Hit by the Intelligence Bureau (IB)'s reports over its activities in India, NGO Greenpeace India today alleged that a "nexus between industry and government" was at work against it.
"We have in our campaigns made enough stakeholders extremely uncomfortable. The nexus between industry and government is a well-known plot. For me, there is certainly a hint of some influence. It is common sense to believe that some people are really upset," said Samit Aich, Executive Director, Greenpeace India.
Talking to PTI, Aich said that Greenpeace will not wind up its activities in India in the light of the two IB reports pertaining to it and would take legal steps to defend its constitutional rights. "That is certainly not an option at all," Aich said when asked whether the NGO was planning to discontinue operations in India. Greenpeace has termed "malicious" the two reports IB has submitted against it and said it was being "specifically targeted" for having emerged as one of the primary voices opposing coal mining and nuclear power projects in India. "This is an attack which Greenpeace has faced in many parts of the world. This is not surprising to us. We will do whatever can be done within the legal system to continue to defend ourselves, the planet and the forest and ecosystem," Aich said.
In its first report, which was leaked to the media, IB had alleged that Greenpeace and other NGOs were using anti- nuclear, anti-genetic modified food and anti-coal agitations to negatively impact GDP growth in the country. Then, in a second report submitted to the Prime Minister's Office and the National Security Adviser, IB recommended cancellation of the permission given to Greenpeace for collecting funds abroad besides calling for a reassessment of its tax compliance. "We continue to remain financially independent, despite whatever seems to be the narrative. As an organisation, we have 300,000 Indian supporters," he said.
Greenpeace India: 'Government must communicate with us'
Greenpeace India rubbished allegations leveled in the reports of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and said that the organisation is yet to receive any official communication from the government regarding the issue. The Union home ministry, however, said that a questionnaire, seeking details of the NGO's activities and financial statements, was sent to Greenpeace two months ago. Read more
Read the six sins of being an NGO in India, according to Intelligence Bureau
Sharing office space, screening documentaries, opposing AFSPA, complaining to NHRC - The most recent report by Intelligence Bureau (IB) on NGOs has stirred much unwanted controversy for the new government. While, multinational Ngos such as Greenpeace have condemned the report that goes so far as to call them a “threat to national economic security”, they haven't been singled out.
Aich's comments come in the wake of the Union Home Ministry asking RBI to seek prior permission from it for any donation to be made to Greenpeace India by two overseas contributors -- Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation.
ALSO READ: Is Intelligence Bureau targetting NGOs that could oppose Narendra Modi?
The larger issue here is the palpable attempt of the new government to alarm the NGOs, which can be an impediment to corporates. This is not to suggest that all NGOs are as clean as a whistle. There are a few with hidden agendas and vested interests, and those should be scrutinized and investigated. But who will investigate the integrity of the NGOs? Surely cannot be the IB after this ‘copy-paste’ job. And what are the criteria to determine if the NGOs are clean or not? Foreign funding? Does an NGO become corrupt if it receives money from abroad? Read more