George Soros is a Hungarian-American businessman and a self-proclaimed philanthropist who had vowed to ‘fight nationalists’ and conservative governments worldwide, which he often refers to as ‘authoritarian governments’. During the course of his life, if there is one thing George Soros has hated the most, it is India and its nationalist government led by Prime Minister Modi.
Through his Open Society Foundation, which started its operations in India first in 1999 by offering scholarships and fellowships to pursue studies and research at Indian institutions, Soros has made great strides in creating disorder within India. In the name of running philanthropic activities, the left-wing international organisation led by Soros has begun to spread its tentacles across the country by his active support to anti-India elements operating inside India.
In the last few decades, George Soros has time and again has shown his desperation to wage war against the nationalist government in India through various networks funded by him comprising of NGOs, media, intelligentsia, etc.
Regarding his philanthropy work, Soros’s OSF grasped a stronghold in India during the Obama regime. Ever since its entry into India, OSF has tried to interlope in the internal affairs of the nation through the vast and interconnected network of organisations funded by George Soros. These organisations play a vital role in manipulating the original narrative and take the help of the judiciary and media to hinder the national interest.
In 2008, the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) had joined hands with Omidyar Network, Indian School of Business (ISB) and Google.org to launch their 17 million SONG fund to boost invetment. Together with other networks, Soros has provided extensive grants to media running into millions to manipulate political narratives.
Here are some of the intellectuals, journalists and NGOs operating in India that have been beneficiaries of George Soros’s “philanthropic funds”:
George Soros and his network of Intellectuals, Journalists and NGOs:
Through his network of NGOs, George Soros has cultivated a class of intellectuals who work resolutely towards opposing the Indian state, especially the nationalist government led by PM Narendra Modi. It all started in 1995 when George Soros contributed the initial seed fund to set up the Media Development Investment Fund.
The objective of the Soros-funded not-for-profit investment fund was to invest in ‘independent media’ in challenging countries with a history of media oppression. Currently, the Indian beneficiaries listed on the MDIF site are the far-left website Scroll and another website named Graam Vaani.
Besides, the Open Society Foundation also funds the International Committee of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an international organisation with journalist affiliates worldwide, including India.
Some of the Indian journalists that are members of ICIJ are Ritu Sarin, Shyamlal Yadav and P Vaidyanathan Iyer of the Indian Express, Rakesh Kalshian – a former IANS editor who now works for German Channel Deutsche Welle (DW), Murali Krishnan and Yusuf Jameel of the Asian Age. ICIJ also has Syed Nazakat in its ranks, the founder and editor-in-chief of DataLEADS.
Besides funding media, the Open Society Foundation has also been a benefactor to left-leaning intellectuals who have constantly put out fake narratives against the current government. There are also some prominent names with extensive links to George Soros, but it is extremely unlikely that these connections will surprise anyone. Some of the most prominent among them are Harsh Mander, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Indira Jaising and Amartya Sen.
For instance, Amartya Sen, along with George Soros, is part of the advisory council of NGO Namati (funded by OSF) that works for ‘environmental justice’ in India. Amartya Sen is not just a regular speaker at the OSF, but George Soros has made a documentary with Sen.
Together with George Soros himself, Sen sits on the Advisory Council of the NGO Namati mentioned earlier in the report. Amartya Sen, of course, has an ideological hatred against the current dispensation and has a long history of making a series of bizarre arguments in his efforts to oppose the Narendra Modi government.
Another controversial individual who has done more harm to India than any other person in recent times is none other than Harsh Mander. Harsh Mander, known for his close ties with the first family of the Congress party, has been associated with Open Society Foundations.
Mander served as an Advisory Board member of the international grantmaking network founded by George Soros, Open Society Foundations. His role in instigating the Anti-Hindu Delhi riots, particularly the violence around the Jamia Millia Islamia campus in December 2019, has been under scrutiny for some time now. Ironically, he had later filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court seeking the arrest of BJP leaders Anurag Thakur and Kapil Mishra for instigating violence. Other people have also noted this connection of Mander with Soros.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta is another individual who sits on the Board of Directors of Namati.
Soros also has links with Yogendra Yadav. Yadav, who, as a professor at the Centre for Study of Developing Societies in 2006, had presented a State of Democracy in South Asia (SDSA) study in front of Soros, who was visiting India for the first time, as well as Amartya Sen.
Besides, some other Indians have also been appointed as Open Society Fellows by George Soros in the past.
Author and journalist Basharat Peer, known for peddling pro-Pakistan narrative in Kashmir, has served as an Open Society Fellow from 2009 and 2010, which is considered a very influential post in the intellectual circles.
Journalist Chitrangada Choudhury, who has previously worked with The Indian Express and The Hindustan Times, has also been a Research Fellow at the CSDS. Since 2014, Choudhury is an Open Society Fellow.
Similarly, Shekhar Singh, who claims to be an RTI activist and former faculty at St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, as well as the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, also is a beneficiary of George Soros. Moreover, Singh is also a part of the Soros network due to his association as an Open Society Fellow.
Interestingly, there is also a link between George Soros and Shekhar Gupta of The Print. Shekhar Gupta enjoys a special relationship with Soros as he is the only Indian journalist to whom George Soros gave the only electronic media interview when he used to host Walk the Talk for NDTV.
Besides, Soros’s only article written for the Indian press to date is published by Shekhar Gupta’s venture, The Print.
In addition, Soros’ Foundation and Omidyar Network have also funded $1.3 million to Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), with a long track record of attempts to thrust a biased fact-checking regime on India IFCN network.
NGOs sponsored by Soros:
Besides intellectuals and media networks, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations has also funded a large number of organisations in India.
In 2016, Open Society Foundations suffered a huge setback after the Indian Government was put them on a watch list, which essentially meant that it could not fund any of these organisations directly. As a result, since 2016, OSF needs prior sanction from the Home Ministry for sending money across to FCRA registered organizations in India.
Some of the NGOs that receive grants from Open Society Foundations:
Lawyers Collective – The controversial NGO headed by Indira Jaising and Anand Grover is known for its anti-government propaganda. Currently, Indira Jaising and her husband Anand Grover are on the dock as well for donations from George Soros’s network of NGOs their NGO Lawyers’ Collective.
The NDA government cancelled the FCRA licence of the NGO for using foreign contributions to achieve political objectives. The CBI had also registered an FIR in the matter in 2018 after the investigative agency raided them. The Supreme Court had issued notices to the duo as well for the FCRA violations.
Centre for Policy Research (CPR) – The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) is a think tank focusing on public policy in India. It receives funding from Amartya Sen’s Namati, which in turn has received funds from Open Society. Some of the people associated with the controversial think tank are usual anti-BJP critics, such as Pratap Bhanu Mehta. Current President Yamini Aiyar is also known for her controversial views on the Indian government.
Multiple Action Research Group (MARG) – MARG is another organisation funded by Namati, which is funded by OSF. The NGO claims to works in the areas of legal rights and “helps people understand their legal rights”. The obscure organisation has also pushed for the implementation of RTE, an act that is viewed as discriminatory to schools run by the majority community.
Evangelical Trust Association of North India (ETANI) – This evangelical organisation handles property-related legal and governmental matters for the churches in North India. ETANI, which is an arm of the Evangelical Fellowship of India, documents news on the persecution of Christians across India.
In addition, there are NGOs such as the Centre for Civil Society (CCS), Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Socio-Legal Information Centre – receive some form of funding from the Open Society Foundation.
Soros influence on the Global Media
George Soros has a tremendous influence on American media. The Media Research Center (MRC), an American media watchdog founded in 1987 to check the liberal bias in the media, discovered that over 30 major news organizations had links to George Soros. These organizations include the Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press, NBC and ABC. He has also financially supported the National Public Radio (NPR). In addition to all of this, George Soros has links to the Huffington Post too.
It is also reported that since 2003, George Soros has spent “more than $48 million funding media properties, including the infrastructure of news – journalism schools, investigative journalism and even industry organization”. Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism has also received extensive funds from the OSF. This is from 2011, the numbers will be exponentially higher now. George Soros has also funded numerous other journalism associations like The National Federation of Community Broadcasters, The National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Given all of this, the Western Media’s coverage of India shouldn’t really be surprising. The American media has traditionally held a bigoted view against India, and when it combines with the influence and financial power of one of the richest men in the world, the result is obvious. From advocacy for Radical Islam in Kashmir to fearmongering about the NRC and CAA, the Western Media’s coverage of India has been remarkably consistent.
George Soros actions against India
In his much-publicized WEF speech delivered at WEF, Soros made his views known to the world when he singled out rising nationalism as the greatest enemy of the open society. He had deliberately singled out India and blamed PM Modi’s Government for trying to create a Hindu state.
Terming India as the “biggest and most frightening setback occurred”, Soros had made plans known to everyone in no uncertain terms. Soros has been instrumental in propagating the anti-Indian government narrative in the international press by using his influence and trying to create anarchy on the streets of India.
In the name of freedom of expression and the western style of liberalism, a coalition of forces represented by billionaire investors like Soros, Omadiyar and Berggruen are leveraging India’s democracy and its institutions to leverage its fault-lines for fueling the discontent against the popular Government. Soros and his ecosystem have been largely successful in creating misinformation warfare on a massive scale by putting out negative and false narratives against the democratically-elected government with the help of left-liberal media outlets.
The long term investments to cultivating left-liberal intelligentsia, media and NGOs seem to have worked well for Soros. The well-oiled propaganda machinery created by Soros against the nationalist Indian government is there to stay and will continue to guide his objectives- to stem the rise of nationalism and defeat nationalistic forces.