The NDA government led by PM Modi gets its share of victory against their ongoing war against foreign-funded NGOs. The Modi government has tightened the norms for these non-profit groups over the past four years. It’s a popular norm that they often act against the nation’s interests thus the government has revoked licences for thousands of foreign-funded groups. Since Modi took oath in 2014, India has cancelled the registrations of nearly 15,000 non-governmental groups under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
One such NGO known for its heated campaigns against India’s coal-fired power plants, Greenpeace has been stopped from receiving foreign donations since 2015, and on October 5 the group’s main bank account was also frozen. On Saturday 40 of its 60 India staff positions had been sacked while two of its regional offices — in New Delhi and Patna — have been shut. The environmental group was closed when its account got blocked under allegations of illegal donations. Not only this, according to an Intelligence Bureau report, the NGO’s activities were a threat to the country’s economic security for their campaigns and protests against coal-fired power plants etc. The NGO was vehemently involved in organising protests against development projects to sabotage and halt India’s progress.
The global NGO, with headquarters in Amsterdam, has had a Delhi office since early 2004-05 which is now in the news for its shady funding. Hence the government soon cancelled its FCRA license, freezing its foreign funding. The NGO had to then rely solely on domestic donations. However, later, the Modi government also froze its domestic accounts. More recently in October 2018, the Enforcement Directorate raided the NGO’s Bengaluru office to probe alleged forex violations. Both cases, pertaining to FCRA and forex violations, are under the jurisdiction of the court.
Facing the shortage of funds from over three years after the Centre cancelled the registration of Greenpeace India under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA), the environmental campaigners also had to close down offices in Patna and Waidhan in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh. Its campaigns and operations in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad were previously closed down in 2015. The number of employees from 300 has reduced to mere 20 including those working at their headquarters in Bengaluru. According to a report published in DNA, one of the staff told the media house that internal staff meetings were held to apprise them of an imminent office closure in Delhi. “The reality had dawned upon us when people were asked to go. But we have had an inkling about the closure for a while,” said an employee who did not wish to be named. Hence it can be concluded that FCRA has brought NGOs like Greenpeace to their knees.
The Modi government also tightened its grip against Amnesty Internal which was nourished by the previous UPA government. A series of searches were conducted by ED.T he searches were in connection with alleged violation of foreign direct investment norms linked to a previous case of revocation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of the NGO by the Union Home Ministry in 2010. The ED, in a statement, had said, “After Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) was denied the permission/registration under FCRA by the MHA (ministry of home affairs) they resorted to bypass the FCRA by floating commercial entity in the name of Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL).” Thus NGOs detrimental to India’s progress, which were fostered by UPA, are near to closing in NDA era.