Skip to main content

Gujarat govt had complained: Teesta met junior UN officials for "anti-India" propaganda abroad, used foreign funds

By Our Representative
Top social activist Teesta Setalvad has described the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order to cancel Foreign Currency Regulation Act (FCRA) license of her NGO Sabrang Trust as a clear case of vendetta. Setalvad, it is well-known, has been fighting 2002 Gujarat riots cases, including the Gulberg Society case, whose final verdict was pronounced on Friday.
Saying that the MHA move suggests “a very clear nexus” in which the Gujarat police has failed, in February 2015, to get her custody, as the Supreme Court stayed her arrest (February 12 and 19, 2015), Setalvad said, immediately thereafter the Gujarat home department wrote specifically to the MHA alleging “violations” by the Sabrang Trust.
“What began under Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi (January 2014 when the FIR was first lodged against Tanvir Jafri, Firoz Pathan, Salim Sandhi, Javed Anand and myself) has two years later become the ground for vindictive action against us (Javed Anand, Teesta Setalvad) under the MHA under Modi”, she said.
Pointing out that “this is critical to understand”, Setalvad said, “The deliberate attempt to embellish observations between the time the MHA team first came and the final notice is given is nothing short of a sinister vilification and defamatory campaign.”
Apart from referring to other “violations” regarding alleged misappropriation of funds by Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, the Gujarat home department letter talked of how they “visited Pakistan, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, UK and USA and attended workshops, seminars and conferences where they deliberately portrayed India and Indian government in bad light.”
The letter said, they questioned the “secular credentials of the country, which is akin to foreign governments/NGOs and building opinions against the Indian government, seeking foreign help in the matter which are under active consideration of various courts, including the honourable apex court.”
The letter further said they had meetings with “even junior officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)” -- all this, it believes, amounts to “promoting anti-India propaganda on foreign lands and international fora”.
The Gujarat home department said all this even as blaming Ford Foundation for funding Setalvad and Anand for their “anti-India” activities, even as seeking Government of India review of the top US-based philanthropic organisation. Interestingly, ahead of the recent Modi visit to US, it was conveyed to the Ford Foundation that all restrictions placed on it on foreign funding were removed.
Other accusations in the letter, repeated in nearly all earlier probes, included Javed Anand and Teesta Setalvad being co-editors of “Communalism Combat” magazine, published by Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt Ltd (SCPPL), which was allegedly funded by Sabrang Trust, which in turn received foreign funds. They were also accused of “writing for other periodicals and newspapers, utilizing funds for personal gains, and so on.”
In her reply, Setalvad has variously said that Sabrang Trust and SCPPL are two separate entitiies, and that the publication was registered under PRB Act, 1867, and they have full right to work as correspondent, columnist, editor, printer or publisher of a registered newspaper.
“It is Sabrang Trust, the association granted registration under FCRA, which is prohibited from publishing or acting as correspondent, columnist, editor, etc. Nowhere does the letter place any restriction or prohibition on any of its board members or office bearers being publishers, editors, printers, etc. of a registered newspaper run by some other independent legal entity”, she points out at one place.

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?