosys is known across the world, it will add more prestige to it by accepting its fault and reinstating the sacked engineer.

More so, he is an Indian engineer. How many times have the Indian Muslim to say that 'I am a Muslim but I am not a terrorist'?

The court has held that the company's action was malafide and violative of the rules, as he was removed without any notice. Isn't it shameful?

It's not Rashid Husain who needs the taint to be cleared. The company should also act responsibly and clear itself of the charges of Islamophobia, religious profiling and double standards by acting on an employee who had no FIR against him.

Already the action has shown the company in poor light and lowered its prestige. For the record, Hussain is now head of department of Electronics at a prestigious university in Rajasthan. Let's see whether the IT company has the moral courage to accept its mistake.

[Rashid Hussain's photo: Courtesy The Telegraph]