Somebody tell Manmohan that NGO mischief goes beyond N-plants – Prabhu Chawla

Prabhu ChawlaUndoubtedly, foreign-funded and controlled NGOs pose a serious threat to India’s economic growth, political stability and cultural harmony. The success of the government lies in taming them, irrespective of the colour of the causes they espouse or oppose. – Prabhu Chawla

Kudankulam Nuclear Power PlantThe good news is that the UPA government has finally woken up to the rising menace of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). The bad news is it has selectively targeted only those who are fighting against the setting up of civil nuclear plants.

According to published reports, the home ministry has cancelled the licences of the three Tamil Nadu-based NGOs who have been opposing the construction of the nuclear power plant at Koodankulam. All three have been accused of diverting funds they received from foreign countries and using the money to hold protests against the plant. It is after many years that the Government has chosen to punish any NGO that indulged in converting a UPA dream project into a nightmare. For the past few months, an NGO has been able to mobilise massive public opinion against the setting up of the nuclear facility. Surprisingly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh deviated from his usual style of not naming either an agency or a country for any misdemeanours, and was forthright in his condemnation. Taking a cue from former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Manmohan also discovered the role of a sinister and invisible foreign hand behind the sabotage of important developmental projects. In an interview to a US-based science journal, he minced no words when he said: “There are NGOs, often funded from the US and the Scandinavian Yvon Ambrosecountries, which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces.” By singling out the US and Scandinavian countries, the Prime Minister pointed his finger only at those NGOs who were active in Tamil Nadu. If these NGOs were also suspect, then why was the Government indulging in a dialogue with them and sending senior ministers, civil servants and even a former president of India to try persuade them to withdraw their agitation? It is also possible that a large number of other NGOs, including those opposing the nuclear plant, may have also misused their funds for purposes other than for what they were granted. The belated punitive action against the NGOs Manmohan referred to raises an important question about the neutrality of the administrative system. The government is sending out unequivocal signals that those who don’t give in to its pressures will be punished. What surprises many is the government’s sensitivity to civil movements against nuclear power plants?

NGO LogoOver a dozen crucial infrastructure, power and mining projects worth Rs 30,000 crore are stuck because of the silly objections and roadblocks raised by various NGOs in many part of the country. All of them are working in the areas of environment, health and children welfare. They have also been receiving money from abroad and are misusing these funds for the purpose of blocking developmental activities. A large of number of them have also been accused of settling scores against those who opposed the UPA government. Some other NGOs have been charged with or have been accused of forcible religious conversions in some communally sensitive states. Truthfully speaking, NGOs have become the most powerful pressure groups for settling intra-sector or intra-party disputes. In fact, the growth of the NGO is never affected by the economic fluctuations of an economy. On the contrary, it thrives on natural calamities, economic deprivation and human conflicts. While the number of NGOs has risen by over 100 per cent over the past decade, their funds have grown by almost 500 per cent. According to unofficial estimates, there are over Dollar + Euro2.5 million NGOs operating in India, who directly or indirectly employ around 20 million people. In other words, there is one NGO for every 500 people in India, as against one doctor for 1,000 persons. These NGOs raise amounts varying between Rs 80 crore to Rs 40,000 crore annually. Over 21,000 NGOs collectively received foreign contributions to the tune of over Rs 49,968 crore during 2005-06 to 2009-10. The dominance of the NGO sector is the outcome of a liberal democratic set-up. Big corporate houses, retired civil servants or their wives and left-of-the-centre intellectuals have set up most of these organisations. Rebels by nature and opulent by lifestyle, a large majority of them have always been working against liberal economic policies and nationalist culture. They have, knowingly or unknowingly, been used by the ruling party to target its opponents in every state. Now, when its most pampered monster threatens mayhem, the UPA has unleashed all its weaponry to go for the kill shot.

Undoubtedly, foreign-funded and controlled NGOs pose a serious threat to India’s economic growth, political stability and cultural harmony. The success of the government lies in taming them, irrespective of the colour of the causes they espouse or oppose. – The New Indian Express, Chennai, Feb. 26, 2012

» Prabhu Chawla is the Editorial Director of The New Indian Express. Contact him at prabhuchawla@newindianexpress.com.

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One Response

  1. Time to get at the root of all these spurious NGO’s getting so much of cash and using it against the nation and the people.

    50,000 crores is not small sum.With such money entire dalit and tribal population can be targetted and coverted in no time.

    If government does not wake up, all nationalists forces should unite to expose such anti nationals and ensure that they are punished as per the law of the land.

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