Middle East

Is the Modi government afraid of NGOs?

Choking charitable funds is one of the expected consequences of Hindu nationalism.

On December 19, this year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled a meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican in October, inviting the head of the Catholic world to the country. “This is the best gift you have given me,” Modi quoted as the Pope said about the invitation.

Barely a week later, the Modi administration announced that philanthropic missionaries founded by Catholic nun Mother Teresa would receive foreign funding to support their work for the poor, from education, medical care, social support to disaster relief. Forbidden.

Irony was not lost to anyone. In 2016, the Pope bestowed a saint on Mother Teresa, the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize laureate born to Albanian parents. She came to India in 1950 and founded a charitable missionary in Kolkata, where she spent most of her life. She died in 1997.

True to that tradition, Charity has appeared in international headlines this week for the wrong reason.

The news that the Indian government refused to renew the organization’s license to receive foreign funds under the Foreign Contribution Control Act (FCRA) caused distrust and startle around the world.

Against the backdrop of increasing attacks on churches across the country and the celebration of Christmas Day, government moves have put the very future of charity under the clouds. It raised concerns that organizations run by Christian missionaries could violate India’s dominant distribution of spreading the Hindu population’s dominance over other religious religious communities. Christians make up only 2 percent of India’s 1.2 billion population.

While not hindering the functioning of charities, blocking foreign funding can seriously jeopardize the operations of charities and undermine the well-being of the people they protect. Approximately, approximately 22,000 people, including abandoned babies, are currently being cared for by charities that have received approximately Rupees 109.9 billion (approximately $ 148 million) in foreign donations over the last 15 years.

Modi vs NGO

The non-renewal of the license, of course, elicited a keen reaction from those who were critical of the government. “Law is a top priority, but humanitarian efforts must not be compromised,” warned modi critic Mamata Banerjee. Kolkata, the world headquarters of charity, is the provincial capital of West Bengal, governed by Banerjee as the head of a political party against Modi.

It has been clear for some time that the charity, despite its global status, is no longer a favorite of the Government of India. Police in Gujarat, home of Modi, filed a complaint against Gujarat earlier this month, saying it “forced girls to read Christian scriptures and participate in prayers.” In addition, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata parliamentarian, Nishikant Dubay, recently accused charities of secretly encouraging conversions.

But above all, the issue of charity highlighted the relationship between the Government of India and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The Modi administration, which enjoys a barbaric majority in Congress, has a reputation for being very impatient with criticism. It is also said to be suspicious of civil society and is believed to be hindering the development of India.

In a report from the Intelligence Agency shortly after Modi came to power in 2014, several NGOs accused opposition to several development projects as having a negative impact on the country’s GDP growth by up to 3 percent. ..

Many NGOs (and tens of thousands in India) suffer from lack of transparency and have often been plagued by accusations of corruption.

However, it is undeniable that many of them act as watchdogs, consistently raise issues of public importance, and often violently oppose the government.

Many of them were actively involved in recent protests against the three agricultural laws that the Modi government wanted to implement to reform its sick agricultural sector. Modi was forced to abolish the law in the face of severe opposition.

The hostility between NGOs and the Government of India has a long history. Due to public safety and environmental issues, several outfits opposed a nuclear project in Kudan Kum, South India, in 2012, urging government crackdowns.

But since Modi came to power in 2014, relations have deteriorated significantly. Numerous new rules have tightened the twist on NGOs, forcing very well-known companies such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace India and the Ford Foundation to effectively close their stores in India.

One such strange rule was that all NGOs in vast countries such as India receiving foreign funds must receive them through a particular bank branch in Delhi.

Organizations such as Amnesty International have also been repeatedly attacked by government agencies. Amnesty International finally shut down last year shortly after issuing two abominable reports. One is about Kashmir after the controversial deprivation of its special position by the Indian government, and the other is about the joint riots that rocked Delhi in early 2000.

The latter reaffirmed the general perception that police were involved in violence.

Statements by top Indian officials shed light on the growing distrust that has begun to involve relations between governments and NGOs, many focusing on delicate issues such as human rights and civil liberties. increase.

At a meeting of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea a few months ago, Modi criticized some of the “selective approaches” of clothing and accused them of “damaging the image of India and the image of democracy.”

His national security adviser, Ajit Doval, also made an ominous note when he recently told a new group of police officers to be on the lookout for civil society. According to him, civil society was a new frontier of war because it could be manipulated against national interests.

Government critics say that philanthropic missionaries may stand on the cross of the Hindu nationalist government, primarily over such concerns.

The good work done by Christian missionaries in an era when India emphasized Hindu nationalism is a source of suspicion. Therefore, choking charitable funds is an expected result.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views, views and editorial policies of TRT World.

All suggestions and submissions to the TRT World Opinion are welcome – email us at opinion.editorial@trtworld.com.

Source: TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/crackdown-of-mother-teresa-charity-is-the-modi-government-afraid-of-ngos-53183?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Is the Modi government afraid of NGOs?

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