Ravish Kumar has won Magsaysay Awards as once did Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and Admiral Ramdas. The common thread is community service and any inference to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is incidental.
The award was established by New York-based Rockefeller Brothers Fund in the memory of Philippines President Ramon Magsaysay who died in a plane crash in 1957. In 2000, Ford Foundation did its bid by constituting the Ramon Magsaysay Emergent Leadership Award. Ramon Magsaysay was specifically groomed by the CIA to become the president of of Philippines, to prevent rise of communism in the nation during the cold war era. In fact, Magsaysay was known as an “America’s boy” by the CIA handler assigned to him.
It is in the interest of Indian citizens to know the background of Rockefeller and Ford Foundations.
In the early 20th century, the United States legalized endowed foundations. They were the new lifeguards of Imperialism, or call it Capitalism, under threat from Communism. Among the first to be set up was Carnegie Corporation, endowed in 1911 by profits from Carnegie Steel Company. The Rockefeller Foundation was endowed in 1914 by JD Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil Company.
Rockefeller Foundation was the early patron which gave seed money to the United Nations, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). These Foundations had massive resources, all tax-free, with an unrestrained brief: to turn economic muscle into political, cultural and social capital. Massive funds were not there to raise the wages of its workers. It was to turn money into power—to run the world. (So we have Bill Gates controlling health, education and agricultural policies all over the world from the seemingly dull occupation of selling software).
By the 1920s, the US had begun to swoop on overseas markets and its raw materials. In 1924, the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations had created the most powerful foreign policy pressure group—the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), later funded by the Ford Foundation as well. So far CFR has had two dozen US secretaries of state on its roll. No less than 5 CFR members were in the 1943 steering committee that planned the UN. JD Rockefeller bought the land for UN’s New York headquarters at $8.5 million grant.
Then came the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement to set up a new international monetary system. Now all other currencies were pegged to the value of the US dollar, which, in turn, was pegged to the price of gold. World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) became the checkpoints of world’s financial roadways. They demanded Good Governance (with remote in their hands), Rule of Law (as long as they shaped them) and transparent institutions. Ironically, these rules were mandated by two of the most opaque, unaccountable and non-transparent global organizations. Country after country was cracked open by World Bank for global finance.
The Ford Foundation came into being in 1936. It works in lockstep with the US State Department. It is in complete harmony with Bretton Woods philosophy of standardizing business practices and promoting the free market. The Capitalist Order is dressed up in liberal ethos.
It’s with these lenses you need to view the activity of Ford Foundation which has invested tens of millions of dollars in India. Generous aids are given to specific university courses and scholarships. A lot of these funds go to writers, artists, film-makers and activists.
These Foundations have made it an art to putting their pieces on the chessboard of a society. Elite clubs and think-tanks are formed. Ford Foundation makes no secret of intervening in grassroots political movements as its avowed “goals for the future of mankind.”
It would do us no harm though to remember that Kejriwal-Sisodia have publicly conceded to generous grants by Ford Foundation to their NGO in the past. Captain Amrinder Singh had openly accused that Kejriwal’s NGO was funded by CIA.
By the 1950s, the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations were in overdrive in funding NGOs and educational institutions around the world. They were the hidden arm of the US government to topple democratically-elected governments in Latin America, Iran and Indonesia. The Indonesian students, trained in counter-insurgency by the US army, played a critical role in effecting CIA-backed coup in Indonesia in 1965 that brought General Suharto to power. Similarly, eight years later, young Chilean students were trained at the University of Chicago (endowed by JD Rockefeller) to do their bit in the CIA-backed coup that killed Salvador Allende and brought General Pinochet and his reign of murders that lasted 17 years.
Please reflect why India’s corporate media proclaimed him to be the “voice of the people.” Whether the rage against scams was intended to wither away the powers of government and give levers to privatization?
Or for example, how come urban Gender champions and their feminist movements never have a word to say for a lakh-strong Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sangathan (Revolutionary Adivasi Women’s Association)? Are they afraid of standing up to mining corporations? Is this Capitalism and its ugly face which is covered under Liberal ethos, pushed by these Foundations?
These Foundations core philosophy is to prepare an international cadre which could extend Capitalism and the hegemony of the United States. Find natives who once served colonialism and would now do for them. Take over the fields of education, arts and entertainment; extend a hold on the minds of masses. What if it costs millions of dollars? Money is useless if it can’t buy global power.
Magsaysay Award to Ravish Kumar is another piece in this chessboard. A brand has been created as a bulwark against India’s cultural resurgence.
Author of “How United States Shot Humanity”, Senior Journalist, TV Presenter