The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is taking one step after another to harm the interest of Hindu society with the latest being the handing over of rural tribal area hospitals to Red Cross Society, a Christian charitable organization with apathy record. The Christian organization carrying out the conversion activities, especially among tribal, Dalit, and poorer sections of the population is well known. But Maharashtra’s health minister Rajesh Tope has qualms over outsourcing the responsibility of the state to a Christian welfare organization.
The states like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and those in the Northeast, which did not have any distant contact with Christianity until the British came to India, have a large number of Christians today, thanks to forced conversions. The Christian missionaries especially targeted the vulnerable section of the society – the tribes, the poor, and the Dalits. When India became independent, the conversion activities increased manifold instead of being stopped because the successive Congress regimes gave free hand to the conversion mafias.
In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance is doing the same by allowing the Red Cross society to run hospitals in rural areas with heavy tribal populations. One can surely ask questions like – if the majority of Maharashtra’s tribes resides in the rural areas, then why the Red Cross society is only interested in helping areas with a dominant tribal population? However, Rajesh Tope is more interested in outsourcing his job to the Red Cross in a blatant display of incompetency instead of asking such questions.
“A decision will be taken in two weeks to transfer the hospitals in the tribal and rural areas of the state and the primary health centres under them to charitable organizations or the Red Cross Society,” he said.
While the union government is making efforts to stop forceful conversions with tiger surveillance on NGOs, the Maharashtra government is not only giving them freehand, but, is also ready to assist them.
In September this year, Amit Shah led Union Home Ministry suspended the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) licenses of 13 NGOs for indulging in religious conversions of tribals to Christianity.
As per 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 Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 has been used by the Bharatiya Janata Party government to curb the activities of unregistered NGOs which led to all kinds of disruptions 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 into 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 which is helping the government to monitor the foreign funds to NGOs and their usage.
Last year, the Modi government banned 1,807 NGOs and academic institutions which were found to be violating laws of receiving foreign funding in 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.”
However, as long as ministers like Rajesh Tope and the governments like MVA are ready to ‘assist’ the NGOs involved in suspicious activities, the clampdown by the Modi government will have a very little net impact on the ground.