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Put NGOs under RTI scalpel

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Put NGOs under RTI scalpel




The $50,000 Magsaysay Award was recently conferred upon Arvind Kejriwal, a former Indian Revenue Service officer campaigning for the Right to Information (RTI). Though several Indians have received this prize from Philippines, not many citizens are aware that this is actually an American award for Asians. Set up by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, most of the purse comes from the Ford Foundation.




The citation does not say when Mr Kejriwal resigned from service, but mentions his association with Parivartan, an entity campaigning for RTI. Mr Kejriwal was in service when he was with Parivartan, which is not a registered NGO (a Society, Trust, or S.25 Company). Under income tax, it is an Association of Persons (AoP), a coming together of persons with a profit-motive so that members can share its income, unlike in a registered society. The Parivartan website conceals its AoP, barring one Manish Sisodia (part-time volunteer, founder-member and treasurer), and terms of association, yet demands a level of transparency from governmental agencies that is not in vogue anywhere in the world.




In a timely study on some of India's most exalted conscience-keepers, Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak argue for public scrutiny of those who hold society or government to ransom, usually at the behest of foreign sponsors (NGOs, Activists & Foreign Funds. Anti-Nation Industry, Vigil Public Opinion Forum, 2006). Kak's meticulous research shows that in FY 2002-03, Parivartan showed receipts for Rs 2,02,489 (Rs 2,01,889 are donations); the total expenditure is Rs 1,88,164, of which salaries take Rs 1,14,000. The only 'programme cost' is Rs 35,945 on a 'jan sunwai' public hearing), and the rest is standard administrative expense.





However, Parivartan claims its annual fixed costs are approximately Rs six lakh, and programme costs are "partly funded through collections from the community itself including poor people and the shortfall is made good by raising funds from outside". Its website does not say if these funds are included in the receipts statement and if receipts are issued for small sums given by poor people. Yet it wants to make the Government of India accountable to itself on behalf of the "people of India".





Radha Rajan argues that many high-profile NGOs serve America's vision of a post-Cold-War world order. Hence they advocate 'communal harmony' in India even as jihad batters the Hindu community, and promote 'peace' with Pakistan despite its formidable terrorist infrastructure. They are essentially political activists using social activism as a mask for their crusade against an independent nationalist India. Thus they are invariably anti-Government of India, anti-military, anti-police, anti-nuclear, and, of course, anti-Hindu.





America uses the Magsaysay and other awards to legitimise its loyalists. Indian Magsaysay awardees include Mahasweta Devi (1997), Aruna Roy and Martin Macwan (2000), Sandeep Pandey (2002), Nirmala Deshpande and Admiral Ramdas (2005). Then, Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik received the Sean Macbride Peace Prize (2000) and Arundhati Roy the Sydney Peace Prize (2004). In neighbouring Nepal, journalist Bharat Koirala got the Magsaysay in 2002 for unleashing the anti-Hindu process there. Today, a Christian Prachanda has taken over the country by terrorising the effete political parties and the king is a virtual prisoner.





Krishen Kak's expose of Harsh Mander (Scoring Against Paganism: Untangling the Manderweb) is a warning to the Government about the monetary subversion of serving officers by foreign regimes. In March 2002, Mander, an IAS officer, became an international celebrity when he attacked the communal violence in Gujarat (after 58 Hindus were burnt alive at Godhra) in an article in a leading newspaper. Feted in the West, he claimed he had resigned from the IAS on moral grounds.





This was a deliberate falsehood, says Kak, as Mander was serving the politico-communal agenda of ActionAid, his British employer. Mander had managed a profitable deputation to ActionAid, getting part payment in pound sterling in return for scuttling a government enquiry into its communal agenda in India.




Managing to ward off moves to end his deputation, Mander took voluntary retirement only on completing pensionable service. He sought retirement benefits to the tune of up to a million rupees; the Government stipulated that he cease working for ActionAid; he refused and continued demanding retirement benefits. When Kak publicly challenged the lie that he had resigned on moral grounds, Mander quickly modified his rhetoric.





ActionAid's communal agenda may well be the inspiration for the UPA's Sachar Committee, and shows how foreign agendas are wormed into the topmost echelons of power. It recently initiated a study to sensitise the public and civil society activists about "the dismal economic, educational and social conditions of the Muslim masses". Of course, ActionAid conducted no similar study about Hindu survivors in Pakistan and Bangladesh.





ActionAid used Mander to connect over 300 voluntary agencies. Its patronage extended to Aruna Roy of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and National Campaign of People's Right to Information (NCPRI). The MKSS takes foreign institutional support in kind to evade reporting its funds under FCRA. The MKSS-approved Lok Shikshan Sansthan states that FCRA money can be sent to its founder-NGO Prayas or to the Roy-connected SWRC Tilonia "and it would be transferred to our organisation's account." Very interesting!





Kak's research has uncovered an hitherto unknown entity patronised by Mander-ActionAid. This is the "unstructured organisation", which solicits public money but does not say if it is registered and how it banks the money. Shabnam Hashmi's ANHAD (with Mander, KN Panikkar and Shubha Mudgal) is one such body. So is the Aman Ekta Manch, Aman Samudaya, Aman Jathas, Aman Pathiks. Mander's Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan, funded by ActionAid, does not reveal the names of the core team of eleven professionals, or its accounts.





The disturbing aspect of these unregistered unstructured organisations is their complete lack of accountability or legal scrutiny regarding foreign donations. Ex-IAS officers and ex-judges often provide respectability and protection to such dubious bodies in return for post-retirement sinecures. It is a vicious and dangerous circle.





Russia learnt the hard way that unmonitored West-funded NGOs triggered the spate of revolutions in the former Soviet Republics and out them under the scanner. The majesty of the Indian state cannot be subordinated to hupny-tupny rabble-rousers funded by the West. The Government should immediately bring all activists under the RTI scalpel; this will literally scalp them.


The Pioneer > Columnists

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  • 1 month later...

  1. I would like to know whether a role reversal is possible, i.e. a Public Authority abdicating it's role of PA?
    (Once the funds flow or control from the govt. ceases.)
  2. And also is it possible for any organisation be it a Company, Firm, Association, Trust or any type of Association of Persons which is neither receiving any financial support from any Govt. sources not directly controled by any Govt. body to voluntarily become a Public Authority?
  3. Is there any modalities involved to become a public authority?

I may sound silly but I need to have the opinion of my fellow learned forum members.



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There is no harm in putting NGO under RTI. As RTI is for the benefit of Citizens and the NGO are working for the benefit of the Citizens only.


Let them show the way by leading the RTI movement.

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Abhinav Bohare

Why only NGOs but Social Action groups and Missionaries should also come under RTI


What is also notewrothy that NGOs, SAG and Missionaries are biggest earners of grants and Aids in the world. Added to these NGO have the largest HR base and Revenue earnings when it comes to Govt Grants and Funding.


Financially they should come under scanner.


Recently Home Ministry has also sent a report that NGOs, SAGs and Missionaries have transferred largest sum of money being registd under FCRA (Foreign Currency Regulation Act)


With such a big financial liqudity in hand and bigger social and cumminity responsiblity is action, such organizatio shuould and must come under scanner.


As far as Act is concerned since its for Govt Officeses I doubt Non-Govt Officeses would come under RTI or not...


The RTIindia.org team would be able to tell us the LAW, no doubt its a TRUTH that NGO, SAG and Missionaries should come under RTI act...


But friends as I say..."Law is always above truth"...let check th LAW too


Abhinav Bohare

....The Right Informed

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  • 2 years later...

wish to get my organisation, registered with a minimal charges /expenses. any philonthrofist to do this good work. the ethos of this yet to formed org. is to create awareness for awakening, it is needed globally.


siddhartha bose

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