MARKING the first time that the Sangh attempted to label a prominent company as aligned with “anti-national” forces, RSS-affiliated Panchajanya alleged in its latest issue that Bengaluru-based IT major Infosys was attempting deliberately destabilizing the Indian economy and accused it of helping “the naxals, the leftists and the tukde tukde gang”.
So far, such defamation has targeted individuals, activists, some campus sections and some members of the political opposition. The software company Infosys is regarded as one of the main pioneers in the economy following the first generation reforms of IT services.
The weekly made the allegations in the context of problems in the new electronic income tax filing portal developed by Infosys. The website went live on June 7 but has since continued to pose problems for taxpayers. Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman summoned Infosys CEO Salil Parekh and gave the company until September 15 to correct these issues. Infosys was awarded the contract in 2019.
“Will Infosys provide that same kind of shoddy service to overseas customers,” the article asked.
The article comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed next generation reforms through ambitious privatization and monetization goals.
Responding to questions from The Indian Express, Panchajanya editor-in-chief Hitesh Shankar said, “The cover story is about a large company (Infosys) whose quality of work falls short of its reputation. This not only damages the reputation of the company, but also causes inconvenience to millions of people… This kind of role and delivery creates discontent in the company. If Infosys is not involved in socially questionable / propaganda funding it has to come out and state the facts… we are writing about the dissatisfaction that has arisen in the company. The company needs to clarify whether it is a software publisher or a tool to generate social anger. “
RSS spokesman Sunil Ambekar was not available for comment.
In his cover story “Saakh Aur Aaghaat” (Reputation and prejudice), Panchajanya claimed that this was not the first time that Infosys has messed up a government project. Citing problems on the GST and Department of Corporate Affairs websites, the article said, “When these things happen repeatedly, it can only arouse suspicion. There are accusations that the management of Infosys is deliberately trying to destabilize the Indian economy … Could it be that an anti-national power is trying to harm India’s economic interests through Infosys? “
At the same time, the magazine said it had no concrete evidence to prove it, but added that the “history and circumstances” of the company give weight to the accusation.
“Infosys is accused of providing assistance to the Naxals, the leftists and the Tukde Tukde Gang. The question of Infosys directly or indirectly supporting the dividing forces in the country has already come to light. It is believed (that) disinformation websites… are funded by Infosys. Some organizations that propagate caste hatred are also beneficiaries of the Infosys charity. Shouldn’t we ask the promoters of Infosys what is the reason for the financing by the company of anti-national and anarchist organizations? Should companies of such a suspicious nature be allowed to participate in the government’s tendering process? “
He added: “One of the promoters of Infosys is Nandan Nilekani who challenged Lok Sabha’s polls on a congressional ticket. The opposition of the founder of the company NR Narayana Murthy to the ideology of the government in place is not hidden from anyone. Infosys appoints people who subscribe to a certain ideology to important positions… If such a company obtains important government tenders, would there not be a threat of influence from China and the ISI?
The article alleged that problems in projects outsourced to Infosys could be an opposition ploy to ensure that the government is forced to change its policy of awarding contracts to Indian companies. This, he said, would harm the idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat.