The following is a contributed article by Dheeraj Pandey, CEO of software-defined datacenter company Nutanix
The United States is going through some testing times. Most of you may have heard about the Executive Order banning Muslims from seven countries, and "extreme vetting" of people from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. What concerns me is the tenor of the order, and how the design and its implementation in the field could completely diverge, leading to rampant racism, vigilantism, and xenophobia in pockets of the country and in consulates around the world. The dust will take a while to settle. And yet for now, there will be raw emotions on the street, distracting us from the real dangers our society faces on a day-to-day basis.
Personally, many of us are going to be affected. Even though you might think this only affects seven to 10 countries, the interpretation pervades our daily lives in much bigger ways than what the order originally intended. I emigrated from a country, India, which has 180 million Muslims, the second largest population of Muslims in the world. As a Hindu, I am married to a Christian, and my father-in-law is laid to rest in a Muslim country that I am now connected to for posterity. I don't know whether as an American citizen, I personally will be subject to retaliatory "extreme vetting" when I visit his grave to pay homage. One of our very best and an early employee is a Muslim. He is married to a Hindu, and this company owes a lot of its success to his personal sacrifices. One of our rising stars in sales leadership hails from Pakistan, is married to an Indian Hindu, and is one of the most genuine philanthropists I've ever met. There are many families in this company and around the world that have torn down the walls of religion. Unfortunately, for the first time in modern history, we've brought religion to the forefront of our daily lexicon.
We're a global company, and some of our brightest will wonder what this country has in store for them. Comedian Aziz Ansari says it beautifully on SNL here, better than anything I've heard in a long time. Our country is going through some tough times. This storm is no different than any other difficult moment Nutanix itself has witnessed before. As a company, we need to stand united, as this storm blows over. I am confident that society's goodness will prevail, and will marginalize any negativity that could emerge in the fringes. The situation is in quite a bit of flux, and things are changing every day. I can emphatically say that the company won't leave any stone unturned to help any of our employees and their families in jeopardy. ‘Nutants’ are a bunch of passionate people without borders. That's how we help our customers. That's how we've done business for the last seven years. That's how we stay hungry, humble, and honest towards the most fundamental virtue of humankind: equality.
It's time to keep a vigil, stay united, and overcome this together.
This too shall pass.
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