Monday, October 26, 2020
Home Opinions No such thing as free lunch: Read how foreign ‘donations’ are a serious danger...

No such thing as free lunch: Read how foreign ‘donations’ are a serious danger to our national security

Why do foreign ‘donors’ continue to pour in big bucks to the entities that are already sitting on a staggering pile of cash? Or, are the foreign ‘donors’ supplying money to their representatives or donees to build cash reserves for some future plans?

There is no such thing as free lunch. Charity, especially that of the foreign variety, comes with stated or hidden agenda. Large amount of funding for the so called non-profit or non-commercial sector in India is generated as overseas ‘donations’ by various organizations that are affiliated to foreign State and non-State actors. Here is a snapshot of the foreign donations received by entities registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA-NGOs and FCRA for short, respectively), over the last two decades.

FCRA amounts received over the years

The data makes it evident that notwithstanding the political colour of the Central Government and the best efforts of the present one which has a better record of FCRA enforcement, the quantum of FCRA funds has been on relentless rise.

A humongous amount of Rs. 2,08,096 Crores of foreign ‘donations’ has been pumped into the country, in the last two decades, by foreign sources through official open channels by remitting to FCRA-NGOs. This discussion does not factor in the amount of foreign funds that gets into the country through illegal routes or otherwise camouflaged as foreign investment. Since it is extremely difficult to collect such data, one can only hazard a guess about its volume, details and purposes.

A further analysis of the FCRA data indicates that as on 1st April, 2017 the total amount brought forward by the FCRA-NGOs as unspent money from past foreign ‘donations’ is a whopping Rs. 15,907 Crores, more than 50% of which is lying with about 2% of the FCRA-NGOs. Interestingly, foreign donors continue to remit fresh funds every year to the same small group of entities. Why do foreign ‘donors’ continue to pour in big bucks to the entities that are already sitting on a staggering pile of cash? Or, are the foreign ‘donors’ supplying money to their representatives or donees to build cash reserves for some future plans? Whatever it may be, the prognosis seems very ominous!

Read: FCRA: Here are the welcome changes in the annual returns form for foreign-funded NGOs by the MHA that deserve praise

As a nation we have failed to ask ourselves an elementary question: Why should foreigners ‘donate’ such humongous amounts to certain Indians, unless they have an agenda? If their motivation is purely philanthropy alone, then why are they not donating their funds for the needy and destitute of their own countries? Why this unrequited love for India and Indians to the exclusion of their own people?

Serious concerns have been expressed from many quarters about the role of foreign funds in creating extraordinary influence, both subtle as well as obvious, on the executive, legislative, judicial, political, religious and economic processes of our country, under various guises such as humanitarian, human rights, gender justice and social intervention. It is also a truism that foreign funds have been the prime mover for changing the religious demography, interference in our indigenous religious traditions and practices, creating hurdles in our socio-economic progress, creating and aggravating various fautlines and the consequent unrest, colonising our minds and subverting our national discourse to suit certain sinister purposes. I am not going into all those details here lest this piece becomes a long dissertation.

Read: Modi government has cancelled registration of 14,800 NGOs in last five years for FCRA violations

Those who claim to represent the so called ‘civil society’ of India are ironically least funded by that society but mostly by the foreign sources, which is a pointer to the fact that the so called issues they are espousing do not resonate and have popular connect with the civilisationally rooted common Indians. Therefore, no self-respecting sovereign country much less a civilisational nation with aspirations of super power, can afford such blatant meddling in its domestic affairs.

India is not a beggar nation that needs foreign charity. Charity presupposes an unequal relationship, for, the receiving hand is always below the giving hand. Being one of the biggest emerging economies, we are capable of internally generating the money required for philanthropic, relief and rehabilitation, religious and charitable purposes. The institutionalised CSR funding is one such prime example. Given that we have rightly been refusing foreign aid even during disasters, it is high time that we revisit our public and legislative policy towards foreign ‘donations’, a substantial part of which are suspected to be funding the fifth columns and breaking India programs.

Read: George Soros vows to fight PM Modi and Nationalists: Here are some Indian ‘intellectuals’ and NGOs connected to him

It is heartening to note that the present Central Government has been very sincere and proactive in enforcing the FCRA. Yet, it hardly has any impact on the quantum of remittances for the simple reason that the problem is FCRA itself. Therefore, no amount of tweaking of the law can mitigate the danger. Hence, the only way to save the country from this serious menace which is endangering its unity and integrity by causing civilisational osteoporosis, is by banning all sorts of foreign ‘donations’, whatever may be their purpose.
However, there should be an exception to this, namely: India has long recognized the valuable contribution of its diaspora who have civilisational and emotional connect with India. It is mutually beneficial for India and its diaspora to strengthen this civilisational umbilical connection. Hence, donations made by the overseas citizens of India in their individual capacity from their personal funds, and not acting as agents or conduits for others, that too for the limited purpose of preservation, study, promotion and propagation of ancient Indian texts and traditional Indian knowledge, may be allowed.

Finally, it goes without saying that any foreigner who is genuinely interested in philanthropy and wants to help India is always welcome to donate to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

(Note: The author is a senior IPS officer. Views are personal.)

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

M Nageswara Rao
M Nageswara Rao is a serving senior IPS officer in the Government of India. Earlier he served as the former interim Director of the CBI in early 2019.

Related Articles

Trending now

After Turkey President Erdogan says Macron ‘needs treatment’ over attitude to Muslims, Pakistanis trend #boycottfranceproducts on Twitter

Pakistani bots putting their weight behind Turkey president Erdogan's call of 'giving treatment' to French President Macron.

India Today releases a squint eyed statement, pats itself in the back for paying Rs 5 L to the court in TRP manipulation case,...

India Today has released a statement on the current TRP scam and it makes no sense.

“Allah will burn this woman in Hell”, Islamists attack TMC leader Nusrat Jahan for participating in Durga Puja

"You are the descendant of Satan -Evil. Don't you feel any shame for doing such dirty things?" an extremist commented on Nusrat Jahan for participating in Durga Pujo.

Times Now asked to air apology to Rahul Gandhi fangirl Sanjukta Basu for calling her ‘Hindu hater’, “We won”, she tweets

The directive to Times Now comes 19 months after Basu had filed a complaint with the NBSA.

Pakistan: Hindu temple vandalised during Navratri, idol of Hinglaj Mata broken by miscreants in Sindh

While taking cognisance of the despicable incident, the Sindh police have assured that they would nab the miscreants soon for vandalising the Hindu temple.

Recently Popular

‘He supplies drugs and girls’: Estranged wife of Mahesh Bhatt’s nephew Luviena Lodh alleges harassment by nephew-uncle duo

Luviena Lodh said that Mahesh Bhatt is the don of the industry, and he controls everything that goes on in the film industry

Maharashtra Police arrests Twitter user Sameet Thakkar over ‘Baby Penguin’ remark against Aaditya Thackeray

Twitter user Sameet Thakkar from Nagpur has been arrested for posting derogatory tweets against the Thackerays.

“Allah will burn this woman in Hell”, Islamists attack TMC leader Nusrat Jahan for participating in Durga Puja

"You are the descendant of Satan -Evil. Don't you feel any shame for doing such dirty things?" an extremist commented on Nusrat Jahan for participating in Durga Pujo.

France: Charlie Hebdo cartoons projected on government building to express solidarity with deceased teacher who was beheaded by Islamic terrorist

Days after the barbaric beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on the streets of Paris by a terrorist for showing the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad to his students, support continues to pour in for the deceased teacher.

Kerala: Photographer Dia John depicts Hindu deity as smoking weed, deletes picture after outrage

Kochi-based Mukkootil Bhagavathy temple had filed a complaint against Dia John for hurting Hindu religious sentiments
- Advertisement -

After Pakistani bots, Pakistani Prime Minister now attacks French President Emmanuel Macron for calling out radical Islam

Pakistan PM Imran Khan said that Muslims react violently to alleged blasphemy because he Prophet lives in their hearts

Kerala: Photographer Dia John depicts Hindu deity as smoking weed, deletes picture after outrage

Kochi-based Mukkootil Bhagavathy temple had filed a complaint against Dia John for hurting Hindu religious sentiments

Twitter user dares India Today to block him for calling it ‘sold out’, India Today obliges

When a netizen called all news channels ‘sold out’ and dared India Today to block him, the media house went ahead and obliged

FIR registered against activist-lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat for cartoon linking rape with Hindu Goddess worship

The FIR has been registered against Deepika Singh Rajawat under sections 505 (b)(2), 294 and 295 A of the Indian Penal Code

In 2007, Lalu Yadav’s two sons, Tej Pratap and Tejashwi were thrashed by people for eve-teasing in Delhi

In 2007, sons of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, were found eve-teasing women on New Year's eve

Assam: Congress MLA demands ‘Miya Museum’ for immigrant Bangladeshis, govt rejects saying they don’t have separate culture

"No question of a museum there reflecting other culture and civilization", Himanta Biswa Sarma rejecting Miya Museum demand of Congress MLA

After Turkey President Erdogan says Macron ‘needs treatment’ over attitude to Muslims, Pakistanis trend #boycottfranceproducts on Twitter

Pakistani bots putting their weight behind Turkey president Erdogan's call of 'giving treatment' to French President Macron.

Xitler: Activists campaign to shift the 2022 Winter Olympics away from China, pointing out how Hitler had used the 1936 games to promote himself

Hashtag #MoveTheGames is trending on Twitter to urge organizers to move venue for Winter Olympics 2022 out of China

India Today releases a squint eyed statement, pats itself in the back for paying Rs 5 L to the court in TRP manipulation case,...

India Today has released a statement on the current TRP scam and it makes no sense.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
468,396FollowersFollow
19,200SubscribersSubscribe