World Vision helps Congress draft its election manifesto – Akshay Narang

World Vision-Congress

It is shameful that the Congress party is taking inputs for drafting its manifesto from World Vision, a Christian church ministry which is involved in evangelism and proselytisation in India. – Akshay Narang

It has come to light that World Vision, an evangelical Christian organisation, has given inputs to the Indian National Congress in connection with its manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Wada na Todo Abhiyan tweeted from its handle“@wadanatodo along with @stc_india, @WVIndia, @9isM9 and National Coalition for Eradication of #BondedLabour and #HumanTrafficking held an interface with the #manifesto committee of the @INCIndia and presented our manifestos.” Therefore, it is clear that World Vision is helping the Congress draft its manifesto.

It is important to note that S. K. Shashikumar, a noted investigative journalist has given certain interesting insights in an article authored in 2010 about the said organisation. World Vision carries out its community development programmes through Area Development Programmes (ADP). In India, World Vision describes itself as a, “Christian relief and development agency with more than 40 years experience in working with the poorest of the poor in India without respect to race, region, religion, gender or caste.” As per Shashikumar, Tehelka had in its possession a US-based document, i.e. World Vision’s financial statement filed before the Internal Revenue Service whereby World Vision is classified as a Christian church ministry. The mission statement of World Vision reads, “World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in working with the poor and oppressed, to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the Good News of the Kingdom of God.”

As per Shashikumar, World Vision enjoys a consultative status with UNESCO and partnership with supranational agencies such as UNICEF, WHO, etc. However, its financial records suggest that World Vision has funded evangelical activities across the globe including India. The investigative journalist gives an account of World Vision New Zealand’s report dated September 4, 2002 on the funding of an ADP in Dahod, Gujarat. It states, “Held a vacation Bible school for 150 children from different villages. The children participated in games, Bible quizzes, drama and other activities. Organised a one-day spiritual retreat for 40 young people and a children’s Christmas party. Each of Dahod’s 45 villages chose five needy children to attend the party. (sic)”

In this article, Shashikumar has even claimed that while none of the literature published by World Vision mentions evangelical missions but its foreign publications proudly proclaim its “spiritual” component. He has also claimed that proselytisation is an integral part of its ADP programmes.

It is therefore shameful that the Congress is taking inputs for drafting its manifesto from such an organisation which is widely to be involved in evangelism and proselytisation. This once again exposes the divisive brand of politics which is central to the Congress. The grand old party has realised that it does not have much to offer to the electorate in terms of statesmanship and good governance. Having realised that the Rahul Gandhi led party is desperately trying to gain publicity by indulging in minority appeasement and vote bank politics.

On one hand, the Congress claims to be the hallmark of secularism and on the other hand, it is taking the help of an evangelical organisation in drafting its manifesto. This squarely exposes the lies and the double standards of the INC. – Rightlog.in, 20 February 2019

» Akshay Narang is a political analyst and amateur historian.



 

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World Vision must answer terror financing questions – MEF

World Vision Nepal

Middle East ForumWorld Vision declined to address questions about the history of its financial relationship with a Bin Laden-linked charity, or the matter of a fraudulent identification number submitted to the U.S. government as part of World Vision’s grant application. – Middle East Forum

On Giving Tuesday, the Middle East Forum (MEF) is warning Americans about the risks of giving to charities that are active in areas of the world where terrorist groups operate. This comes in the wake of an investigation into World Vision, the international evangelical aid charity, and its continued refusal to acknowledge the depths of its involvement in the financing of a designated terrorist-funding Sudanese charity linked to Osama Bin Laden, or to take any corrective measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Writing in the Christian Post on November 3, the Forum revealed the full extent of the role played by World Vision in a 2015 decision by the Obama administration to approve the transfer of $115,000 of taxpayers’ money to the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), which the U.S. government designated as a terrorist organization in 2004 because of its close links to Bin Laden. The Christian Post article followed a July 2018 report the Forum wrote in National Review first uncovering the scandal, which was covered by media all around the world.

In response to the Christian Post article, World Vision referred to the Forum’s evidence as “false,” “unfair” and “outrageous.” World Vision declined, however, to address the Forum’s questions about the history of its financial relationship with the Bin Laden-linked charity, or the matter of a fraudulent identification number submitted to the U.S. government as part of World Vision’s grant application.

The Middle East Forum has now responded to World Vision’s latest obfuscation with a detailed post refuting World Vision’s attempt to muddy the waters.

Cliff Smith, Director of the Middle East Forum’s Washington Project, said: “It is not our intention to impugn any of the good work that World Vision does. But an appropriate response to the discovery that your charity has been working with a designated terrorist entity connected to Bin Laden is not denial and obfuscation, but reflection and internal investigation. World Vision should answer, substantively, without dodging questions, the issues raised by the documented facts we discuss, and let the chips fall where they may. Taxpayers and other World Vision supporters would better welcome a charity that could admit making such a serious mistake.” – Middle East Forum, 14 November 2018

» The Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, is dedicated to defining American interests in the Middle East and protecting America from Islamist threats. It achieves its goals through intellectual, activist, and philanthropic efforts.

World Vision financing jihadis?


NGOs received a whopping Rs 17,208 crore from foreign donors in 2015-16 – Vijaita Singh

Debit Card & Cross

Vijaita SinghThere are 33,000 NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) that are required to file their annual returns with the Home Ministry. … Of the 16 major donors, at least 14 are Christian organisations, most of them based in the U.S. – Vijaita Singh

Foreign donations to Indian NGOs have surged since the NDA government came to power.

As per figures available with the Home Ministry, which regulates the flow of foreign funds to NGOs and associations in India, the 2015-16 fiscal saw a flow of Rs 17,208 crore from foreign donors, the highest in five years. There were donations of Rs 14,525 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 13,092 crore in 2013-14. In 2012-13, the foreign donations received totalled Rs 9,423 crore, and in 2011-12, Rs 10,334 crore.

There are 33,000 NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) that are required to file their annual returns with the Home Ministry, but only 19,000 received funds last year.

Of the 16 major donors, at least 14 are Christian organisations, most of them based in the U.S.

Last year, the Home Ministry put Colorado-based Christian NGO Compassion International on its watch-list as it was accused of funding Indian NGOs involved in religious conversions.

The crackdown against the Compassion International, which also figures in the list of the largest foreign donors, led to a diplomatic standoff with the United States. The U.S. Embassy wrote to the Centre, asking it to share evidence to support the allegations.

World Vision International, which is also based in the U.S., sent Rs 300 crore to Indian NGOs last year. Another U.S.-based donor, Give2Asia, sent Rs 105 crore while Canada-based Gospel For Asia sent Rs 830 crore.

Before it was put on the watch-list, the Compassion International had donated Rs 292 crore.

Clean-up exercise

Soon after the NDA government came to power in 2014, a massive clean-up exercise was taken up against NGOs registered under the FCRA. In 2015, the Home Ministry notified new rules, which required NGOs to give an undertaking that the acceptance of foreign funds is not likely to prejudicially affect the “sovereignty and integrity of India or impact friendly relations with foreign states and does not disrupt communal harmony.”

Under the annual returns category, the NGOs were asked to give an undertaking that the foreign funds were utilised in such a way that it did not affect the “security, strategic, scientific or economic interest, public interest, freedom or fairness of election to any legislature or harmony between religious, social, racial, linguistic group, caste or communities.”

The Home Ministry has cancelled the registration of over 10,000 NGOs in 2015 for not complying with the norms.

The registration of Greenpeace International was cancelled on the premise that it compromised the country’s “economic security”.

The MHA also cancelled the registration of Sabrang Trust, an NGO run by Gujarat-based social activist Teesta Setalvad’s and that of noted lawyer Indira Jaising’s Lawyers Collective. Ms. Setalvad and Ms. Jaising are known for their critical stand against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. – The Hindu, 20 February 2017

» Vijaita Singh is a senior assistant editor at The Hindu in New Delhi.

NGO Funds

Meera Nanda returns with more nonsense – Adity Sharma

The Law“Meera Nanda’s lopsided analysis and incessant diatribes laced with venom against Hindus and Hindu Dharma stink of the mindset that plagues most academics in and on India. In her zeal to portray Hindus and Hinduism as entities straight out of a Neanderthal world, she ignores that Christian and Islamic televangelists and preachers also indulge in globe-trotting to raise more and more funds to harvest the poor souls steeped in ‘darkness’. India is a favorite destination for American evangelists. – Adity Sharma

Dr Meera NandaWhen historians and Indologists are not preoccupied with denouncing the dangers of Hindu revivalism, they can be found hurling intellectual-sounding invectives at the evils of Hindu Dharma. Meera Nanda belongs to that special tribe of individuals with impressive credentials and a strong attachment to all things that have perverted secularism’s original meaning in India. A microbiologist, Nanda prefers philosophizing about issues of which she has little knowledge. While Nanda has not quite reached the dizzying depths self-acclaimed historians and Indologists such as Romila Thapar, Arundhati Roy, Wendy Doniger, Vijay Prashad and Angana Chatterji occupy, she is doing her utmost to attain that coveted depth.

In her latest essay on India’s superstition industry (“In the name of faith,” Frontline, September 18, 2013) Nanda recycles the same accusations she has been spouting for years. The article is about the arrest of Asaram Bapu. It is interesting to note that when it comes to accusations against Hindu leaders or gurus, there is nothing like giving the benefit of doubt in the world of India’s secularists. Nanda excoriates the neoliberal regime which, according to her, has given rise to the superstition industry, and weaves a dark tale of the evil nexus between faith, politics and money, all the while taking pains to lay the entire blame for all ills on the Hindu tradition itself.

One quotation stands out amidst the rubble of accusations, “When our elected representatives, policymakers and state functionaries approach the religious establishment as devotees, rather than as officials of a secular state with a constitutional mandate to create a secular public culture, what we get is a culture steeped in a disregard for the law, and a culture that protects irrational beliefs from critical scrutiny.”

World Vision IndiaIn the name of faith 

Oh, very right, but there is one small, insignificant problem. Nanda and her tribe of fatuous historians do not actually intend that all religiosity and the Indian State be divorced from each other. Oh no. This is only intended for the polytheists who have yet to be civilized, and herded away from their idolatrous ways. Proof? Take for example, Nanda and her tribe’s complete silence on the aggressive proselytising (by hook-or-by-crook) going on in many parts of the country. Christian missionaries, both White and non-White, receive staggering sums of money by a conglomerate of Western institutions which, if carefully analyzed, dwarfs the amount Hindu institutions receive.

One such powerful institution is World Vision International, a Christian entity which seeks to proselytise the poorest sections of society through offering them much-needed succour. But along with providing basic necessities, World Vision and other Christian organizations are busy harvesting souls for Christ. World Vision’s website unashamedly announces: “We proclaim together, ‘Jesus lived, died, and rose again. Jesus is Lord’. We desire him to be central in our individual and corporate life.” Where is Nanda’s condemnation? Is she diligently working on it? Doubtful. She feigns ignorance about these activities, which not only alienate people from their ancestral roots, but also create resentment and strife between different communities (see World Vision’s Mission Statement).

World Vision bibles for slum children.Nanda has a huge problem with the purported “state-temple-corporate-complex,” In fact, she has written a book on what she and secular scholars want to pass of as “research.” But what about World Vision’s goal of lodging Jesus in an individual’s private and corporate life, is that not hypocrisy?

But play word association with Nanda. Mention the words (proselytisation) or (Christian missionaries), and the only thing that will most likely come to her superficial intellect is the Stains family being burned alive by an unruly Hindu mob. More proof? With her impressive qualifications, surely Nanda is aware that Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia are feverishly pouring millions in an effort to export Wahhabism which upholds and propagates the crassest elements found in Islam. Islamic countries send Imams and other religious scholars to brainwash millions of youth in non-Muslim countries to become true Muslims, and the hundreds of terrorist attacks across the globe are hapless witnesses to this legacy.

When Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, who has openly vilified non-Muslims in his sermons, was officially welcomed by India in 2011, the secularist halfwits did not screech with self-righteous indignation. A banquet was thrown in his honor! Was that not an egregious violation and neglect of the Indian State’s duty towards maintaining a secular character? Is it not even more disturbing that no one thinks it necessary to protect India’s secular character from such flagrant displays of religiosity?

They do speak though. Oh yes, they hoard their holier-than-thou secular energy in reserves to use against Hindu leaders. When democratically elected Narendra Modi was denied a visa to attend a private meeting in the United States, the same halfwits who get tongue-tied at the sight of a cleric like Al-Sudais, simply could not conceal their glee. But perhaps an important scholar and philosopher like Zakir NaikNanda failed to decry Al-Sudais’s visit in her writings because she was out on an important fact-finding mission for her next anti-Hindu project?

Zakir Naik, Islam apologist extraordinaire, is another glaring instance where Nanda keeps her excellent lambasting skills in check. Naik has traveled the world spewing anti-Semitism, staging fraudulent conversions, and holding a sham annual Peace Conference. In 2006, Naik launched another propaganda outlet, Peace TV, that runs in several countries. Surely, these extravagant endeavours cost hundreds of millions. Yet, zakaat (Islamic charity funds) keep on flowing in Naik’s direction. So, one wonders in earnest why Nanda who has made a lucrative career out of dishing out nauseating doses of diatribes against Hindus and Hindu Dharma, is silent on Naik’s sources of funding?

Plenty of pie for everyone

Nanda’s lopsided analysis and incessant diatribes laced with venom against Hindus and Hindu Dharma stink of the mindset that plagues most academics in and on India. In her zeal to portray Hindus and Hinduism as entities straight out of a Neanderthal world, she ignores that Christian and Islamic televangelists and preachers also indulge in globe-trotting to raise more and more funds to harvest the poor souls steeped in ‘darkness’. India is a favorite destination for American televangelists.

But a few Hindu gurus duping gullible masses are inconsequential when measured against the belief systems Nanda and her secular cronies laud as progressive. If Nanda seriously wished to present an analysis of how individuals in the guise of religious garb dupe the gullible masses into opening their hearts and trick them into writing out fat checks, she could do a fair analysis of examining the merits of all belief systems, because surely Hindu Dharma alone does not stand indicted.

A "secular" Dalit ChristianChucking the irrational and superstitious

This condemnation of secularist propaganda is not an endorsement of, or an attempt to whitewash, certain gender and caste-based practices that have crept into Hindu Dharma. These need to be dragged into the open, acknowledged, analyzed, and where needed, jettisoned, as is envisioned in the Dharma itself. From ancient times in India, it was common for Hindu thinkers to have scriptural debates. Sages from Hindu and Buddhist backgrounds also engaged in debates on practices and customs.

Superstitions have the dangerous potential of preying on society’s vulnerable and marginalized and can become an albatross around the neck of a civilization that has stood the vicissitudes of time because it does not clash with new scientific approaches to understanding the world, and does not have dogmas that could be endangered by the surfacing of new truths and insights about the world. – Vijayvaani, 2 December 2013

» Adity Sharma is a student at St. John’s University School of Law in New York; her writings have appeared in Beliefnet, Chakranews, HVK, and Counterpunch

 Links:

  1. In the Name of Faith – Meera Nanda
  2. Banquet hosted in honor of Al-Sudais – Arab News
  3. Secularism a threat to Islam, Naik says – Abbas Al Lawati
  4. Private jets, 13 mansions and a $100,000 mobile home just for the dogs: Televangelists ‘defrauded tens of million of dollars from Christian network’ – Nina Golgowski

GCM Ministries: Christians employ ‘surrogate advertising’ to sell Jesus in Mumbai – Manohar Kamath

India Crossed-Out: Christian missionaries meet no opposition from Hindu organisations today.“‘Surrogate Advertising’ described in Wikipedia is a form of advertising which is used to promote banned products like cigarettes and alcohol, in the disguise of another product. It is said that birth of surrogate advertising happened in Britain, where housewives started protesting against liquor advertisements which provoked their husbands.” – Manohar Kamath

Johnny Lever: I do it for the money!A campaign named ‘Power to Change’ has hit Mumbai in November. I am witnessing buses carrying message of ‘Power to Change’ with brand ambassadors like Johnny Lever and Naghma, and telephone numbers of people who would rescue you out of your despondency. They are out to ‘save’ you.

There is similar campaign on radio too with Johnny Lever trying not to be funny and exhorting people to call and meet people who would change your life. Apparently, it does not look religious campaign. No mention of any religion etc. Another friend of mine called the ‘helpline’ and asked what was the free book that is being given, the person on the other side refused to say anything about the supposed book.

It was kind of hush-hush nudge-nudge approach. So, I approached our ultimate saviour – the net! And Yahoo! I found the link to Youtube promo which talked of ‘Jesus the Saviour’.

So, there you are! Surrogate advertisement has entered religious arena in a big way to stoke religious conversions. Much bigger than any such marketing campaign seen in India. Apparently it is a high cost, high impact marketing campaign for religious conversions.

There is a call centre, there are individual volunteers and then there are mass meetings too with testimonials etc. But, all this is unknown to innocent ‘sinner’ till he gets in touch with this group. From the look of it and from my experience of marketing, this blitzkrieg cannot cost less than 6-7 crore rupees.

If one had any doubt whether conversions are a big business or a purely religious affair where one propagates one’s religion openly and urges people to join, this campaign clears such doubts.

Banned Product!‘Surrogate Advertising’ described in Wikipedia is a form of advertising which is used to promote banned products like cigarettes and alcohol, in the disguise of another product. It is said that birth of surrogate advertising happened in Britain, where housewives started protesting against liquor advertisements which provoked their husbands.

The protest rose to a level where liquor advertising had to be banned and brand owners seeing no way out decided to promote fruit juices and soda under the brand name, the concept later emerged as Surrogate Advertisements.

A CBN report that I tracked is like a typical press handout from the promoters. It tells us that advertisements in major cities from Asia to the Middle East are introducing millions of people to a life-changing message about Christ. It gives details of such exercise earlier executed with finesse in Hyderabad in 2012.

I am told it also happened in Chennai. The PR person has a typically Hindu name Sushruth Pradhan, leader of Refreshing International Ministries. His language is typical language of ‘saviours’.

Dr. Hannu Haukka, International Director of GCM MinistriesThis report quotes Hannu Haukka, President of Great Commission Media Ministries, who helped develop the campaigns. He said it’s an effective way to saturate unreached, urban populations. Thousands of callers flood the campaign’s phone center requesting the free book with stories of lives changed by God.

“And we’re talking about Hindus, Muslims in the city of Hyderabad. It’s something that churches have never, never seen in that city,” he said. This report also quotes that during the past decade, Haukka’s Finland-based ministry has taken the Power to Change media campaign to more than 60 cities, including Jesus’ home town of Nazareth, in Israel.

Bhaskar ReddyOn further search you reach www.gcmediaministries.org This site takes us to the origin of these campaigns, called GCM Ministries with headquarters in Canada. It tells us that GCM Ministries, Great Commission Media Ministries (formerly IRR/TV), is a non-denominational modern missions organization which focuses on taking the Gospel to the nations of Russia, Asia, the Middle East, North Africa.

The tools of television, radio, the internet greatly enhance the fulfilment of the Great Commission of Christ. For the Church to prevail in missions these tools must be utilized massively by the Church in today’s world. The site proudly proclaims that their mission is – Win! Train! Send!

To achieve its goals of reaching the peoples of Russia, Central Asia, China, India and Israel GCM Ministries produces evangelistic radio programs, television programs, videos and literature in 40 languages. In addition GCM Ministries systematically trains indigenous workers in their respective cultures sending them to their own peoples. Humanitarian aid is provided in hard hit areas suffering from natural disasters and to children in Russia’s children’s prison camps.

The site also gives us a snapshot of this movement, started by Josh McDowell in 1967. By 2007 with 500 staff members in more than 15 ministries, thousands of supporters and an exciting new strategy, Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada makes a unified decision to become Power to Change Ministries.

Swami Dayananda SaraswatiAll this is apparently funded well by devout Christians of US and Europe who find their saved flock dwindling and wish to serve ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’ by recruiting followers from other gullible countries.

Swami Dayanand Saraswati says that religious conversion is a violence against spirit. It snatches a person away from his social and spiritual moorings and creates divide in the society. The religious conversion doesn’t stop just at changing your way of worship but also influences your life style and asks you to follow an alien culture. This is a major cause of schism where overt and covert conversion campaigns are taking place. Marx called religion opium for the masses. But, the world has seen largest massacres and holocausts in the name of religion. Wars have been mainly between Christians and Muslims called crusades or jihad by respective religious groups. Hindus have suffered millions of deaths or conversions during their history of more than 1000 years. Their fate is left unsung, suppressed historical accounts by our leftist secular historians. But, truth cannot be hidden. It has a nasty way of popping up from somewhere. It is sad that in spite of all this unrest our religious ‘competitors’ have not understood the enormity of damage they are doing to humanity by their efforts to spread their ‘exclusivist’ religions by all means fair or foul, direct or surrogate. – Hindu Voice E-Bulletin, Issue No.48, 24th-30th Nov. 2013

World Vision employs surrogate advertising to get Hindus to donate funds towards their conversion activities in Indian villages!

World Vision employs deceitful surrogate advertising to get Hindu business houses to donate funds towards their religious conversion activities in Indian villages!

See also

Seven Christians convicted for the Swami Lakshmanananda murder – IANS

Swami Lakshmanananda's Paduka's

Phulbani District CourtA court in Odisha Monday held seven people guilty of the murder of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides in Kandhamal district of Odisha in 2008, a lawyer said Monday.

Special additional district session Judge R.K. Tose pronounced the verdict in his court at Phulbani, the headquarters of Kandhamal district, about 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, prosecution lawyer Bhagaban Mohanty told IANS.

The quantum of sentence would be pronounced Oct. 3, he said.

Those convicted were Duryodhan Suna Majhi, Munda Bada Majhi, Sanatan Bada Majhi, Garnatha Chalanseth, Bijay Kumar Samseth, Bhaskar Suna Majhi and Budhadev Nayak.

The convicts were part of a mob of about 50 people who had attacked the swami and his aides, the lawyer said.

All of the convicts are Christians and they had committed the crime because according to them the swami was forcing Christians to convert to Hinduism, the lawyer said.

Sonia Gandhi & WV India Head Radhakant NayakTwo of the men were convicted under the Indian Arms Act 1959, for possession of illegal guns, the lawyer said. “The judge convicted them purely on the basis of circumstantial evidence and the deposition of witnesses,” said lawyer Mohanty.

Saraswati and four of his aides were killed at his ashram at Jaleshpata in Kandhamal district Aug 23, 2008.

Police arrested seven people and filed a charge sheet against them in January 2009.

Sabyasachi PandaThe crime branch subsequently arrested two more people, including Maoist leader Polari Rama Rao. It also filed a supplementary charge sheet in 2011 against them and five others, including Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, who are still absconding.

The court is scheduled to pronounce its judgement on the second charge sheet Tuesday.

The BJP welcomed the decision.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashok Sahu said: “We welcome the court’s verdict. The investigation should continue till all the conspirators are nabbed.”

“A criminal has to be punished whichever religion he belongs to. The moment he commits a crime he loses his religion,” Orissa Minority Forum president Swarupananda Patra told IANS. – TOI, 30 September 2013

Using NGOs to coerce nations – Sandhya Jain

Sandhya JainMany Indians feel that the country does not need foreign aid to improve the lot of its citizens, and that all social service activities can be meaningfully conducted with local donations. As India herself provides considerable assistance to other Asian and African nations, there is no merit in accepting foreign funding on the pretext of charity, and then using the same for conversions or politics. – Sandya Jain

Jesus & George W. BushNon-Western nations have long known that non-governmental organizations, ostensibly set up to provide humanitarian services to citizens in their respective countries, such as against police or other public authorities, fighting poverty or environmental degradation, are funded by foreign regimes to serve their agendas. They are in that sense a tool of coercive diplomacy, or war by other means.

Some weeks ago, Egypt, frontrunner of the aborted Arab Spring, clamped down on foreign NGOs and refused to license eight US civil groups, including the election-monitoring Carter Centre, prior to the presidential polls. Under Egyptian law, NGOs cannot operate without licences.

American NGOs, called quangos, tend to focus on promoting democracy abroad, an euphemism for electing governments that serve American interests. Last month, the UAE decided to shut down of the offices of an American quango run by the Democratic Party but mainly funded by the US government. Observers said the move was engineered by Riyadh and other capitals that felt the quango was active in their internal affairs, and hence urged the UAE to close it.

Atul TandonMany capitals view quangos as intrusive of national sovereignty. By grooming ‘democracy activists’ – recall the Coloured Revolutions in former Soviet republics – they create the environment for US-desired changes to occur. The decision by UAE and other Gulf countries to curtail the functioning of German and US foundations is likely to usher in a new system whereby entities directly or indirectly funded by foreign governments will be allowed to function only under negotiated agreements and can no longer operate as they please.

The National Endowment for Democracy, closely associated with the Reagan administration, was conceived as a tool of US foreign policy by its founder Allen Weinstein, a former professor, Washington Post writer, and member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a neo-conservative think tank whose membership included Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. NED’s first director Carl Gershman was candid that it was a front for the CIA. From its inception in 1983, NED’s annual funds are approved by the US Congress as part of the United States Information Agency budget. Its activities include funding anti-left and anti-labour movements; meddling in elections in Venezuela and Haiti; and creating instability in countries resisting Imperial America.

Freedom House, set up in 1941 as a pro-democracy and pro-human rights organization, is engaged with the Project for the New American Century, and much of the warmongering in Washington. The Bush administration used it to support its ‘War on Terror’. The US government provides 66% of its funding via USAID, the State Department, and the NED. Freedom House leapt into the Arab Spring, training and financing civil society groups and individuals, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, and grass-roots activists in Yemen.

Suzanne NosselThe Bush administration also compelled NGOs to serve its imperial agenda. In 2003, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios said the NGO-USAID link helped the Karzai regime to survive, but Afghans did not appreciate this. In Iraq, he wanted NGO work there to show a connection with US policy. It is difficult to be more explicit.

By far the most important tool of empire is Amnesty International. Its current Executive Director, Suzanne Nossel, was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations at the US State Department. She is credited with coining the term ‘smart power’ to achieve US goals by recruiting others to work for them, as in Libya, where Washington used the UN to engage in ‘humanitarian intervention.’

Amnesty actively joined the propaganda war against Syria. The author of a 2011 report on custody deaths in that country confessed in an interview that Amnesty had not been allowed to enter Syria at the time, so research for the report was done mainly from London, neighboring countries and other sources. In other words, unverified information.

Kudankulam Nuclear PlantIn India, despite decades of unhappiness with Western NGOs, the Union Government decided to openly confront them only when it felt aggrieved over the stalling of its Rs. 15,000 crore Kudankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu, and protests over genetically modified crops. Indian law bans NGOs from taking foreign funds for political purposes or affecting the security, strategic, scientific or economic interest of the State. The Church-organised Kudankulam protest was purely political.

Popular concerns over the power of NGOs, however, stem from their staggering funding, dubious agendas including religious conversion, and untrammelled powers to interfere in domestic matters. Data available with the Union Home Ministry, as reported first by The Pioneer, shows that in the nine years between 2001 and 2010, NGOs received more than Rs 70,000 crores. The highest donors were the US, Germany and Britain, and the most significant recipients include Gospel For Asia Inc, USA (Rs. 232.71 crore), Fundacion Vicente Ferrer, Barcelona, Spain (Rs.228.60 crore) and World Vision Global Centre, USA (Rs.197.62 crore).

Bibles for slum children. Analysis of the data shows that the greatest sums out of the foreign contributions were utilized for establishment expenses (Rs. 1482.58 crore), followed by rural development (Rs. 944.30 crore), welfare of children (Rs. 742.42 crore), construction and maintenance of school/college (Rs.630.78 crore) and grant of stipend/ scholarship/ assistance in cash and kind to poor/deserving children (Rs. 454.70 crore). Note the diminishing values!

Now, if 50% to 70% of the funds of any organisation are spent on establishment expenses such as buying land, buildings, jeeps, office infrastructure, mobiles, laptops, cameras, salaries, consultancy fees, honorarium, and foreign travel, should such expenditure be tax-free when there is no public beneficiary?

Huge sums are expended on conversions, which also cannot be designated as ‘charity’ or ‘public service’. World Vision in particular has an exclusive Christian identity, as attested to by its own website, where it admits that while 20% of its worldwide staff belongs to other faiths, all prospective staff are expected to affirm their Christian faith in writing! This was after firing some staff in America for changing their religious affiliations.

In the light of these experiences, many Indians feel that the country does not need foreign aid to improve the lot of its citizens, and that all social service activities can be meaningfully conducted with local donations. As India herself provides considerable assistance to other Asian and African nations, there is no merit in accepting foreign funding on the pretext of charity, and then using the same for conversions or politics. – Vijayvaani, New Delhi, 8 May 2012

» Sandhya Jain is Editor, www.vijayvaani.com

See also

  1. WORLD VISION: Christian NGO engaged in culture murder not social service – V.K. Shashikumar
  2. NGOs in Tamil Nadu which recieved over one crore of foreign funds in 2009-2010 & 2010-2011 – GOI
  3. Kudankulam: Bishop’s NGOs received Rs. 54 crore – The Hindu
  4. Kudankulam: Agents of hostile foreign interests – M.D. Nalapat
  5. NGOs and the starvation industry – Ravi Shankar Etteth
  6. Government and NGOs remote controlled from far away – Anuradha Dutt
  7. Book Review: Lords Of Poverty: The power, prestige, and corruption of the international aid business by Graham Hancock – David Osterfeld
  8. NGOs: How to run a country on “trust” – M.D. Nalapat
  9. Evangelical Christianity: Devils in high places – Yogesh Pawar
  10. VIDEO: The Role of Evangelicals in US Imperialism – Iain Buchanan