Voices Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 05:30
By Anand Mathur Since the past several years many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), Indian and foreign, have been alleged of indulging in rhetoric to create deep religious polarization and chasm within the Indian society. They have also been accused of meddling in politics, thereby compromising national security and communal harmony. Many investigations have claimed that some of the foreign aided NGO’s are in violation of several laws of the country including the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA). Shabnam Hashmi’s NGO, ANHAD is an NGO that has been very active and vocal in political activities. The Provision 3(1)(f) of the FCRA Act clearly states that “No foreign contribution shall be accepted by any organization of a political nature as may be specified under sub-section (l) of section 5 by the Central Government”. ANHAD raised over Rs. 5.27 crores from overseas donations as per its submissions in Form FC–6 for the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 alone. ANHAD has, in fact, been indulging in political activity since long before. ANHAD has used press conferences, seminars, social media, youtube, websites and other forms of mass communication to repeatedly target Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party by circulating materials against it. For example, ANHAD initiated an election appeal on 14th May, 2014. Here is a short extract of the same: “We, concerned citizens of India, are alarmed by the divisive, abusive and violent Lok Sabha election campaign that has just been concluded. Throughout the campaign, the Bharatiya Janata Party under Narendra Modi’s leadership has been especially virulent in ridiculing and insulting religious and sexual minorities, dalits and people with disabilities. Communal forces represented and endorsed by BJP and Modi also work against the interests and rights of cultural and linguistic minorities, Adivasis and women across communities. BJP under Modi has also threatened constitutional bodies like the Election Commission. Dissenting voices have been intimidated and asked to leave the country.” (Full appeal at ANHAD’s website ) The above appeal is purely of a political nature making ANHAD an organization of “political nature” as per the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 provision 3(1)(f). So why have foreign donors been allowed to fund an openly political organization indulging in political activities? The following foreign donors have donated to ANHAD in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 as per its Form FC-6: Action Aid International Gujarat, Oxfam India New Delhi, IMRC, Action Aid India New Delhi, Church Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), AJWS, Utthan Trust, Center for Social Justice, WGHR, Volkart Stiftung, Christian Aid, Globul Fund, UNIFEM, HIVOS Bangalore, Oxfam India, Sama, Hope For Children, Hunger Project, Action Aid. When will the Government of India investigate the above mentioned foreign agencies that have donated to ANHAD for its political activities? When will it investigate the activities of the other Indian NGO’s to whom these foreign agencies have given donations to in the past? Time shall only reveal!  Follow @anand153 (The News Minute has sent a questionnaire to ANHAD and made repeated attempts to seek their replies.) The opinions expressed in this articles are the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. The information, facts or opinions appearing in this article do not reflect the views of The News Minute and The News Minute does not assume any liability on the same.
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