Skip to main content

Trump told: US-based Hindutva groups funding hatred against India's Christians, Muslims under FCRA cover

A February 9 USCIRF seminar on religious freedom
By Our Representative
US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has asked newly-appointed President Donald Trump to put “religious freedom and human rights at the heart of all trade, aid, and diplomatic interactions with India” and urge the Government of India "to push Indian states that have adopted anti-conversion laws to repeal or amend them to conform to international norms.”
An independent, bipartisan US federal government commission, in its latest recommendations, which have also been been sent to the US Secretary of State, and the Congress, USCIRF, referring to the clampdown on NGOs under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 1976, has sought their intervention to “urge the Indian government to immediately lift its sanctions against NGOs working for the welfare of the minorities in India.”
In an unusually sharp critique of the BJP-led NDA government, the USCIRF wants the US administration to identify and act against "Hindutva groups that raise funds from US citizens and support hate campaigns in India”, adding, “Such groups should be banned from operating in the US if they are found to spread hatred against religious minorities in India.”
Referring to the March 2016 amendment to the FCRA, introduced “to legalize funding by foreign entities to political parties”, the USCIRF states, “The amendment enables foreign Hindu organizations to send money to India-based radical Hindu organizations”.
It insists, these radical groups “have been seeking funds for the controversial Ghar Wapsi campaign ”, launched by Hindutva groups to aggressively oppose the right to convert to religions like Islam and Christianity.
Especially citing a report prepared by US-based South Asia Citizens Web (SACW), “Hindu Nationalism in the United States”, USCIRF says, the report refers “policies and actions of Hindu radical groups in the US, and covers tax records, newspaper articles, and other sources on the NGOs in the US affiliated with the Sangh Parivar ... and BJP.”
USCIRF approvingly quotes the SACW report as saying, “India-based Sangh affiliates receive social and financial support from its US-based wings, the latter of which exist largely as tax-exempt non-profit organizations in the US.”
SAWC, says USCIRF, identifies US-based organizations which carry out these activities. These are “Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, Sewa International USA, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation-USA, and the Overseas Friends of the Bharatiya Janata Party-USA.”
USCIRF regrets, “While the Indian government continues to use the FCRA to limit foreign funding for some NGOs, Hindutva supporter organizations have never come under the scrutiny of the FCRA”, adding, “With the new amendment to the FCRA, these foreign-based radical Hindu organizations will be able to send funds to India, without restriction, to support hate campaigns.”
At the same time, the report states, the FCRA is being used against organizations which take up human rights of minorities, pointing to how the Modi government has been blocking funds “to hamper the activities of NGOs that question or condemn the government or its policies”.
With a special reference, in this context, to the clampdown on human rights activist Teesta Setalvad for “violating” FCRA, the report praises her for “campaigning to seek criminal charges against Indian officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for their alleged involvement in the anti-Muslim riots.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
About time. What's sauce for the geese is sauce for the gander.
MentorNet said…
In India last week, we heard testimonials of those who have been beaten, robbed and had their houses and fields burned, for doing nothing more than worship their god, Jesus. There seems to be an evil spirit that motivates some folk. Fortunately, some of these turn to Jesus as their new god, after He heals their diseases of appears to them in dreams.

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).