Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 02:28:10

NGO’s Join Battle Against Modi

Updated: May 10, 2014 10:46 am

The anti-Modi forces have partially succeeded in portraying the 2014 elections as a communalism vs. secularism debate. Taking the cue, social activists and NGOs from across the country have entered the fray, working in tandem to check Narendra Modi—even if that means aligning with political parties and “lesser evils”. A huge number of NGOs are mobilising at the ground level against Modi and a possible “communal takeover”. These NGOs are flush with money.

Under the aegis of the Janvadi Vichaar Andolan, Bharat (JAVAB), NGOs, social activists and civil society groups have fanned out to around 100 constituencies, including Varanasi and Lucknow, asking voters to help “safeguard” secularism and democracy. Armed with “fact sheets” on Gujarat titled “Gujarat news that the media doesn’t bring to you”, they are holding meetings, nukkad sabhas (corner talks) and door-to-door campaigns, as well as reaching people over email.

Another set of NGOs has come together in Varanasi, the stage for the big electoral battle between Modi and Arvind Kejriwal. Around 23 of them, including Vidya Ashram, Sajha Sanskriti Manch, Sarvodaya Andolan, Lokavidya Jan Andolan, People’s Vigilance Committee for Human Rights, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Gandhian Institute of Studies, All India People’s Solidarity Organisation, have come together, citing the “special situation” arising out of “fellow activist” Kejriwal being in the fray.

We must remember that Kejriwal’s NGO was allegedly funded by Ford Foundation. That is why he is being called fellow activist. They are therefore urging the nation to support the Aam Aadmi Party. Amarnath Bhai of the Sarvodaya Andolan says that while he has some reservations about Kejriwal’s stance on the Jan Lokpal issue, the AAP leader is the “lesser evil” and represents a new political thought. “Those who use divisive communal politics need to be kept under check. In 2014, on one hand, we have traders of hatred and, on the other hand, are democratic forces… Friends, democracy is at stake.

“We have no option but to stand with those who could provide a strong and viable opposition against the forces of fascism at the national level as well as other parts of the country. We are not weak, we are spread all over the country, let’s stand united and have just one agenda—safeguarding our democracy and the Indian Constitution.”

JAVAB is concentrating its efforts on 25 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, 18 in West Bengal, another 18 in Bihar and some 8 in Maharashtra, apart from some seats in Karnataka and Assam. These are mostly seats with a sizeable minority population. Like the NGOs in Varanasi, they are not averse to seeking votes for other parties to “stem the Modi tide”. “So in Bihar we could be working to support the RJD or Congress, in Uttar Pradesh it could be the BSP or even the Samajwadi Party despite what happened in Muzaffarnagar… In the south we have only gone as far as Karnataka due to serious budgetary constraints. We are in fact running on a shoestring budget—some Rs 20 lakh collected through donations and personal efforts,” the social activist Shabnam Hashmi of Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), who is associated with the JAVAB initiative, said.

Azhar Khan of the Maharashtra-based Pragatik Vichar Manch insists the JAVAB campaign is non-political. “We have started campaigning in eight-nine constituencies and the response on the ground is good. Nearly 200-300 small civil society groups and individuals have joined us. We don’t see a Modi wave. Most interesting is the response of youngsters.

“Most of them feel they have been misled on the so-called development of Gujarat. They also express reservations about a PM candidate with such poor knowledge of the country’s history and geography,” Khan says.

But who are funding most of these NGOs? The amount sent to India is huge. NGOs in India received over Rs 116,000 crore between 1993 and 2012. And mind you, this number represents receipts by only about 55 per cent of the NGOs authorised by the Home Ministry to receive foreign contributions. Actual receipts were much higher. The top three donor countries consistently are the USA, Germany and the UK—Rs 20k crore by the the US and nearly Rs 8k crore by Germany/the UK are large sums of money.

Why are these countries remitting large sums of money? Maybe the UK donates to help overcome the guilt of looting India during colonial rule or to continue with the colonial construct of the Indian mind. One wonders, when the economies of the US and Europe, barring Germany perhaps, are under stress, should not donors spend money on their own citizens?

Ironically, receipts from the Middle East countries were only approximately Rs 155 crore in 2010-11 even though media reports indicate funds come through hawala. According to a report in Rediff.com, there are at least 40 charitable organisations in Saudi Arabia, whose primary job is to raise money for funding terror in India.

The links to Saudi Arabia became extremely clear when the police tracked a hawala transaction of $10,000 (about Rs 4,60,000), which was used to carry out the July 11, 2006, serial train blasts in Mumbai that killed 209 people.”

Quite a few NGOs are indirectly funded by the Church for conversion. Naturally, the Church wants Modi out, for, he would ban the conversions. Rumour and suspicion is that CIA is providing funds through circuitous routes and so is ISI.

Naturally, the NGOs getting huge funds are not keen to know where the money is coming from. The pleasure is in eating not in tracing the source. But voters have to choose what the NGOs might be wanting, unknowing the real motive of the traitors and anti-national forces or Modi, who is 100 per cent a nationalist.

Indian “Intellectuals” In UK Dread Modi

Suddenly, our cousins in the West have developed deep interest in India, the country they left for greener pastures abroad. Along with 50-odd, who sent a letter to the Left-wing daily The Guardian, 75 professors and academicians have written in The Independent about how much they are worried about India under Narendra Modi. All of them judge Modi through Godhra prism. They have not, although they are professors and academician, bothered to analyse what triggered the 2002 riots and why since then it has been all quiet and peaceful in Gujarat. These professors and other academics of Indian origin, working at some of Britain’s prestigious institutions such as Cambridge, Oxford University and London School of Economics, in an open letter, sharply attacked Narendra Modi, saying, “The idea of Modi in power fills us with dread.”

The academics, led by Prof. Chetan Bhatt and Gautam Appa of the London School of Economics, in

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