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NGOs - Should we love or hate them?
Many years back, in fact 35 years rolled by when for the first time I heard about the abbreviation NGO from the interviewer who had advised me to form an NGO instead of looking for a job. He had found me talented, versatile and qualified for many jobs except the very one I had applied for, under him.
I thought that he was adding the alphabet N with GO. Yes I was ready to go. Out of curiosity I asked another fumbled-up bloke what is NGO? Is it No Go? He sniggered at me and explained: “If you have nothing to do, you gather a small crowd of likes and make a company in the name of some novel humanitarian service or purpose. You could call it NGO.”  It was a tall demand.

The next place assigned to me by destiny had all you want and dream and I’d all but forgotten about NGO. Life took its toll and a reasonably well paid job abroad didn’t allow me to think what the first interviewer had imperiously advised.

It was only day before yesterday that the spook of NGO became ubiquitous and challenged the powers of my memory for better or for worse. It was alarming in nature as it claimed that some of the NGO’s in the country, according to Intelligence Bureau Report, could be a threat to our economic security. 

I’m a ‘Shudh Bhartiye’ or what I believe and any sign that appears to be a threat to my country in any form is unacceptable in my life. I was worried like most of nationalists at India Gate. Further inquiry revealed that hitherto the most esteemed NGO, known as ‘Green Peace’ forms the vanguard of these threats. I have loved the activities of Green Peace as they had challenged, in my calf days, the might of US and European nations. Their activists had romantically clambered up the Nuclear Powered Warships from their Smacks at high seas in protest against the use of nuclear power. 

My faith was shaken in the goodness of their activities as we were enlightened by the IB that the activities of these foreign funded NGO’s have been anti-national and could cost up to 2-3 % of country’s GDP. I always, as a habit, look daggers if anyone dares to look down at the GDP of my beloved nation. The revelation scared the light out of me. I asked my friends if there was some solid evidence to substantiate these charges. I got to know that there have been none so far to produce before the gullible public. As the new government is our New Mai-Bap and Modi Ji is expressing all right and good intentions, we have but to accept what comes from the horse’s mouth.  

However, curiosity and democracy run cheek by jowl. I couldn’t  resist the temptation to go deep into the matter without going the deep end. It is well known that all foreign contributions to NGO’s come under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and home ministry, of course, is equipped with sharp, smart, piercing and penetrating eyes. They know their job at best. 

How, they could have allowed these NGO’s to receive money for subversive purposes all these years? On the face of it, these NGOs look fashionable, human and innocuous. Do they really have the capacity and where-with-all to threaten the India’s Economic Security without the foreign fundings?

The available records of many NGOs speak volumes about their contribution in helping the society in areas where successive governments have failed or been unable or unwilling to engage.  Reams of smudgy newsprints and terra-bites of digital archives stacks would be there with them and with the government agencies to dig out their positive efforts.

Yes, for some time they have been protesting against coal-based power plants and nuclear plants on merits. Is it an illegitimate activity? Was the previous government transparent in details? If you can’t catch them red-handed, you shouldn’t put obstacles in their honest work. In the absence plausible explanation, these reports would create an atmosphere of distrust and prejudice. It is not to say that rogues should be shielded. Government should be strict and stern and at the same time fair and honest.

May I ask the concerned authorizes if they have ever heard about the most powerful NGO of the country called ‘Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’ which is composed to numerous Affiliates. It is on official records and any one can verify with RTI that they have been receiving millions of dollars from Corporates in the United States. 

All of their activities are not what they appear to be or as they proclaim. This was exposed by the Campaign to Stop Funding Hate (SFH), a group of professionals, students, workers, artists and intellectuals. They have identified the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF), a Maryland-based charity organisation established in 1989, as the key fund-raiser for the Sangh Parivar in the U.S. 

SFH says that the IDRF, which was set up to provide funds for `relief and development work’, has been funding RSS-initiated projects all over India. In 2000, around $1.7 million was channelled to Sangh Parivar organisations such as the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA), which has been linked with anti-minority violence. Between 1994 and 2000, the IDRF disbursed close to $4 million to Sangh Parivar organisations all over India.

So, if the nation has to march ahead, we can’t wink at some and accuse some without hundred percent  proof.

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 In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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