TODAY -

IB report on NGOs
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: June 16, 2014 -



Whether foreign-funded Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in India are real threat to the economic security of the country or it is just another anti-NGO agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA Government at the Centre?

This is a raging debate in media today following the leaked report of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) which says that some NGOs funded by foreign agencies are stalling India's economic growth.

In its 21-page report prepared under the title, "Concerted efforts by select foreign funded NGOs to 'take down' Indian development projects", IB claims that NGOs funded by donors based in the US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries are using "people-centric issues to create an environment which lends itself to stalling development projects," and thus, the economic impact of this 'anti-national' role of NGOs on India's GDP is to the tune of 2-3 percent per annum.

Implying that there are ulterior motives either of the NGOs or of the forces behind them, the report also mentions that "These foreign donors lead local NGOs to provide field reports, which are used to build a record against India and serve as tools for strategic foreign policy interests of Western Governments."

The report even identifies about 75 NGOs and 50 persons by name, claiming that "network analysis of all anti-nuclear NGO activity revealed the existence of one superior network and five territorial networks, closely linked to "superior pan-India organizations and imminent persons."

Understandably, the report has elicited strong reactions from the NGOs and social activists, especially from those accused of being a threat to India's 'national economic security'.

Leading the rest in denouncing the IB report as "most unintelligent", Praful Bidwai, senior journalist, political analyst, peace activist and author of the book, "South Asia on a short fuse: Nuclear politics and the future of Global disarmament", who has been accused of guiding a 'master network' of activism against nuclear plants in the report, as described it as 'a cock and bull story full of innuendoes and unsubstantiated allegations' and has even threatened to lodge a defamation suit against the bureau.

Since The Express Express has made painstaking effort in bring to light that various sections of the contentious IB report have actually been directly copied from a speech made on September 9, 2006 by Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Guwajat wherein he lashed out at some 'wealthy' and 'influential' class of NGOs that 'hire PR firms to continually build their image' with 'money coming from abroad,' we left it to the wisdom of the readers whether the supposed leaked IB report has anti-NGO agenda of Modi sarkar written all over it or not.

Of course, it is true that most NGOs are discreet when it comes to disclosing their foreign funders, not to speak of the amount they received, but we feel that the IB report has definitely raised some serious concern over democratic rights of citizens to express dissent and to protest in a country, where many NGOs actually work better than the Government when it comes public welfare.

And, we don't see foreign-funding of NGOs as so much of a threat to the economic security of India as the foreign funding of the political parties.

By the way, does IB have an answer to what happen to the Delhi High Court verdict indicting BJP and Congress Party of receiving foreign funds in violation of provisions of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA)?



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