The American Dream: Pop To Present
6 March 2017: A member of staff poses for photographers next to an introductory installation commissioned by the British Museum and placed at the entrance to the forthcoming exhibition 'The American Dream: Pop To Present' at the British Museum in London Carl Court/Getty Images

A 78-year-old Indian-American, Anil Varshney, has filed a lawsuit against a US firm, claiming that he was fired for speaking to his dying relative over a phone call in Hindi.

The lawsuit has been filed against Parsons Corporation and also mentions US Defense Secretary Llyod J. Austin. It needs to be noted that Varshney had been working for the firm since 2002 and had even received accolades for his work.

He was fired after one of his white co-workers overheard him speaking to his dying brother-in-law in Hindi over a video call.

The lawsuit stated that he received the call on September 26, 2022. Since his brother had been seriously ill, Varshney moved to an empty cubicle to speak to him at his Huntsville office. However, this did not go down well with one of his colleagues, who reported him to senior management.

The co-worker reported him for violating security protocols "by revealing confidential information and/or accepting this call during a confidential meeting or with confidential information in the background." And the brief exchange led to his termination.

He claims that there was no such policy in place that prohibited such calls, adding that he was wrongfully targeted, per The Times of India.

The lawsuit further states that Parsons accused Varshney of security violations without any investigation or proof. It demands that the plaintiff be reinstated to a position "comparable to his former position."

It adds that the termination was "unjust" and has had significant consequences on his life and career as he has been blacklisted from working with the United States Missile Defense Agency in the future.

However, the company has refuted his claims and asked for the dismissal of the lawsuit. It has also demanded that Varshney pay the attorney's fees.

Varshney has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Banaras Hindu University. He immigrated to the United States in 1968 and got citizenship years later. He settled in Huntsville with his wife.

He worked at Parsons' Huntsville office from July 2011 to October 2022. He had even received the title of "Contractor of the Year" in systems engineering from the company. He also got a letter of recommendation from the Missile Defense Agency for his work on a ground-based missile defense program.

Indians in America:

In 2016, a report by the National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) claimed that India sends the largest number of engineers to the US. Almost all big tech firms in the US have had people of Indian origin as their heads.

Republican Rich McCormick, in one of his speeches to the US House of Representatives, once revealed that Indians pay around 6 per cent of taxes in his constituency.

"I rise to this occasion to just appreciate my constituents, especially those who have immigrated from India. We have a very large portion of my community that's made up of almost 100,000 People who have immigrated directly from India."

"One out of every five doctors in my community is from India. They represent some of the best citizens we have in America, we should make sure that we streamline the immigration process for those who come here to obey the law and pay their taxes."

In fact, Indians living in the US have been among the top earners in the country when compared to people coming from other South Asian countries. According to a census conducted in August 2022, an average Indian household in the US has earnings of $123,700.

The United States is currently home to around 4 million Indians. They constitute 79 per cent of college graduates. Recently, an Indian-American software and robotics engineer named Amit Kshatriya was appointed as the first head of NASA's newly established Moon to Mars Programme.

The community has not only managed to make its mark in American society but has also grown in influence in the political sphere.