NTT Data ‘taking action’ against staffer over anti-Christian, casteist remarks

Numerous Twitter and Facebook users had sought action from NTT Data since Thursday

ntt data Representational image | Official Facebook handle

IT major NTT Data on Thursday announced that it was taking "appropriate action" over provocative Facebook posts by an Indian-origin person who had identified herself as an employee of the company.

Numerous Twitter and Facebook users had sought action from NTT Data since Thursday over Facebook posts by a user named Rashmi Agochiya.

NTT Data, which is headquartered in Tokyo, has operations in over 50 countries in domains ranging from consulting to system development to business IT outsourcing.

NTT Data on Thursday tweeted, "We are aware of recent unacceptable posts and are taking appropriate action. NTT DATA does not condone hate speech or bigotry of any kind" and pinned the tweet to its Twitter handle.

Wayne Busch, president of NTT Data's financial services, insurance and consulting businesses, also responded to the issue. He tweeted, "As you can see from or organization, actions are underway. I want to reaffirm that I also believe passionately in diversity and fairness."

The Twitter users who complained to NTT Data cited information from LinkedIn that showed Rashmi Agochiya to be an employee of NTT Data in the US. However, her profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn appear to have been deactivated.

The Twitter users tweeted screenshots of Facebook posts of Rashmi Agochiya, which had derogatory references to Christians and lower castes such as "bhangi". One of the posts said "A converted Christian who was a bhangi/sweeper once upon a time dare talk nonsense in our Hindu country? You'll be history soon or be converted back to a bhangi to clean the toilets and sweep the streets again like you use to do few decades ago, before converting to Christianity…"

Abhishek Hariharan, who happens to be followed on Twitter by former US president Barack Obama, shared screenshots of the Facebook posts by Rashmi Agochiya. He wrote, "Dear @NTTDATAServices wanted to bring to your notice that one Rashmi Agochiya, whose LinkedIn profile says she works for your company, is spouting some really vile vitriol on Facebook." In a separate tweet, Hariharan noted, "This is one person who definitely doesn't believe in your corporate idea of 'strength in diversity'. @waynebusch she claims to be working in the consultancy vertical of the org.”

Allegations of casteist comments and conduct by Indian-origin employees of IT companies are not new. In July, a government regulator in California sued Cisco for "discriminating against an Indian-American employee and allowing him to be harassed by two managers because he was from a lower Indian caste than them".

A civil rights group, Equality Labs, had claimed in 2018 that 67 per cent of dalits in US workplaces felt they were treated unfairly.


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