Ever since the Modi government assumed power, it has relentlessly cracked down on the foreign funding of the NGOs, who while working on Indian soil, serve vested interests and to the detriment of India. In a fresh development, the Union Home Ministry has decided to suspend the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) licenses of 13 NGOs for indulging in religious conversions of tribals to Christianity.
As is the norm, the NGOs were initially served a show-cause notice where they were asked to respond to the charges. The NGOs failed to comply with the timeline, which resulted in the MHA suspending FCRA licenses of 13 NGOs.
The suspension means that these NGOs will not be able to receive any foreign funding for ‘religious’ purposes. Additionally, the MHA has frozen the bank accounts of the NGOs under the scanner after intelligence reports had pointed to their conversion of tribal people to Christianity in some tribal areas of certain states.
The NGOs have now been given six months to respond to their suspension notices and their response will be the deciding factor whether their licenses would be reinstated or cancelled altogether.
The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 has been used by the Bharatiya Janata Party government to curb the activities of unregistered NGOs which led to disruptions of all kinds in India. The money received by the NGOs was used mostly in anti-India activities and for conversions carried out by the church. The business of the NGOs was flourishing at an unprecedented level before the much-needed clampdown started by the Home Ministry after BJP came to power.
Two years ago, the ministry launched an online website which acts as a tool to monitor the flow of funds through organizations which fall under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act that is helping the government to monitor the foreign funds to NGOs and their usage.
In the second term, the Modi government started a fresh crackdown on NGOs involved in the conversion and seditious activities. In September last year, the government made it mandatory for all office-bearers including the chief functionary of foreign-funded associations and NGOs applying for registration, a Grant of prior permission or renewal of registration under the FCRA along with an affidavit sharing details of their government-issued identity proof.
Last year, the Modi government banned 1,807 NGOs and academic institutions which were found to be violating laws of receiving foreign funding, in the year 2018.
Prime Minister Modi is himself leading the crackdown on NGOs which are involved in ‘conversion activities.’ PM Modi is understood to have told top officers, “If the money is being pumped in for a social cause and nation-building, then there is nothing wrong. But if it is used by civil society to further the cause of foreign powers and subvert democratic institutions, then there is a danger. This is a new kind of challenge and we must be ready to face it.”
It seems that the crackdown against NGOs violating FCRA norms will not abate and such NGOs will not be allowed to go scot-free.