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Greenpeace India wins legally but loses morally
A recent Delhi High Court order in favor of Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai may have brought joy to Greenpeace India; however, this has also exposed how could NGOs and activists in India reach to suit their own interest.

The court may be right in stating fundamental right of a citizen to travel abroad and right to dissent on developmental thought, nevertheless, the broad motivation of foreign sponsored NGOs in India can still be questioned morally.

Firstly, Greenpeace India claims "the counter argument made by its critics stating that Greenpeace India works for foreign interest is baseless as 60-75 per cent of it's funding comes from donors in India".

If the equation was as simple as claimed by Greenpeace India, then why not fundamentally correct the course by establishing a local NGOs like Sabuja Bharat, etc. using this 75 per cent of donation and fight for the tribal in Mohana in a more nationalistic approach by distancing from external foreign force behind the scene? Hence, it's not the whole story.

Secondly, 95 per cent of employees of Greenpeace India are Indians, does not assure that 5 per cent foreign nationals can't influence in decision making, especially when these 5 per cent are in top decision making board. Most of the embassies across the world employ good number of locals for various requirements, but intelligence work is still carried out in foreign land by top few in the embassy.

There is no guarantee Greenpeace India would not function in the interest of foreign donor, the way embassy work in foreign land. Rather Greenpeace India becomes more distrustful as it is widely linked with Greenpeace all around the world in sharing data, thoughts, individuals, expertise and, work. It is further supported by evidence that Priya Pillai's ticket was sponsored by Greenpeace UK and not by Greenpeace India.

Thirdly, the past experience with similar protest against mining of Niyamgiri Hill by Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL, presently Sesha Sterlite) proves that it is the Indian system, mainly in this case was Rahul Gandhi, which categorically counted to cancel Niymagiri mining. All the expensive visits by anti-VAL NGOs, activists and their sponsored tribal to London, UK did not count at all to influence VAL to stop the project.

A small withdrawal of share with a value of few (5 to 6) million-dollar worth by Church of England did not have any greater business impact on the billion-dollar VAL project. Most of the foreign, especially UK, shareholders stayed with VAL as usual. Thus, it is rubbish to argue that submitting/speaking to the parliamenterians in UK would help stopping the Essar project in Mohana (Madhya Pradesh), so de-boarding Priya Pillai has not impact on the struggle against Essar.

Fourthly, it is known fact that Mauritius is used for FDI to India because of tax benefits. At the same time NRI (NRI does not make foreigner; NRI comes under all Indian law like any resident citizen) businessman like Anil Agarwal or Ruia brothers use Mauritius route and register their companies in foreign land to bring foreign shareholder along with their investment that finally turns into FDI for India.

Technically and legally these are foreign companies but in practical sense these companies, owned by Indian citizens, help India to get FDI that otherwise would have gone somewhere else, in true modern economic sense FDI is crucial for developing country like India, China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa etc., unless ignorantly compelling the world with alternate model? Therefore, argument of activists/NGOs stating "why to take interest for a foreign company like Essar" stands less relevant to present day's nationalistic thought.

Fifthly, there are multiple numbers of evidences when powerful foreign countries have used voice of NGOs and activists against national interest of India, such as, serious concerned raised by French President to visiting Indian Prime Minister during Kandhamal riots and recent statement issued by American President on religious intolerance in India.

The fact is that these foreign leaders have rarely shown any interest on intolerance towards any other communities except the specific one having political interest at their home nation. Therefore, submission of an Indian citizen to parliamentarians in foreign country could definitely bring suspicion of any intelligence agency that cares for national interest.

Finally, if Greenpeace India was so keen that meeting parliamentarians in UK would resolve the issue in the ground (which in actual is not), then why did not it send a foreign national with all the presentation details? Moral of the story is when the ticket was sponsored by an affiliated foreign NGOs (in UK) and the particular NGO (Greenpeace India) has a track record of anti-national activities at least as per intelligence agency of the Government, any positive thinking Government would definitely take pre-caution.

In many developed nations intelligence agencies are given free hand to suit the national interest, it seems in India personal fundamental right is legally more powerful than moral national interest.

The reasons for de-boarding Maneka Gandhi was publicly well known and court order in her case could test both legal and moral values, however, in the case of Priya Pillai moral values are missing as the reasons for her travel is suspicious to the national interest, though legal values striking at the best.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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