180 days of Amit Shah in Union Home Ministry had an aggressive reviews on foreign fundings to the Non Governmental Organisations which were engaged in religious propagation and conversions from one religion to another.
Amit Shah had set up an internal multi purpose committee to review each of the NGOs Home Ministry undertook this review seriously as RSS was communicating about the misuse of funds during UPA regime.
Of course Rajnath Singh during his five year tenure had undertaken such operations but it got doubled up and aggressive once Amit Shah assumed office.
Union Ministry of Home Affairs recently cancelled 1546 FCRA – Foreign Contribution Regulation Act licences and interestingly 458 NGOs the larger size is from Tamil Nadu for major violations of their submission of their activities in the State of Tamil Nadu . Most of them were receiving funds from foreign countries for decades. To spread message of prosperity and religious peace. Some of them were also engaged in Christian Organisations and in Green peace.Tamil Nadu has the highest number of NGOs, followed by Uttar Pradesh-Andhra Pradesh Bihar-and Telangana.
After assuming office Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed each state. When he found Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were the states to get huge funds from FCRA. He ordered a review, according to the senior official of the Union Home Ministry – Government had definite information that the funds were misused and diverted to propagation and conversions from one religion to another. “FCRA licences were revoked for failing to file annual returns despite repeated notices and mandatory legal requirements,” said a home ministry official According to the home ministry, UPA regime sanctions were also scrutinised.
During 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha poll rallies Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have been zeroing on such misuse of funds which were trained against Hinduism. There were poll rally speeches which reflected the BJP and RSS poll agenda.In keeping with the poll mandate, Amit Shah had ordered a thorough enquiry.
The home ministry recently introduced a second amendment into the 2011 Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules (FCRR), making it mandatory for al l office-bearers of an NGO or organisation to file an affidavit declaring that they have not been involved in religious conversion or prosecution in communal riot cases, among others. During the meetings between RSS and BJP leaders FCRA was the main focus.
There were innumerable communications exchanged between RSS and BJP in this regard. to straight them up, Amit Shah had undertaken this task. In six months due to concentration of Union Home Ministry, the FCRA was active. For instance, local units of BJP had also alerted Centre. Mainly on Gujarat-based activist Teesta Setalvad, who was also slapped with a CBI probe for receiving foreign contribution from Ford Foundation, saw her Sabrang Trust’s licence cancelled, as was senior lawyer and former ASG Indira Jaising’s Lawyers Collective. Compassion International and Advantage India also lost their FCRA licences.
Amit Shah did not leave it at this stage. He wrote to the Union Ministry of Finance and also summoned ED to have a regular reviews. Enforcement Directorate raided Amnesty India International. The home ministry integrated 59 nationalised banks for NGOs to open bank accounts using public financial management system.
In its latest cancellation order, MHA has suspended licenses of Kadva Patidar Kuldevi Shree Umiya Mataji Sansthan, Anjuman Education Trust, Shree Krishna Gau Trust, Young Men’s Christian Association, among others, in Gujarat. In Delhi, Centre for Public Affairs, Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Treatment & Research Foundation and others lost their licences.
By R. Rajagopalan
(This writer based in India is a holder of Distinguished Journalist category of Parliament of India over 40 years. The views and opinions expressed in this exclusive story are from the writer and not binding on the Indian Telegraph)