As soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office, his government almost immediately unleashed a movement to eliminate 13,000 NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in 2 months. The vicious NGO crackdown was predicted to create a human rights crisis and this is, unfortunately, proving to be true today. During the COVID calamity hitting India, the NGOs would have been able to help the government in unprecedented waves to abate the storm, but today, there are very few helping hands. Political parties have risen to help, however, helping hands are not enough, and people are suffering and dying all around the country.
The government had moved on a campaign to de-license 4470 NGOs in India, in addition to the 8875 NGOs whose licenses were revoked earlier for violation of rules governing foreign funds, perhaps even much more because recently, other NGOs’ licenses were revived and funds stopped. In this revocation, it is notable that while Muslim and Christian NGOs were targeted, Hindu NGOs were largely left untouched. While rules have to be followed and if NGOs were not, they could have been penalized and warned, but they should have never been blatantly eradicated without warning and for most of them, on false pretexts. They had no courts to approach to fight their causes and remained mostly silent.
The abolishment of Muslim and Christian NGOs was analyzed by experts to be rooted in fear of the minorities. With trends going around by RSS-backed forces, occasionally, India will occasionally hear mournful and fearful cries “Hindu khatre mein hai!” meaning Hindus are in danger in India. The Hindutva groups leading this rant seem to be terrified that Hindus are in danger in India!
It is ironic that that RSS-based Hindus did not feel fear when a Sikh, Manmohan Singh was ruling India, they did not feel frightened when Congress rule India for 70 years, did not fear when the Muslim dynasties ruled India from 1526–1748 and the British, basically, one could say a more “Christian” rule for nearly 200 years, but are petrified and so fearful when Narendra Modi is ruling India!
Still, the Hindus remained 80% of the population Muslims around 16%, and Christians approximately 2%. It is strange that under an RSS-rooted Prime Minister such as Narendra Modi, Hindus are terrified that Hinduism is going to be wiped out of India by the tiny minorities, thus have to clamp down on their NGOs in dread of their “foreign funding.”
Due to a formidable falsely generated fear of the minorities such as Muslims and Christians, the present Modi government under the influence of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has clamped down NGOs.
The RSS alleges that many NGOs in India are only doing religious conversion or Dharam Parivarthan. Due to this, the Modi government started to cancel the foreign funding by revoking their licenses. He introduced the amendment in FCRA rule that would prevent foreign funding to NGOs but allowed foreign funding to RSS-affiliated organizations.
In reality, the majority of NGOs’ sole duty is to help the poor and needy, fund the underprivileged and build hospitals, schools, start deaddiction centers to help addicts overcome their addictions and assist during calamities, etc., the Modi Government did not understand this but went on a rampage to cancel most of these NGO licenses and never budged to renew licenses for 8,353 NGOs since 2016. Due to this, millions of people suffered, underprivileged children could not go to school and hospitals not funded were shut down, schools closed down and all help and assistance to millions were closed.
When the country is battered by COVID-19, revoking the licenses had been a disastrous move. It is NGOs that have always risen in emergencies and national disasters to help at the risk of their own lives. The people running NGOs are spiritually minded and service is their Dharma. Every religion calls for doing good for others. Good works reveal the evidence of good fruit in religion and it pours out a blessing to a nation. When the government cuts the spirit of help, they are cutting out the flow of blessings, relief, nourishment, assistance, and provisions from the Creator and the natural law of the Universe and nature.
It is of paramount importance that the government of India understood the real purpose of the NGOs and also should recognize that the NGOs are the source and root of helping and saving our people’s lives.
Hasty emotional decisions and thoughtless policies have only created devastation in the country and taken lakhs of people’s lives.
The heart of every NGO is a message to India that we are Indians first, not Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian, Atheist, etc. Ethnicity should not divide us, but the golden helping hands of humanity unite us. This is our Dharma and our faith and religion are practiced out by good works through NGOs.
Fear is a frightening force. The Government must restore the 13,000 NGOs perhaps more they closed down and allow more NGOs to start and mushroom all over India to enable India to rebuild itself from its smoking ruins of the COVID devastation and I appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do so.