RSS questions US defence of Ford Foundation, Greepeace

Charging NGOs like Greenpeace and Ford Foundation with violating Indian laws, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Sunday called US as “the global police of democracy” and questioned its defence of the two organisations.

The party mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ in its editorial titled ‘The un-civil intervention’, has also questioned whether the United States would allow such violations by so-called non-profit and non-political NGOs in their own country.

The party has said that by coming out in defence of NGOs like Greenpeace and Ford Foundation by seeking a clarification from India, the “global protector of democratic rights” has ratified the fears of such NGOs being US agencies, as alleged by some of the research works in the US.

“If the US or for that matter any country wants to come clean on the issue of foreign funding for raising ‘rights based issues’, they have to respect the sovereignty and cultural ethos of the home country.

“Otherwise, NGOism will always be perceived as another un-civil instrument of foreign policy intervention in the name of civil society,” the editorial said.

The party said the functioning of these NGOs raises doubts about their non-profit and non-political nature and India’s crackdown against such entities in NGO business over their funding has put the US “in distress”.

“The US jumping the gun in defence of international NGOs and seeking ‘clarification’ from the biggest democracy ratifies the fears of them being the US agencies, as alleged by some of the research works in the US,” it said.

The RSS mouthpiece said that due to democratic consideration, the State Department and US Ambassador of India raised voices of concern about ‘regulatory steps’ focused on NGOs.

“But while doing so the global promoters of democratic values should ponder on certain questions…Will the US as global protector of democratic rights allow such legal violations to happen in it’s own land?”, the party questioned.

The party said more than 8,000 NGOs are facing legal action of revoking foreign contribution (regulation) act licences for not producing three years returns and giants in NGO business like Ford Foundation and Greenpeace questioned for their funding.

The editorial said that the epitome of environmental cause, Greenpeace, has reportedly incurred expenditure for securing bail bonds and payment of legal fee, apart from spending Rs 28.35 lakh in 2010-11 on financing and legal charges that is a diversion of funds sought for environmental cause without consent of donor.

“The other omnipresent NGO, Ford Foundation, is accused to have violated the foreign exchange management act and directly interfered in ‘the internal affairs of the country and abetting communal disharmony in India’,” it said.

“This is not only against the law of the land but also against the stated objectives the organisation. According to a government report, not even two percent NGOs file their annual returns with the government,” the RSS mouthpiece said.

The party also pondered upon whether it is a coincidence that every developmental initiative taken by India is blocked by some or the other NGO lobby.

“Interestingly, in most of the cases they have connections with organisations propagating particular religion or undemocratic ideology. Why India should not see opposition to all kinds of self-sufficiency in power generation as threat to energy security?,” it said, adding that the functioning of these NGOs time and again raise doubts about their non-profit and non-political nature.

It said that India being a vibrant democracy is capable to nurture the legacy of non-state initiatives and this non-governmental space in managing collective affairs has been in the country’s civilisational ethos and will continue irrespective of any government.

In a crackdown on NGOs allegedly receiving illegal foreign funds, the government had last month had cancelled licences of nearly 9,000 such entities for violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

The government has also barred Greenpeace India from receiving foreign funds by suspending its licence for six months and freezing all its accounts after alleging that it has “prejudicially” affected the country’s interests.

Source : Rediff