Not all NGOs can be called anti-national, but there are those which carry out anti-India activities by taking foreign funding.
New Delhi: If Aruna Roy or Kiran Bedi works in association with any social volunteer organization, then it may be inappropriate to express apprehension on their intentions. Aruna Roy left the job of the Indian Administrative Service years ago and has been working with integrity for the right to information and poor uneducated labourers. It is possible that some of the people who worked with her later parted ways due to vested interests. Similarly, Kiran Bedi has been fighting on the right issues either by staying in the Indian Police Service or after joining voluntary organizations. Interestingly, both of them strongly supported the Anna movement and Arvind Kejriwal against the Congress-led Manmohan Singh government. Later, Kejriwal’s group reached the pinnacle of power and Aruna Roy and Kiran Bedi parted ways with grief because Kejriwal got involved in the game of manipulation. Aruna Roy was once a member of the advisory council of the Congress government and her opposition to the BJP government was called prejudice to some extent. Kiran Bedi contested elections in Delhi under the banner of BJP; completed her term as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry when defeated. Now she is doing some social work calmly. But Aruna Roy has opened a battlefront. The latest issue is regarding the advice of the Prime Minister’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval for strict monitoring and action on certain dangerous anti-national activities of NGOs operating in the country.
Doval has said that in the changing times, the methods of waging war against any country have also changed. As a new weapon of war, civil society (NGOs) is preparing to destroy the society. Doval said this at the convocation ceremony of trainees of the Indian Police Service in Hyderabad. Doval said, “Wars are no longer effective enough to achieve political and military objectives. Actually wars are very expensive, not every country can afford them. There is always uncertainty about its outcome. In such a situation, the country can be harmed by dividing the society and spreading confusion.”
“People are most important,” he said. Therefore, a new battlefront has been opened in the form of the fourth generation of war, whose target is society. It can be understood by Aruna Roy that all voluntary organizations i.e., NGOs cannot be called anti-national and it is better that Doval sahib would have advised action against such suspicious organizations. Still, can it be denied that in the last two decades, many NGOs have been providing all possible assistance in the name of human rights to Maoists-Naxals and pro-Pakistan organizations, carrying out anti-India activities directly or indirectly by taking foreign funding?
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tightened the screws on foreign funding of many organizations. But many organizations are still active by adopting new tactics. There are some loopholes in the laws and the police are unable to gather evidence of activities going from the secret forests to the metros. Even Congress leaders have been killed in Naxalite attacks. Yet today, the party is showing a lot of sympathy towards such organizations. According to government records, about 40 lakh NGOs were registered in different categories before the Modi government came. Of these, 33,000 NGOs had received grants of about Rs 13 thousand crore. The interesting fact is that around 2011, the foreign capital for the country’s industries was $4 billion, while the grant to NGOs was $3 billion. The use of foreign money by such organizations was being investigated by security agencies since that time. The fact is that the claims of expenditure and alleged accounts for helping tribals in the Naxal-affected areas proved to be wrong only after the ongoing investigation. After the BJP government came, the investigation work accelerated and the government banned foreign funding to about 8,875 NGOs under the Foreign Grants Regulatory Act and also canceled the recognition of 19,000 fake NGOs. It is said that the work of about 42,000 NGOs is being reviewed. The Ministry of Home Affairs has also ordered that in future, the grants of 10 foreign organizations should be given to the government on their arrival in India.
Society and government cannot and should not have any objection to organizations working sincerely in the work of education, health and development. But in the name of civil society, it is very important to curb those who run anti-India conspiracies and activities. China and Pakistan are using not only some organizations, but also active people in the name of media as puppets by sending crores of rupees to India in the name of organizations, companies from other countries. That’s why the question arises as to who is an “angel” in the guise of an NGO and who is an “anti-national”.
In this view, the government should act more cautiously on suspicious institutions and individuals with transparency and get them punished by the courts under the laws of India, but do not unnecessarily harass those who carry out social cultural activities in the right way. Full facilities and freedom are necessary for progress with guard in a democracy.
The author is editorial director of ITV Network-India News and Dainik Aaj Samaj