Infosys Employee Ridiculed For Celebrating Christmas And Thanksgiving
There is a school of thought that maintains that non-Western peoples are simply not capable of sustainingâ€”or assimilating toâ€”the civilization of the West, that “East is East and West is West,” as Kipling put it, and never the twain shall meet.
Sam Francis, 2002
Francis correctly portrayed Kipling`s realism about multiculturalism but nobody can say that Promila Awasthi, an India-born American citizen, didn`t try to beat the odds to assimilate into our culture. Awatshi wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas but was hassled by her bosses at the Indian owned bodyshop Infosys. Awashti`s bosses at the Freemont, California branch of Infosys were Indian nationals who routinely ridiculed her and her family for wanting to take part in those great American traditions.
The NBC Bay Area website gave the following account of the story:
Infosys management routinely disparaged Americans, including Mrs. Awasthi, as not having “family values,” and stated that layoffs in America are good because the jobs will be outsourced.
Infosys management ridiculed Mrs. Awasthi for celebrating the American holiday of Thanksgiving, telling her that she should not celebrate Thanksgiving because she is Indian, and that therefore she must work on Thanksgiving Day.
Infosys management ridiculed Mrs. Awasthiâ€™s children for celebrating Thanksgiving, and called them “ABCD” short for “American-Born Confused Desi,” and “IBCD” short for “Indian-Born Confused Desi,” insulting terms used to criticize people of Indian ancestry who are Americanized.
Infosys management ridiculed Mrs. Awasthi for celebrating Christmas, saying that “we” do not celebrate Christmas, and that she should not celebrate Christmas. Infosys management repeatedly discussed the quality of Mrs. Awasthi`s work by explicitly commenting on their expectations for “a woman your age.”
The India Herald revealed more details of the story:
The complaint alleges that while working at Infosys, Mrs. Awasthi was routinely harassed by Infosys management, nationals of India, on the basis of her being an American of Indian ancestry and national origin, and on the basis of her age and gender. For example, the complaint alleges that:
Â· Infosys management ridiculed Mrs. Awasthi for celebrating Thanksgiving, telling her that she should not celebrate Thanksgiving because she is Indian, and that therefore she must work on Thanksgiving Day.
Â· Infosys management ridiculed Mrs. Awasthiâ€™s children for celebrating Thanksgiving, and called them â€?ABCD,â€? short for â€?American-Born Confused Desi,â€? and â€?IBCD,â€? short for â€?Indian-Born Confused Desi,â€? insulting terms used to criticize people of Indian ancestry who are Americanized.
Awasthi is fighting for her right to be a fully assimilated American — and to get paid overtime if she is forced to work on those holidays, as required by California state law. On Novermber 23 Awasthi filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court against Infosys.