Can ‘movements’ (andolans) and organisations with foreign funding be given a free hand to create anarchy in the country? Are the demands for changes in the Constitution made by organisations which receive funding from foreign Intelligence agencies legitimate? Can organisations sponsored by the American Intelligence agency, the CIA, be given a free hand to engage in political activities in the country? If the Pakistan sponsored separatist movement is wrong, if the use of money provided by China’s Intelligence department for the Naxalite movement is wrong, how can the use of US Intelligence Agencies funding for people’s movements, for politics, and in the elections, be justified? Why did the previous Congress led UPA Government not put a stop to foreign money funded ‘movements’ and ‘social institutions/organisations’? How did it happen that those who took foreign funds reached even Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council (NAC)? Why did the then Central Government, even when it knew everything, remain silent? Now that there is a new Government, it is hoped that it will act with urgency on such issues and bring out a White Paper, because over the years such disturbing trends have multiplied alarmingly.
Intelligence agencies and foreign powers have, obviously, always used secret methods of working in other countries. Intelligence agencies also have the cunning of getting their work done without the people who have worked for them realising that that they have become part of a foreign conspiracy. This method is adopted by even the most poorly rated Intelligence agencies in the world. What the Intelligence agencies of America, Israel, China and other big league countries are capable of doing cannot even be imagined. I will give one example of how conspiracies are hatched or carried out the world over in the name of social organisations, NGOS or Research Foundations and how people are misled. In the sixties, there was a proliferation of drugs in America which quickly began entangling the youth in its network. Many types of intoxicating drugs came to the fore, but the youth did not get trapped in the drug network as quickly as the mighty drug mafia wanted.
The Government also woke up to the reality and introduced strict measures, as a result of which the spread of drugs slowed down. To oppose the drugs trade, many social organisations also stood up. Hoardings were put up in universities and marketplaces that drugs are dangerous. Seminars began to be held where it was discussed and pointed out how dangerous intoxicating drugs can be and that those consuming them enter a world of dreams and are lost to the real world. For a short while, they are cut off from the present and enter a seemingly complete stage of ‘liberation’. It began to be said by anti-drug activists that it was not right to take drugs as a revolt in the name of being against the social order or system. How it felt after taking drugs by mouth in tablet form or intravenously through taking injections was also explained, as was the drug quantity that is more dangerous. The whole of Europe and America became familiar with the ill effects of drugs through these seminars, conferences and assemblies. In 1985 there was a new expose in which it was revealed that many social organisations and research foundations were being run by the drugs mafia. The drugs mafia nurtured NGOs by funding them through money in the name of seminars and conferences. In the name of drug opposition, the mafia began publicising the use of drugs. People who had no information about drugs also became familiar with them. In this way, the turnover from use of drugs – the drug trade — increased almost three hundred times in America and Europe. Governments were unable to understand how below their very noses this illegal business had increased so much. The police administration and people connected with politics began to be afraid of the drug mafias. This is the reason why today in America and Europe, the next most powerful force after the Government are these drugs mafias. Perhaps this is also the reason why it is beyond the Governments there to raise a hand against these mafias.
Has India too become a victim to this kind of intrigue and conspiracies is a question worth asking. Are the ‘movements’ running in the name against corruption and an avowal to bring about change in the country spontaneous and genuine or are they a part of a conspiracy by some foreign Intelligence agency ? Is all this being funded with foreign aid? If they are being run with foreign aid, who is giving the money? Are NGOs, anti-corruption ‘movements’ being run at the behest of foreign agents? Is spreading chaos in the country through ‘movements’ a part of a foreign conspiracy? There are many such questions to which it is very important to know the answers. It is noteworthy that in the recent Lok Sabha elections there were many candidates from NGOs being run with the help of foreign funds. In the name of change, their only purpose was that an unstable Government should be formed in the country so that anarchy could be created.
In 1976, during the Emergency, Indira Gandhi made a law called the Foreign Contribution ( Regulation ) Act (FCRA). Under this law, political parties and social organisations were banned from taking foreign money. On 9 March, 1976, when this law was being passed in the Rajya Sabha, during the debate, the name of the American Intelligence agency, the CIA, was taken 30 times. In addition, one was apprised of several dangers of this law. Today, under this law, Indian social organisations are getting foreign money. In fact, since the last few years, in the name of social service, foreign money is being sent openly to India. Use was, and is. being made of this money to create unrest among people, run ‘movements’ in the name of bringing change in the system to create an environment against the political class. These activities are dangerous for the internal security and unity of the country. What was going in the name of ‘social institutions/organisations’ in this country, the previous Government knew well. Just before the recent elections, a statement came from the Ministry of Home Affairs. More than a statement, it was a warning for the country. The Ministry of Home Affairs revealed that several NGOs in India are involved in ‘hawala’ and black money transactions and in the business of providing money to terrorists. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of NGOs in the country authorised to take foreign money was 43,527, out of which more than 19,000 NGOs had not given details of their income and expenditure. The surprising thing is that despite knowing all this, the Government sat silently.
According to a report, in the last three years the amount of foreign funds to NGO’s increased and is annually more than Rs 11,000 crore. The amazing thing was that the then Government did not know how and where and with what objective 19,000 NGOs in the country were using their foreign funds. The new Government should now without delay bring out a White Paper on the activities of these organisations. It should take steps to bring transparency and accountability into the use of foreign funds. If these organisations are using foreign money in the name of ‘movements’ and to bring changes in the country, but are actually working according to a foreign agenda, then believe me, all is not well in the country and the improbable can happen. One reason to doubt motives is that when Anna Hazare began a Jan Lokpal movement in the country against corruption and for transparency, then why were foreign funded NGOs and social organisations kept outside the purview of the Jan Lokpal Bill draft?
With liberalisation in the economy in the nineties, first Rajiv Gandhi, and later P. V. Narasimha Rao, gave full space to NGOs in the policies of the country. With this, civil society and NGOs began to get ‘established’
in the country’s system and in the official Government machinery. Earlier these organisations used to work in the social sectors and then gradually they began interfering in the country’s economic policies. As a result, they also began influencing the policies of the Government. Today, they have directly entered politics and are harbouring dreams of capturing power. The UPA Government has not only nurtured, in fact manured and watered these social organisations, but also allowed them to ‘sit on their head’.
Chairperson of the UPA and the Congress President Sonia Gandhi constituted the National Advisory Council to give policy suggestions to the Government. Did the National Advisory Council become a part of a CIA conspiracy? It is not known whether deliberately or unknowingly such people were included in the Council who had links with foreign funded social organisations. If this was indeed a conspiracy by American intelligence agencies, it means that the CIA was successful in ‘planting’ its agents in the most powerful committee in the Government of India. There should be an investigation on the kind of links people who were on the National Advisory Council had with foreign funded agencies. There should also be an inquiry into how much money was received from America and Germany.
WHERE DID THE FORIEGN MONEY GO?
The Government monitors the receipt and utilisation of foreign contributions by any ‘person’ in the country through the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 framed under the Act. As per the information available, the amount of foreign contribution received by Associations registered and associations granted prior permission under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation ) Act, 2010 during the period 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 is as follows:
Year Amount of foreign contribution received
2007-2008 Rs. 9946.91 Crore
2008-2009 Rs. 10993.56 Crore
2009-2010 Rs. 10352.07 Crore
This was stated in 2012 by the Minister of State of Home Affairs in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
In such circumstances the question arises that should no action be taken against social organisations that are ‘born’ through foreign funds and are and have been nurtured by foreign funds and are working on implementing a foreign agenda in the country? In fact, the neo-liberal system has changed the character of colonialism and imperialism. Now, they do not need to send armed forces. They work in other countries through the strategy of spreading chaos, getting people into ‘movements’, getting the rules changed and putting political pressure to change the situation in their favour. This has been done in Africa, Latin America and several other countries in the world. Many countries were unsuccessful in dealing with this kind of intrigue and were ruined. All over the world, imperialist and colonial powers made NGOs and social organisations their weapons. In this matter their strategy is clear, because they make the common people stand against the Government. Has India too become a victim of such intrigue?
The reality is that foreign agencies first used NGOs as a pressure group. In India these organisations created an atmosphere of despair and dissatisfaction at every place. They worked to instigate people against the Government machinery and the country’s system. In fact, foreign funded organisations created an atmosphere in the country in which people began hating the political leadership and political power. There is no doubt that by their behaviour, political parties and political leaders also gave a good opportunity to these organisations to create negative publicity against the political class.
During the last three-four years two parallel incidents took place. One, more money from abroad began to come to social organisations and two, everywhere in the country a ‘movement’ was launched against corruption. Troubled by everyday problems, people came out on the streets. Happy at the ‘movement’s’ success, social organisations took the second step to fulfill their political ambitions. To hide their own ambitions, these NGOs made ‘movements’ their channel. When the Anna movement happened, in the name of electoral politics Anna separated himself from it and engaged himself in creating a new path for the ‘movement’, but those whose aim had been to use the ‘movement’ to prepare their own political ground formed a separate party. If one looks at the list of candidates who contested the recent Lok Sabha elections, it becomes apparent that those candidates whose organisations are funded by foreign money were very much there in the list. Every big name from the world of NGOs was there in the party that separated from Anna’s movement. It is also very surprising that people, who in the name of social service, were there in Sonia Gandhi National Advisory Committee, had joined the Aam Aadmi Party. It is these people who champion spreading unrest against the existing system and political class in the country. The amusing thing is that what was happening in the country in the name of change was written very clearly on the Ford Foundation website. In other words, this meant that these social organisations have been working according the agenda of the Ford Foundation.
Some time ago an English daily revealed that the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos), gave some NGOs in Gujarat 13 lakh Euros (almost Rs. 10 crore) between April 2008 and August 2012. Out of this amount, some much talked about NGO’s, for example, Disha received 2 lakh 24,000 Euros, the Gujarat Khet Vikas Parishad received 2 lakh 7,000 Euros, Safar received 1 lakh 84,000 Euros, Mahiti received 1 lakh 4,000 Euros, Swati received 85 thousand Euros and Utthan received 63,000 Euros. Hivos provides monetary help to many other NGOs in Delhi and Mumbai. Hivos also gave 4000 Euros to an NGO run by Mumbai based Teesta Setalvad and to Anhad NGO being run under the leadership of Shabnam Hashmi in Delhi. The question here is, why were they given this money? According to a study, the money was given to all these NGOs to destabilise the Modi Government in Gujarat. The truth about Teesta Setalvad’s NGO’s is now before everyone in any case.
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), working, as its name suggests in the direction of election reforms, is being run under the leadership of Trilochan Sastry, former dean of the Indian Institute of Management,( IIM), Bengaluru. ADR is funded on a large scale by the Ford Foundation. ADR received in 2009 and 2011, 2-2 lakh dollars from the Ford Foundation. Of the legal foreign funding coming into the country under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA), the amount increased from Rs. 1865 crore in 1993-94 to Rs. 9,663, in 2007-08, i.e. more than five-fold. The number of institutions/organisations registered under law in this period also increased from 15,039 to 34,803, i.e. more than double. Curiously, 46 per cent of these institutions/organisations had not submitted their accounting for 2007-08 to the Ministry of Home Affairs. In 2011, in one month alone, the Government put a stop to any kind of monetary help from abroad to 4,139 NGOs. Earlier, the Union Home Ministry had said that out of the total of Rs. 10,352.07 crores coming from abroad in 2009-10, the maximum was from America and Europe. The 42 sheet analysis of the Ministry of Home Affairs says that 14,233 NGOs in the country accepted foreign assistance and the total amount that came to them from abroad was Rs. 10,337.59 crores. A large chunk of this money ( Rs. 1815.91 crores) reached Delhi.
Foreign funding becomes all the more critical in an environment where there is increasing pressure on NGOs to demonstrate policy impact, as Pramod Kumar, a Firstpost editor explained: “Gone are the days of those small poverty projects in your neighbourhood slums or coastal villages. The aim is now to get real big bang for the buck. Fund one activist and his/her NGO and get a bill passed in the Parliament; fund a cleric and create an environment of religious disharmony and band of radical youth; or spend a few thousand dollars and get a $3 billion dollar national facility stalled. Within this context, the lack of transparency becomes a cause for genuine concern’.
“But now we have the new IB report claiming NGOs like Greenpeace being ‘a threat to economic security’, and are a manifestation of the infamous ‘foreign hand’. An English daily reports that sections of the IB report have actually been directly copied from a Modi speech from 2006. On September 9, 2006, then Gujarat Chief Minister Modi had lashed out in a speech at a ‘wealthy’ and ‘influential’ class of NGOs that ‘hire PR firms to continually build their image’ with ‘money coming from abroad.’ The occasion was the release of the first edition of ‘NGOs, Activists & Foreign Funds: Anti-Nation Industry’ edited by Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak — a collection of articles on what they called the anti-Hindu agenda and corrupt practices of certain NGOs.” The IB report not only mirrors the same sentiments, but also lifts a paragraph directly from the book: ‘Another conspiracy — a vicious cycle is set up. Funds are obtained from abroad; an NGO is set up; a few articles are commissioned; a PR firm is recruited and, slowly, with the help of the media, an image is created. And then awards are procured from foreign countries to enhance this image. Such a vicious cycle, a network of finance-activity-award is set up and, once they have secured an award, no one in Hindustan dares raise a finger, no matter how many the failings of the awardee’.”
The maximum finding to NGOs is coming from America, followed by Germany and the United Kingdom. These three countries have been topping the list of NGO’s donors for the last so many years. The love that has developed in the hearts of religious institutions in these three countries on account of India’s poverty, illiteracy and health conditions has alerted the Home Ministry. The Ministry has been trying to understand whether in fact the objective of their efforts is indeed social service or something more? Apart from these three countries, Indian NGO’s also get help from other countries in which Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands are included, as are Canada, France, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates in the list of big donors to Indian NGOs. According to information obtained through the Right to Information (RTI) law, NGO Kabir, ( in which a prominent Aam Aadmi leader was a key figure), received between 2007 to 2010 to Rs. 86,61,742 from the Ford Foundation. Not only this, Kabir also received money from the Dutch Embassy. It may be mentioned that advocate ML Sharma had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court for a full investigation of foreign funding of the Aam Aadmi Party.
The policy of creating political instability in the whole world through funding NGOs by America and its Intelligence agency, the CIA, has been called a ‘cultural cold war’. Actually, the purpose of writing this is not to denigrate or raise questions over the objectives of legitimate NGOs, their importance, or their existence or their work. The purpose is only and only to warn against the danger that can be created in the country in the name of donations. There has been intense anger among the people against the Government machinery.
The first task of the political class and especially the new Government should be to restore the people’s confidence, otherwise anti-India powers will get an opportunity. As for NGOs, it is important to determine and define their scope. These organisations should work in the social sector. They should have complete freedom to work in the spheres of education, employment, environment, health and rural development, etc., but on questions related to running the system in the country, foreign funded NGOs should be banned. On serious administrative, judicial, foreign policy, security, policy and electoral reforms issues, it is dangerous for the country to include foreign agencies and their agents. There is no doubt that foreign funded NGOs are mostly foreign agents. These NGOs implement the agenda of the countries from which they receive money.
On a priority basis, the new Government at the Centre should make a law that there should be transparency and accountability in the utilisation of foreign funds in India. The new Government should also make public the names of those foreign funded NGOs who are indulging in organising ‘movements’ and in politics in the country. The people of the country have a right to know who all acted as foreign agents and ‘sold’ the country.