One of the sterling achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that does not receive adequate appreciation even from his supporters is the remarkable crackdown on foreign-funded NGOs by the NDA government. We at Opindia.com have reported at regular intervals on the government’s crackdown on them.
In 2015, the NDA government had issued notices to more than 10,000 NGOs for failing to submit their mandatory annual returns. In December 2017, it was revealed that foreign funding to Indian NGOs had dropped by 66% from the previous year. In June` 2018, the Home Ministry had launched an online tool to enable lawmakers to monitor funds received from abroad. Since assuming power in 2014, the government has deregistered 16,000 NGOs and cancelled the FCRA registrations of 13,000 of them.
When one takes a look at some of the NGOs whose FCRA licenses have been cancelled by the Modi government, it’s quite clear why the ‘civil society’ has such intense hatred for Narendra Modi. One of the NGOs whose FCRA license was cancelled is the Navsarjan Trust. Cancelling its license, MHA said, “Navsarjan Trust has come to adverse notice for its undesirable activities aimed to affect prejudicially harmony between religious, racial, social, linguistic, regional groups, castes or communities.” Since then, Martin Macwan has indulged in political propaganda against the BJP government and attempted to exploit Dalits for his own political objectives.
Apart from Navsarjan Trust, the license of ANHAD was also cancelled for “undesirable activities against public interest”. Compassion International, a Christian missionary organization, was also forced to shut down its operations in India. It was also reported that Amnesty International (India) Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust was also under the scanner of the government for alleged FCRA violations. The FCRA license of Indira Jaising’s NGO Lawyers Collective was also cancelled. The NGO was using foreign contributions to achieve political objectives.
One state that has been taking remarkable action against foreign-funded organizations and Christian missionary organizations is Jharkhand. Recently, it was reported that the state government has conducted a massive crackdown on 88 Christian missionary operated NGOs on charges of misusing foreign funds for forceful religious conversion of tribals and political subversion.
Given the circumstances, it is very understandable that the entire ‘civil society’ is too busy crying ‘fascism’ at the Bharatiya Janata Party. During the UPA regime, they used to wield great power in policy making and drafting of laws through Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council (NAC). And now, not only they have been unceremoniously removed from their vaulted position, they are being made to face the consequences of violating Indian laws. They are not being treated as ’eminent citizens’ anymore, they are being treated just like the ordinary Indian citizens they claim to represent.
One particular incident deserves special mention. A former Swiss Diplomat was deported from Ahmedabad soon after he landed in India earlier this year and was blacklisted. Although there has been no official communication on the incident, it was reported that the MHA had sought a report on the circumstances that led to his deportation. It was also speculated that he was deported due to his association with the SDC. The SDC had funded Navsarjan Trust whose license was cancelled by the government for engaging in activities that could disturb public harmony. ‘Eminent citizens’ demanded that the government apologize to the diplomat for deporting him. However, the government displayed no such inclination.
Despite considerable efforts by the NDA government, the mess is simply too big to solve within 5 years. As we have documented in our previous articles, foreign-funded organizations are still collaborating with separatist organizations which are in turn affiliated to an umbrella organization that is intricately associated with alleged Urban Maoists. We have also documented how these foreign-funded NGOs engage in political activism that has national security implications.
However, Narendra Modi is working in the right direction. As we have documented in an earlier report, activists associated with foreign-funded organizations were tasked with the responsibility of the Communal Violence Bill, an exceptionally anti-majority piece of legislation. Now, these activists are no longer in close proximity to power and therefore, are working hard to undermine Prime Minister Modi’s objectives. Despite being rendered rather powerless, these activists continue to shape narratives in a major way and Narendra Modi’s biggest obstacle going forward will be to dismantle the incestuous network that has been constructed by these foreign-funded activists.
Editor’s note: We had stated earlier that there was a 66% reduction in the amount of contribution received through foreign donations in 2016-17. However, it is clarified that the figure quoted in December 2017 recorded only the NGOs which had filed their annual returns until then. We understand that FCRA NGOs had more time left by which they could file their returns. Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs, stated in the Parliament on the 25th of July, 2018 that FCRA organizations had received a total of Rs. 15329.16 crore in 2016-17 which is approximately a 13.78% reduction from the previous year in terms of absolute numbers.
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