Days after the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-linked journal Panchjanya cast aspersions on India's leading IT corporation, Infosys, the RSS, on Sunday, 5 September, distanced itself from the controversy, saying the journal was not its mouthpiece.
The weekly Panchjanya in its cover story had accused Infosys of being aligned with the 'anti-national forces' such as the 'Naxals, leftists and tukde tukde gang'.
Taking to Twitter, Sunil Ambekar, the All-India publicity in-charge of RSS, said that the article published in Panchjanya "reflects individual opinion of the author".
Infosys has been under fire for the glitches in the Income Tax Department's new e-filing portal designed by the company. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has given Infosys time till 15 September to fix the issues.
'Panchjanya Stands Firm by Its Report'
"There is a lot of hue and cry over the cover story of the 5th September issue of Panchjanya. Three things are worth noting in this context,” the editor of the journal, Hitesh Shankar, tweeted, listing out the following points:
1) Panchjanya stands firm by with report (sic).
2) If Infosys has objections, it should present its side by urging for a more thorough investigation of these facts in the interest of the company.
3) Some elements are mentioning RSS in this episode due to vested interests. Remember, this report is not related to the Sangh, the report is about Infosys. It is a matter of facts and facts relating to the incompetence of the company.
The RSS-affiliated journal's attack has catalysed no response from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the union government, or any prominent industrial body.
The Indian Express had contacted five ministers from the Narendra Modi's cabinet, seeking responses on the matter. While four of them declined to answer, one said that Infosys could do a better job.
“Infosys could do a much better job. It’s a firm that provides excellent services to foreign firms and I do not understand why it could not deliver the same," the minister stated, as per The Indian Express.
Former Infosys CFO Condemns Panchjanya Piece
Former Infosys Chief Financial Officer TV Mohandas Pai defended the firm, citing Infosys' work on the backend infrastructure of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the new Income Tax Portal.
He added that the writer of the Panchajanya piece seems "unaware of how large projects are done."
Speaking to the Sunday Express, he said, "Before a project like this is released there is something called a user acceptance test – the product is handed over to the client. Only after they do rigorous testing, is it released to the public. It is obvious that the department (Income Tax) owes responsibility for not doing adequate testing.”
'Govt Going Against Own Principles': Opposition Defends Infosys
Meanwhile, former Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily voiced his disapproval of the attack saying that such 'disparaging remarks' do not reflect well on them.
“When such attacks come from the RSS, it is as good as (from) the Government of India… These people talk about Make in India and vocal for local, this goes against their own principles they propagate," Moily was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
“Infosys is internationally acknowledged, if there are any lapses in any deal vis a vis the Government, it should not be attributed as wilful to bring disrepute to the Narendra Modi government as suggested by the RSS," Nationalist Congress Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Majeed Memon stated.
Jairam Ramesh, Others Condemn Attack on Infosys
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)