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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Monday, June 23, 2014

FAQ U



 
1/ what is an NGO?
NGOs are non- Governmental Organisations working on many social issues, with or without government knowing or involving.
Many times NGOs act very close with govt as the disseminator, distributor to the last mile. Ofcourse sometimes govts do not know of most NGOs..

2/ How many NGOs are there in India?
No one can tell you that not even the GOI (ofcourse not the IB) Like most things they haven’t bothered or do not have the right figures. (they do not even have the right numbers for farmer suicides. May be they don’t care..its the same here too) But it is in lakhs if not in crores. Then there are not-for-profit institutions and unregistered ones too.

3/  Are NGOs bad?
Like in everything around us there are good NGOs and bad ones.
Like there are very bad doctors, lawyers, religious heads, ofcourse lots of bad politicians, there are bad NGOs too..and quite some good NGOs..many doing some grass root work, most doing simple social sector works like education, primary health etc (where Govts have failed miserably)

4/ so then are NGOs good?
No, as I said above its a mixed bag like everything in the society today and there will be bad ones. Even obnoxious ones.
Best example is > BCCI the Indian cricket board is an NGO!!
Do I need to say more?
Ok, if you want one more- The Industries body CII is an NGO!!
Most money minting educational institutions and religious institutions are NGOs!

5/ So, who is an NGO then? are you an NGO?
So there will be such diversity in India. Not so easily read as black or white.
Yes, Iam an NGO- simply bcos iam not Govt.  but I don’t get funds from any one..
Definitely not from govt, foreign or Indian..
I work on areas that I feel as important and see that obviously govts are failing. (like water bodies restoration, solid waste management, farmers suicide, sustainable agriculture, Safe Food etc. But Iam not registered nor funded.
So Iam not an NGO. (now you get it, now you don’t – right?)

6/ What about Green peace? 
Green Peace is one such organization which has been fighting for various people, issues, livelihoods and more importantly environment issues.
They will have their accounts in place, ofcourse. As far as I know they have most of their funds coming from contributions from simple local citizens. In the range of few 100s from each person. Such collective contribution is their main source in India.
Isnt it commendable that they are running these campaigns for the sake of our next generation, for the benefit of our ecology, for their concern for environment and  on behalf of tribals and farmers who are being displaced, livelihoods destroyed and even at times killed. We should not and cannot push aside dissent and opposition. As a society we should learn to respect such deeds. J C Kumarappa saw great benefit in the civil society and social activists in a democracy. (See link 1 below)

7/  If what you say is true why then are they on the radar of IB? Hevnt they committed any crime?
Crime is a big word. Even if they have committed some financial mistake as claimed, for example, then the law should take kits course.
Green Peace has an arm that receives foreign funds and that is why they have been awarded FCRA by our GOI. If they have indeed made any mistakes, it is professional error and could be at max some financial bungling and that has to be rightly punished, but legally..they shud face it. Penalty ot what ever it is.
So do we know anything of that sort?
The report itself is not indicating any specific financial bungling or misappropriation but is stating in a generic term that such organisations are anti development and they are all foreign funded..
The report itself only talks of Green Peace  receiving Rs.47 crores in last 7 years! All this thru the registered FCRA account holding organization.  It is not huge money. That is why that number never comes thru the media or any official note because people will immediately know that there is nothing wrong or gross about it. So there is nothing dubious there. So what are ‘they’ doing? Maligning the organization and make a big hue and cry that foreign funds are helping them. And that they are anti-development and they are stalling our nation’s progress!
Where as Green Peace is actually fighting the foreign corporates that are trying to take away our nation’s resources at the cost of our countrymen’s lives and livelihoods.
And here we are- the ordinary citizens like suckers biting in to any emotional rhetoric and empty jingoisms thrown at us.
IB sure is confused between who and what is actually anti-national.

8/Why were they accused of being anti-National?
Simply because they were being very sensitive to the national interests,  long term though and to the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable and poor.
For some vague reason the IB calls them impeding the “Development” and the “growth”. This is very clear where the orders should have come, isn’t?
But as we saw, it is so easy to divert peoples’ attention by pulling of such big lies and use them as tools to quell dissent.
if we want foreign investment for industries, for retails, for machines, for agriculture then why not for these watch dog activities or dissent too?
Why cant foreign funds be used for questioning the wrong doings? Why cant there be any opposite view in a Democracy?
Whats wrong with a group of people asking for some clarifications and demanding answers for some uneasy questions?
They are obviously targeted because the industry and hence the govt would need some tool to hit back after major scams like Coalgate.

9/ But were they not scams of the previous govt?
Exactly! That’s is where you can get to see who the real boss is. What difference can you find between the 2 govts-  be it in wanting to continue with mindless illegal mining, to bring unsafe GMOs to our food, to bring a nuke plant when the whole local community is opposing?
Hence it makes sense to see who will really benefit. Will the coal scam be taken seriously now? Will the swiss money be tracked and brought back? No!! that’s why such maligning is easy and will be carried out to divert peoples attention from real issues.

10/  others like Kavitha Kuruganti, Aruna, Vandana Shiva who have been noted in the
IB report?
It is the same. If Green Peace is fighting unlawful mining, illegal land acquisitions, illegal operations of corporates and the behind the door operations of the MNCs to take our country’s seed sovereignty, power situation, food business and all resources in to their hand these women are responsible for stopping the GM juggernaut. These ladies are the reason we are all still safe from the GM and other poison landing on our plates. They along with Green peace and many other civil society organisations have been exposing the corporate hand behind the GM greed and the safety issues and that the GMOs has been banned and questioned in most countries across the globe.
These ladies have been fighting for safe food and better prices for farmers and enhanced livelihoods for farmers and artisans. They are professing ecological farming, decentralized economy, local livelihoods etc.
So these are people are being seen as opponents of the GM industry and centralized industrial operations. Hence the industry is put off with such people and hence will be happy with such reports.
It is just the industry’s desperation.
What is surprising is that this present Home minister to finance minister to various BJP leaders have voiced their opposition to GMOs along with these very ladies. BJP also has mentioned their opposition to GM seeds in last 2 manifestos. So these ministers and BJP are also anti development and anti national as much as these ladies.

11/ Are these people not anti-development then? What IS Development then?
Oh! Development is a great thing. It cannot be so easily grasped except if you from IBJ
It is a very deep subject and we need to understand more politics, players than we did just now. It can be long.
Lets plan another FAQ for that. (yes, pl await FAQ U 2 soon)

12/ whats your take on the IB report?
The one that was leaked to/by the press right?  Even the Home minister said on the 12th that he did not know. So we do not know”-)
Seriously- it has been a very shoddy report sans intelligence.
There have been many retorts including ASHAs response and a press release by the ladies mentioned in the report.
And
very clearly the IB has been mislead or is very corporate friendly. That’s why it hasn’t bothered about the real issue of seed sovereignty or the corporate greed. Neither is it bothered to read or grasp the issue being discussed and suggestions given by the TEC (Technical Expert Committee) of the Supreme Court or that of the Parliamentary Standing committee. IB could not have prepared a report in such a short notice for the new govt. It has just cut and inserted from various sources and probably an old report it generated for the previous govt (ofcourse with generous input from the industry!)

Anyway we have more links at the end of this FAQ U and urge you to take time and go through them all to be well informed and not to etch comments on FB and blogs with out full information.

Most Indians esp the educated urbans do not recognize the ground reality because they never get to see the real issue- closely. Be it land acquisition or usurping forest lands or displacement due to Dams etc. These are serious life and livelihood issues. These are people who will never empathise with issues or the ones who suffer. So the principles of fairness, care, health, ecology, Transparency, consultation etc are never regarded..
It is sad that a major part of middle class and the (g)literratti is so absorbed in to their own world and do not consider the many serious fall outs of Development.
(do wait patiently for the FAQ U 2 that’s coming soon on Development)


13/ is foreign fund good or bad?
As said before if you want foreign funds for development, foreign funds will also be needed for opposing it. Let us brace it up.
If we need foreign funds for retail, hospitals, hotels, insurance, agriculture then why not in NGO sector? Why not in politics? Why not in dissent?
By the way how much foreign funds went in to the last election?
How much funds and specifically foreign funds both the aprties received and spent – will they come out?
Will the new PM  disclose how much foreing funds and industry funds pumped up his election run up?
Good or bad, it is here to stay. So we should be wary and try and remove it at all levels. Not just in dissent and in social sector.
But believe me, we have made it the toughest for NGOs to register, to get the FCRA approval and to get foreign funds.
So if there is any improper act by the NGOs it is so easy to take action. But we should also not take only on a handful like these because our ‘masters’ want so. We should then look into every NGO including RSS, SJM, religious heads, major institutions, political parties, BCCI, all those flowery NGOs owned by ministers & IAS babus.

14/How is this title to be pronounced?
It is “eff-yeah-kew – you” and in some southern accents it is also pronounced “phuck yoo"

More Links on this issue:



http://www.asianage.com/columnists/polinomics-dissent-now-crime-385






3 Comments:

  • At June 23, 2014 11:19 AM, Blogger Suresh Lax said…

    It took a while to get through, but the compilations of articles are absolutely worthy of the time. Who would have thought BCCI is a NGO? Although all articles are noteworthy, I particularly liked the historical aspect of HT and the way Hindu analyzed the situation. On the flip side a few rotten apples are causing discredit to the NGO fraternity as a whole, nothing to do with why this controversy started in the first place.
    Its high time we start measuring Gross National Happiness (GNP) as Bhutan does, rather than GDP. Clearly development at any cost is not something we signed up for

     
  • At July 06, 2014 12:04 AM, Blogger Ananthoo said…

    ya suresh- it does take a while..for there is too much to really read to know the real issue..as u see here, there was no further discussion bcos ppl wud rather do the superficial reactions and responses than read in to the matters..and so we will have a society of ill informed knee jerk (re)actors..

     
  • At December 09, 2014 7:03 PM, Blogger oakleyses said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     

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