As per a report by The Hindu, the Union Home Ministry has suspended the license of six NGOs this year under the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA). For NGOs, registration under FCRA is compulsory for receiving funds from foreign countries.
Out of the six organizations whose license has been suspended, four are Christian organizations which were involved in conversion activity in Northeast, Mumbai and Jharkhand. These organizations are Ecreosoculis North Western Gossner Evangelical in Jharkhand, the Evangelical Churches Association (ECA) in Manipur, Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jharkhand, and New Life Fellowship Association (NLFA) in Mumbai.
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.
“Concerns have been raised regarding the impact of US-based evangelical donors including Seventh Day Adventist Church and Baptist Church in regard to Indian associations; a probe is on,” said an official.
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, and helps the government to monitor the foreign funds to NGOs and their usage.
More than 20,000 organisations are currently eligible to receive funds from foreign donors after registration under the FCRA. Most of these organisations work under the pretext of promoting social, cultural, economic, educational and religious activities. But, as per reports, the foreign funds are mostly used for religious expansion and conversion through disturbing and illegal means.
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 that applying for registration, a grant of prior permission or renewal of registration under the FCRA will now have to file an affidavit sharing details of their government-issued identity proof.
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.”
The POSCO agitation in Odisha and the protests against the Kudankulam nuclear plant continue to stand as prime examples of NGOs trying to destabilise the country. The recent case of Sterlite Copper plant further reveals the extent of how some NGOs are present in the country with the sole agenda of stonewalling development.
The sustained crackdown on NGOs by the Central Government will clean up the sector and NGOs would start doing what they are supposed to do- social work.