NGO'S Foreign Funding - A Security Threat

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    NGO'S Foreign Funding - A Security Threat

    In 1976, at the height of the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, India’s Parliament enacted a piece of legislation called the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. It prohibited political parties and ‘organisations of a political nature’, civil servants and judges, as also correspondents, columnists and editors/owners of registered newspapers and news broadcasting organisations— and even cartoonists—from receiving foreign contributions.

    The very fact that the Act makes a specific reference to cartoonists should be hint enough of the establishment’s paranoia vis-à-vis the ‘invisible hand’ of foreign powers back then. During a Rajya Sabha debate on the proposed bill on 9 March 1976, the term ‘CIA’ (Central Intelligence Agency) was mentioned at least 30 times by different legislators, while ‘Lockheed Martin’ (a military aerospace corporation) came up at least six times in the context of alleged instances of Americans pumping dollars into governments worldwide to buy influence during the Cold War. :ranger:

    The sentiment of the times was captured by the following statement made during that debate by Khurshid Alam Khan, father of India’s present Minister for External Affairs: “The CIA’s doings all over the world have very clearly indicated as to what could be done by foreign money and foreign interference.” :ranger:

    In 2010, a different parliament, with opposition members who had not been imprisoned like those in 1976, unanimously voted to update the law by passing the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). In fact, the Parliamentary Standing Committee that examined the bill was headed by the BJP’s Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, and it had no major objections.

    This time round, there was no talk of the CIA or Lockheed Martin. Instead, concern was focused on the increasingly influential role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as institutions of civil society in India. The term ‘NGO’ found at least 40 mentions during the Rajya Sabha debate on the 2010 bill. The main concern of the Upper House appeared to be a lack of transparency among NGOs receiving foreign contributions. Hence the calls to strengthen the monitoring regime, although several MPs expressed worry that the new law would give the Centre too much discretionary power to crack down on dissenting NGOs.

    [​IMG]

    Worries about the 2010 Act’s overreach were validated last year when the Government used it to clamp down on NGOs involved in anti-corruption and anti-nuclear protests. As part of that exercise, at least four NGOs were booked under the FCRA for allegedly diverting foreign funds to aid the organisation of protests against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu. Their bank accounts were frozen. The protests, however, did not end. :ranger:

    Perhaps the most ironic use of the FCRA was when the Ministry of Home Affairs reportedly held back potential funding from the US-based Ford Foundation for the Mumbai-based Institute for Policy Research Studies (IPRS), a thinktank that runs Parliamentary Research Service (PRS).

    Incubated at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), a Delhi-based thinktank, PRS was spun off and institutionalised as IPRS in 2010 as a Section 25 non-profit company with a registered office in Mumbai. The main aim of PRS was to provide non-partisan legislative research services to parliamentarians, most of whom are starved of resources to conduct independent research required to hold the Executive accountable in Parliament. The service’s popularity among MPs was obvious from the fact that several of them reportedly made individual representations to the Home Ministry against blocking foreign funds for its parent institute.

    The tragedy of why Parliament does not have a public-funded service like PRS is a debate for another day, but choking the IPRS of foreign funds raises a question of hypocrisy since the Central Government routinely collaborates with a wide range of civil society thinktanks that receive funds from the West.:toilet:

    Let’s start with the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). According to its filings with the MHA, accessible on the FCRA website (FCRA), ICRIER has received over Rs 11.5 crore in foreign donations from a range of international institutions such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Sasakawa Peace Foundation between 2007 and 2012. This council, currently headed by Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia, wife of Planning Commission Vice-chairperson Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, appears to have a cosy relationship with the present establishment. When the Government was in a fix over the contentious General Anti- Avoidance Rules (GAAR) of taxation, for example, it delegated the task of ironing out its problems to a four-member committee headed by Dr Parthasarathi Shome, a well-known economic policy expert at ICRIER. There are several other projects on which the Council’s faculty collaborates closely with the Government of India.

    That thinktanks are well networked goes without saying. In fact, ICRIER and PRS were involved in quite a controversy during last year’s Parliament vote on Foreign Direct Investment in India’s multi-brand retail sector. As reported by India Today, (‘Foreign Direct Instruction for our MPs?’ 6 December 2012), IPRS had organised a ‘close-door’ meeting at Delhi’s Constitution Club the day before the vote, where MPs were briefed on the benefits of FDI by Professor Arpita Mukherjee of ICRIER. Some MPs had publicly labelled this a ‘lobbying’ effort.

    Another example of close collaboration between the Centre and a thinktank that gets significant foreign funding is the one between the Government and the CPR, headed by Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta. Between 2007 and 2012, according to its filings with the MHA, this thinktank received foreign funds of over Rs 40.8 crore from a range of donors such as the Ford Foundation, Google Foundation, International Development Research Centre, Economic and Social Research Council, Hewlett Foundation and IKEA Social Initiative.

    Environmental policy is another area in which foreign-funded thinktanks have a significant impact. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), headed by Sunita Narain with a governing board that has Ela Bhatt, BG Verghese, Dr MS Swaminathan and Dr NC Saxena among others, has received over Rs 67.7 crore in foreign funds between 2006 and 2012. The CSE’s main donors, according to FCRA records, include the Denmark- based Dan Church Aid, Germany-based Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst EV, Heinrich Boll Foundation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Other donors include the Commission of European Communities and Government of India. :ranger:

    Going by the media coverage that CSE receives, it is safe to say that this thinktank has a profound influence on India’s environmental policy. An indication of its ties with the Government is the fact that the two had their own ‘side-event’ at the recently concluded Doha talks on climate change.

    The other green thinktank with generous foreign contributions that works closely with the Government is The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Consider this: the International Bioenergy Summit of 2012 held in New Delhi was organised by TERI and sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). According to its FCRA filings, TERI, with a staff of over 900, has received about Rs 155.9 crore between 2006 and 2012 from a vast variety of donors. :usa:

    In the field of health policy, one of the most influential thinktanks is the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). Since it was founded in 2006, it has received a total of Rs 219 crore in funds, its biggest foreign donor being the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and biggest Indian donor being the Government of India. Other foreign donors, according to FCRA filings, include the National Institutes of Health (of the US government), Welcome Trust, International Development Research Centre and MacArthur Foundation.

    A public-private initiative, the PHFI is expected to shape India’s approach to public health policy over the next decade. An example of its influence on India’s health policy is the fact that its secretariat has been thanked and praised in a report of the High Level Expert Group constituted by the Planning Commission to frame a new policy on ‘universal health coverage’ for all Indians.

    On matters of internet policy, the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), a Bangalore-based thinktank focused on internet governance and intellectual property issues, has been a member of some key government committees, like the one under Justice AP Shah to study privacy laws in India. The CIS also receives foreign funding. According to its website, it has received over Rs 8.3 crore in funds, a significant portion of it from foreign donors like the UK-based Kusuma Trust, which was founded by Anurag Dikshit, an Indian businessman who made a fortune selling his stake in a popular online gambling website. He eventually donated most of his wealth to the Kusuma Trust, which funds various charities across the world.

    In the human rights space, there is the famous Lawyers Collective, which, apart from its human rights advocacy, also provides legal aid to members of disadvantaged communities. Although this collective does not appear to work all that closely with the Government, it is interesting to note that it was founded by Indira Jaising, who is currently one of the Centre’s Additional Solicitor Generals. Since 2006, according to its FCRA filings, the organisation has received around Rs 21.8 crore in foreign funds from the Ford, Levi Strauss and Open Society foundations and from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, among others.

    Another thinktank that deserves a mention is the Centre for Civil Society (CCS), which was founded by Dr Parth J Shah and has a ‘Board of Scholars’ with Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Jagdish Bhagwati, Lord Meghnad Desai and Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar, among others, as members. While it is not clear from its website whether it works closely with the Government, it was ranked 51st in a recent global survey of thinktanks by University of Pennsylvania. According to a CCS press release, these rankings were ‘based on not just our research and analysis, but also on our engagement with policy makers and ability to influence policy decisions’. The CCS’s rank was quite a surprise, given its modest resources. According to its FCRA filings, between 2006 and 2011, it received about Rs 6.2 crore from foreign donors such as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, John Templeton Foundation and International Policy Network. As per its audited accounts, available on its website, donations from Indian donors were equally modest.

    +++

    The above examples demonstrate the influence of foreign funded thinktanks on almost every major aspect of Indian policy today, be it economic or environmental, related to public health or internet governance.

    Is this good or bad for India as a country? Given that most sectors of the economy are now open to foreign investment, does it make sense to regulate and restrict foreign funds for such thinktanks under laws like the FCRA?

    The answer depends on what Indian society expects of them. Do we expect them to be completely independent of donors in their views? Would an organisation like the CSE still get foreign funds from European donors if it were to readily welcome genetically modified (GM) food in India? In such circumstances, how independent should we expect these thinktanks to be in the arena of policy?

    Absolute objectivity—or at a least public perception of it—is an absolute myth. No matter who funds a thinktank, be it foreigners or Indians, it is impossible to be seen as such. The more pressing issue is of transparency. Are Indian policymakers aware of the details of foreign funds received by these thinktanks?

    Take, for example, a recent Parliamentary Standing Committee report that expressed serious reservations about GM food. The Committee repeatedly quotes with approval the deposition of Dr Vandana Shiva against GM food. A little-known fact about Dr Shiva is that her organisation, Navdanya, according to its FCRA filings, has received a total of Rs 16.7 crore between 2006 and 2012 in foreign donations from mainly European organisations (some of which also contribute to the CSE) like Bread for the World, Diakonie Emergency Aid, Hivos Foundation, Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst EV, RSF Innovations in Social Finance, and even from the European Union itself.

    Would a Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by an MP of the CPM, a party that is always suspicious of the ‘foreign hand’, show the same deference to Dr Shiva’s views if its members knew of Navdanya’s European donors, several of which are also Christian churches?

    In an op-ed article in The Indian Express (‘Do not disagree’, 29 February 2012), Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta while criticising the FCRA, states, ‘Of course, NGOs should be transparent and accountable in terms of their sources of funding.’ Yet, the CPR, of which Dr Mehta is president, only discloses the names of its donors in its annual report, and that too without revealing the amounts received from each. Similarly, Navdanya offers no information on either of its websites, Indian and Italian (Navdanya International), on any of its funding. Other thinktanks like the PHFI and CIS offer a more detailed breakup of their different sources of funding, while some like the CSE and CCS provide only a roll of donor names and a figure of cumulative funding with no breakup of individual contributions. So, while these thinktanks are forced to disclose their foreign funding sources to the MHA under the FCRA, why do they not volunteer exhaustive information on their own websites?

    An amusing facet of this is that the Central Government and Corporate India are more transparent (even if forced to be) than these civil society institutions, thanks to the Right to Information Act, 2005, and the extensive disclosure requirements under the Companies Act, 1956. Of companies in particular, information is accessible over the internet on the MCA21 website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. This contrast is amusing because some of these thinktanks never tire of demanding transparency of the State and corporate sector.

    For several thinktanks, it is often hard to figure out something as basic as the nature of the legal entity through which they conduct their activities. Are they societies, associations or trusts? More pertinently, why is the Government not pushing for a stricter transparency regime? A major stumbling block may be the fact that these thinktanks are set up under state laws and it is difficult for the Central Government to coordinate a nationwide transparency regime. However, given that most are beneficiaries of income tax exemptions, it may be possible for the Centre to use the Income Tax Act to demand comprehensive disclosures. Since they enjoy tax benefits, they might also qualify as ‘public authorities’ under the Right To Information Act, 2005.

    Another reason that disclosure of funding is important is to inform the analysis of people who usually see NGOs as selfless entities dedicated to nothing but a higher cause. While this may be true of some NGOs, many leaders of these set-ups have personal stakes in ensuring certain outcomes. After all, future donor grants often depend on sustaining one’s influence in the policy space. Many of the institutions described in this article have been regular recipients of funds from the same sources year after year.

    Another question is the volume of funds coming in and where it will leave India’s public institutions that were originally meant to aid policymaking with unbiased intellectual inputs. How are cash-strapped Indian universities to compete with these well-funded thinktanks? Government-run institutions of higher learning are supposed to have an inbuilt guarantee of academic independence, but would their scholarly voices be drowned out by those backed by bigger resources? :tsk:

    Also, given the frequency with which a few foreign funders appear on donor lists, is it time to worry about their influence on Indian policies? After all, generous funding lets the faculty of these thinktanks jetset around the world to attend conferences, organise seminars in India and network with officials at a level that most public universities cannot afford. How does this impact our civil society discourse? Should Parliament limit the amount that a single foreign entity can donate, or are we better off sticking to a regulatory regime that only insists on a set of disclosure norms?

    On a concluding note, let us not forget that a large part of the credit for the RTI Act of 2005—the country’s most empowering piece of legislation since the Constitution of 1950—goes to the advocacy efforts of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), a farmers group in Rajasthan that does not accept institutional funding from either India or overseas. Bank interest on its corpus and donations by individuals are the MKSS’s only sources of funding. Together, the two gave it Rs 30 lakh for the financial year 2010-11, details of which are available on its website.

    NGO'S Foreign Funding - A Security Threat - Indian Politics - Quora

    Foreign Funding of NGOs | OPEN Magazine
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
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  3. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    => http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/foreign-relations/47833-end-uk-aid-india.html

    sir, nowdays foreign funds and then NGOs on the back of them, are just the tactics to run a parallel government in developing nations. there is no other meaning of these 'NON' Government Organizations.......

    foreign funds from the western nations have been considered as their 'neo-colonialism' efforts only, and NGOs on the back of these foreign aids, are just to provide enough reasons to interfere in other countries, as explained in the article of post#1 of the thread as below too :ranger:

    => http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...on-receiver-donor-foreign-aid.html#post622231
     
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    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Dollar Billionaires in Poor Countries: India’s “Philantrocapitalism”
    September 10, 2012

    In this time of global financial crisis, when so many are suffering financial hardship, most countries have witnessed increases in their number of dollar millionaires. These ‘High Net-Worth Individuals’ (HNWI), according to a report by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, have in recent years more than doubled in India. In 2008-09, India had 84,000 HNWIs. By 2010, it had risen by 50 per cent (126,700), the biggest increase of all countries.

    In the worldwide list of dollar billionaires for 2010, India ranked third with 69, behind China (128) and the US (403). Forbes states, however, that the wealthiest 100 Indians are collectively worth $276 billion, while their top 100 Chinese counterparts are worth $170 billion. The three richest Indians together had more wealth the top 24 Chinese billionaires combined.

    You don’t have to look very far for evidence of their wealth, with more than 30 luxury skyscrapers springing up in Mumbai. For the rich occupants, the taller, the better, to escape from the reality of India below — the railway tracks, low-rise tenements, choking traffic and the 55 per cent of the city’s population who live in slums. People are paying nearly two million dollars for a designer apartment, built in complexes with private cinemas, swimming pools, floodlit tennis courts and high-level security. Developers believe each year Mumbai can absorb between 30,000 and 40,000 more homes in the one million dollar-plus category. (Another housing bubble in the making?)

    Such extreme wealth doesn’t go unnoticed. In the UK, people are questioning the decision to keep giving India some $460 million of aid annually, which makes India the largest single recipient of British aid. Many ordinary Brits are asking if it can be right that the downtrodden British taxpayer gives such sums to a nation that boasts such wealth (albeit highly concentrated). :ranger:

    Siphoning off the country’s wealth

    Some of the most damning comments about India come from French author Dominique Lapierre, whose book royalties from ‘City of Joy’ fund projects for the underprivileged in India. He is frustrated by the greed and corruption that he encounters.

    Lapierre’s non profit organisation, City of Joy Aid, runs a network of clinics, schools, rehabilitation centres and hospital boats. It operates 14 projects in India, most in the Sunderbans area. However, 90 per cent of free medicines get stolen in the journey from Delhi to Kolkata, and the project is thus forced to buy them at high prices from the market.

    A few years ago, Lapierre set up in Delhi a trust which offers a tax-deductible certificate for all donations. With more than a hint of disappointment, he notes the foundation still does not have any funds from affluent Indians who seem reluctant to help their fellow country-folk.

    Quite the opposite, it seems. Much of India’s wealth has been creamed off into Swiss banks, robbing ordinary folk of a quality of life they can now only but dream of. According to some estimates, it could be over Rs 7,280,000 crore (around $1.6 trillion). Data from the Swiss Banking Association in 2006 indicated that India had more black money than the rest of the world combined, or 13 times India’s total national debt. :facepalm: Global Finance Integrity notes this siphoning of wealth has served to widen the gap between rich and poor and asserts the main guilty parties have been private organisations and High Net Worth Individuals.

    By contrast, Global management and consulting firm Bain notes philanthropic donations amount to just 0.6 per cent of India’s GDP. This is not too good when compared to giving in the US and UK, for example, but is better than rates in other developing countries like Brazil and China. In the US, individuals and corporations are responsible for 75 per cent of charitable gifts, whereas in India individual and corporate donations make up only 10 per cent of charitable giving. Some 65 per cent comes from India’s central and state government, and the remaining gifts are provided by foreign organisations.

    In India, giving does not rise with income and education. As a percentage of household income, donations by the wealthy actually decrease. From an analysis of 30 HNWIs in India, Bain noted that they contribute, on average, just around one-fourth of one per cent of their net worth to social and charitable causes.

    All of this is not meant to imply that philanthropy is absent in India. Far from it. Vineet Nayyar’s Rs 30 crore gift (just under $7 million) to the Essel Social Welfare Foundation is a high-profile example of philanthropic giving. Over the years, Rohini Nilekani has donated $40 million to numerous causes that try to tackle the root causes of social problems and not merely the symptoms. Her biggest contribution has been to Arghyam, a Bangalore foundation that promotes clean water and hygiene, which now has projects in 800 villages. Philanthropy can and does positively impact people’s daily lives.

    Philanthrocapitalism: a plaster on a gaping wound

    What is really required, though, is a proper redistributive system of taxation, effective welfare provision and genuine economic democracy through forms of common ownership to help address inequality and poverty. In the absence of such things, wealthy philanthrocapitalists will have a major say in deciding which problems are addressed and how, and some will be highly selective.

    For instance, critics of Bill Gates say his foundation often ends up favouring his commercial investments. Instead of paying taxes to the state coffers, he donates his profits where it is favourable to him economically, such as supporting GM crops in Africa or high tech patented medicines. ‘Giving’ often acts as a smokescreen for channeling funds into pet projects and ‘business as usual’, with rich corporations receiving money to shape the world in their own image and ultimately for their own benefit. Apparent benevolence can have sinister motives, just like certain governments which provide money in the form of ‘development aid’ that is intentionally used to fund actions that serve geo-political self interest and ultimately undermine the recipient state.

    Philanthropy isn’t necessarily opposed to capitalism; it’s very much part of it. Capitalism is designed to ensure that the flow of wealth goes upwards and remains there via, among other things, the privatisation of public assets, deregulation of the financial sector, the use of subsidies and tax policies that favour the rich, the legal obligation to maximise shareholder profits and the consistent downward pressures on labour costs.

    Professor Ha Joon Chang of Cambridge University says that economics isn’t a social science anymore, but adopts the role the Catholic Church played in medieval Europe. Essentially, economic neo liberalism is secular theology used to justify the prevailing system, with the hope that some drops of wealth will trickle down an extremely thin funnel to placate the mass of the population. Widening the funnel slightly by making benevolent donations will not address the underlying issues of a failed system. :usa:

    For example, consider that one in four people in India is hungry and every second child is underweight and stunted. Environmentalist Vandana Shiva argues that hunger is a structural part of the design of the industrialised, globalised food system and of the design of capital-intensive, chemical-intensive monocultures of industrial agriculture. The long-term solution for hunger lies in moving away from and challenging the centralised, globalised food supply controlled by a handful of profiteering corporations.

    This type of built-in structural inequality, whether it concerns hunger, poverty, housing, income or health, is part and parcel of a development process that is skewed by elite interests in India and at the World Bank and by the corporations that pull the strings at the World Trade Organisation, who have all succeeded in getting their ‘globalisation’ agenda accepted. No amount of philanthropy, regardless of how well meaning it may be, will remedy the overall destructive effects of the type of capitalism (and massive corruption) being embraced by India’s economic and political leaders.

    Originally from the northwest of England, Colin Todhunter has spent many years in India. He has written extensively for the Bangalore-based Deccan Herald, New Indian Express and Morning Star (Britain). His articles have also appeared in many other newspapers, journals and books. His East by Northwest site is at: East by Northwest :thumb:

    Dollar Billionaires in Poor Countries: India’s “Philantrocapitalism” | Global Research
     
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    US interference in Egypt's internal affairs
    29 August 2013

    Egypt is exposed to continuous attacks by US political leaders and by America's Christian-Zionist controlled media. US and foreign media are intensifying their attacks in an attempt to influence Egyptian decision making. This can only be described as blatant interference in the internal affairs of Egypt.

    Since the June 30 revolution, foreign media have intensified their attacks on Egypt ignoring the will of the free Egyptian people. In the midst of these attacks against Egypt, I read a New York Times article which attacked an Egyptian law dealing with non-governmental organizations.:ranger: The article described the law as a step backward in a country with little democracy.

    The newspaper demanded that the law be canceled immediately and that Egyptian citizens be protected from it and its impact.

    When Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister of Israel in 1996, Egyptian-Israeli relations worsened.

    There were many disagreements after Israel accused Egypt of hindering the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by pressing the Palestinian side not to make further concessions during peace negotiations. Egypt also supported the Syrian side with its land for peace proposal. Israel also accused Egypt of urging Arab countries to stop normalizing relations with Israel.

    Furthermore, Israel added pressure on America's Christian-Zionist lobby, which influences the decision making of the US government, encouraging it to attack Egypt.

    The second Egyptian revolution put an end to the "Big Middle East" project which Washington was preparing for many years to weaken Arab countries and defame the true meaning of Islam.

    As a result, media attacks against Egypt began the day after the Muslim Brotherhood government, which was assigned to carry out the American project, fell.

    The US Senate and House Foreign Affairs committees during a special hearing to discuss the development of peace in the Middle East attacked the Egyptian law governing non-governmental organizations and demanded that the US Secretary of State take a stand against it. :ranger:

    They also demanded that a report be prepared on the development of democracy in Egypt and the rights of Egyptian Christians.

    Is the American Congress the supervisor of governments around the world? On what basis are US Congressmen interfering in the internal affairs of independent countries? :toilet:

    This is totally unacceptable to Egypt and to all independent countries around the world. Does the US government permit any other country in the world to interfere in its internal affairs?

    American society is one in which racism is still practiced. Black people in the US still suffer racism in a country that claims that it is a democracy, and American society still considers Mexicans and Latinos to be second class citizens.

    The Egyptian law regarding non-governmental organizations concerns only the Egyptian people. The general understanding of non-governmental organizations, not only in Egypt but around the world, is that they only work as service organizations. Political work is within the domain of political parties. Therefore, there are distinct differences between non-governmental organizations and political parties. :ranger:

    There are many non-governmental organizations around the world which act as a front for hostile activities against the country in which they operate.

    It is also known that foreign intelligence services indirectly fund these non-governmental organizations in order to control their activities. :usa: :uk:

    It is clearly necessary that governments protect their national security and people from foreign intervention. The attacks against Egypt are an attempt to pressure the country to limit its role in the Middle East, to isolate it from the peace process, to enable Israel to force its conditions on the Palestinian people and to ensure that American projects in the region will be successful. It is impossible for any of these objectives to be realized as long as Egypt is strong.

    – Hassan Tahsin is an Egyptian writer and political analyst. He can be reached at [email protected]

    Saudi Gazette - US interference in Egypt's internal affairs
     
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    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    My post as below also says something :thumb:

    => http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...ese-mandarin-emerges-popular-course-iims.html

     
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    “Foreign Agents” Law Hits Hundreds of NGOs
    NOVEMBER 20, 2013

    In early March 2013 the Russian government launched an unprecedented, nationwide campaign of inspections of thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to identify advocacy groups the government deems “foreign agents” and force them to register as such. The list below tracks the legal consequences of the law on dozens of NGOs. :ranger:

    Since the beginning of the “foreign agents” campaign, various prosecutors’ offices and the Ministry of Justice filed nine administrative cases against NGOs and an additional five administrative cases against NGO leaders for failure to register under the “foreign agents” law. Prosecutors lost nine of these fourteen cases in courts. These were cases filed against the Perm Regional Human Rights Center, the GRANI Center for Civic Analysis and Independent Research, the Perm Civic Chamber, the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival and its director, Coming Out (an LGBT group) and its director, and the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center and its director. The prosecutors won administrative cases against the Kostroma Center for Support of Public Initiatives and the center’s director.

    The Ministry of Justice filed administrative cases against the Golos Association, an election monitoring group, and its director and against Regional Golos, and won all three cases in courts. Additionally, the prosecutors brought civil law suits against three NGOs: Women of Don in Novocherkassk, the Center for Social Policy and Gender Studies in Saratov, and the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center. Notably, the suit against the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center was nearly identical to the administrative case against the group that the prosecutors had lost.

    The Ministry of Justice ordered the two NGOs against which it had filed administrative cases (both Golos groups) to suspend their activities for several months. Also, at least three groups (the Golos Association, the Kostroma Center for Support of Public Initiatives, and the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival) initiated proceedings on their own to wind up operations in order to avoid further repressive legal action.

    The prosecutors also filed at least 12 administrative cases against NGOs for refusing to provide documents during the inspection campaign and lost two of them (against the Rainbow Foundation in Moscow and the Foundation for Development of Modern Civil Society Institutions in Lipetsk).

    At least 11 NGOs filed lawsuits against prosecutors’ notices ordering the groups to register under the “foreign agents” law, which they had received in the wake of the inspection campaign. By late November, at least three groups won their cases (Yekaterinburg’s Information and Human Rights Center, Perm’s GRANI Center for Civic Analysis and Independent Research, and the Perm Civil Chamber).

    Human Rights Watch is also aware of at least three NGOs in different regions of Russia that succeeded in getting the prosecutors’ warnings annulled in courts (MASHR in Ingushetia, the Movementfor Fair Elections in Kurgan, and Golos in Siberia). At least two more warnings (against Assistance to Cystic Fibrosis Patients in Moscow region and the Phoenix Foundation in Vladivostok, respectively) were revoked by the prosecutor’s offices themselves.

    Thirteen leading rights groups jointly filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights challenging the “foreign agents” law. The application is currently under review. In August Russia’s ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, filed an appeal with the country’s Constitutional Court on behalf of four organizations challenging warnings from the prosecutor’s offices to register and fines groups had incurred for failing to register. Two other groups filed separate petitions with the Constitutional Court challenging the “foreign agents” measure’s compliance with the Russian constitution.

    I. Civil law suits – 4 NGOs

    The Russian Civil Procedure Code gives the prosecutor’s office powers to file a civil law suit “in defense of rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens, general public or interests of the Russian Federation, its subjects and municipal entities.” Prosecutors began to use this provision against NGOs in order to force them register as “foreign agents.” If the prosecutors win those suits in court, relevant groups will have to register as “foreign agent” organizations within two weeks of the court ruling coming into force.

    Anti-DiscriminationCenter “Memorial” (St. Petersburg)

    After the courts repeatedly quashed the prosecutors’ administrative cases against ADC “Memorial” and its director due to a number of violations in case files (for details, see Section III), on July 12 the prosecutor’s office filed a civil law suit against the group claiming that its failure to register as a “foreign agent” was unlawful and impaired the legitimate interests of the general public. The arguments used in this civil suit are practically identical to the ones used in the administrative cases against the group, which had been rejected by the courts. Court hearings on the civil suit started on August 5, but were three times to date. On November 25 the prosecutor petitioned the judge that the group’s activities should be recognized as “foreign agent’s activities”. Also the prosecutor presented new expert evaluation concluding that ADC “Memorial” carried out “political activities” according to the Russia legislation on political parties. The next hearings are scheduled on December 12.

    Women of Don (Novocherkassk)

    On September 3, after Women of Don had refused to comply with the prosecutors’ orders to register as a “foreign agent” organization (for details, see Section IV), the prosecutor’s office filed a civil law suit against the group. The suit argues that the group engaged in “political activities,” inter alia, by publishing on its website its annual reports on activities, which the group submitted to the Ministry of Justice as required by law. According to the prosecutors, the information included in the report on roundtables and other public events organized by the group to discuss the issue of police reform “shapes public opinion and is aimed at changing government policies.” Court hearings started on October 31. Next hearings are scheduled on December 4.

    Center for Social Policy and Gender Studies (Saratov)

    After the group disagreed with the prosecutor’s notice of violations (for details, see Section IV), on September 10 the prosecutor’s office filed a civil law suit against the group. In addition to the group’s activities, which were previously cited as “political” in the notice of violations, the prosecutor’s lawsuit also mentions a petition campaign that several activists started to protect the group from the “foreign agents” law and a public statement made in support of the group by a number of Dutch NGOs. The latter, according to the prosecutor, demonstrates that “the organization’s foreign colleagues position it as an organization participating in the country’s public and political life, influencing the development of democratic processes in the country, i.e. as political.” :usa: Court hearings started on September 20 but were postponed three times until November 27. On November 27, the judge supported the prosecutor's demand and ruled that the group should register as a “foreign agent” NGO. The group will appeal the verdict to a higher instance court.

    “Coming-out” (Saint-Petersburg)

    Though both district and Saint-Petersburg city courts overturned the verdicts to fine the group and its director on August 14 and September 27 (for details, see Section III), Saint-Petersburg Central district prosecutor filed civil law suit case against the group on October 29. First court hearings were scheduled on November 20 but were postponed on December 4

    II. Suspension of activities – 2 NGOs

    If the authorities consider that a group is performing the functions of a “foreign agent’, but has not submitted the documents to register itself as such, the Ministry of Justice may order the activities to be suspended for a period of up to six months. During this period the group may not appear in mass media, organize public actions, or use its bank accounts.

    Association of NGOs in Defence of Voters’ Rights “Golos” (Moscow)

    In April a court found the group and its director guilty of violating the law on “foreign agents” and fined both of them (for details, please, see Section III). Following this, on June 25, the Ministry of Justice ordered that the group’s activities be suspended for six months. On July 15 the group lodged a judicial appeal against the decision. Court hearings are scheduled for December 10. :ranger:

    Regional Public Association in Defense of Democratic Rights and Freedoms “Golos” (Moscow)

    In April a court found the group guilty of violating the law on “foreign agents” and fined it (for details, see Section III). Following this, on September 30 the Ministry of Justice ordered that its activities be suspended for three months.

    III. Administrative Court Cases - 9 NGOs

    If a court of law finds an organization responsible for failure to register as a “foreign agent,” these groups may be fined up to 500,000 rubles (over US$16,000) and their leaders personally – up to 300,000 rubles (approximately $10,000).

    Association of NGOs in Defense of Voters’ Rights “Golos” (Moscow)

    According to the protocol from the Ministry of Justice dated April 9, the group drafted and promoted a unified Electoral Code and allegedly received foreign funding in the form of the Andrey Sakharov Freedom Award from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC). Notably, Golos had sent the monetary prize in question back to the NHC. The organization was fined 300,000 rubles (approximately $10,000) by the Presnenskiy court of Moscow on April 25. The head of Golos was also personally fined 100,000 rubles (approximately $3,300). Golos appealed the court ruling on May 8. On June 14 the appeals court upheld the ruling of the Presnenskiy Court.

    Kostroma Center for Support of Public Initiatives (Kostroma)

    According to the protocol from the Kostroma regional prosecutor’s office dated April 15, the group conducted a roundtable on United States-Russia relations attended by a US embassy representative. On May 29 a Kostroma court found the group in violation of the “foreign agents” law and fined the group 300,000 rubles (approximately $10,000). The group’s leader was also personally fined 100,000 rubles (approximately $3,300). The group appealed the ruling. Court hearings started on July 29 but were postponed until August 12. On August 12 the appeals court upheld the ruling. Following this, on August 13 the group filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court challenging the law on “foreign agents” as violating freedom of association guaranteed by the Russian Constitution.

    Anti-Discrimination Center “Memorial” (St. Petersburg)

    According to the protocol from the Admiralteyskiy District prosecutor’s office of St. Petersburg dated April 30, the group receives foreign funding and published a report on police abuse of Roma, migrants, and civil activists that was presented to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. On May 27 the court returned the case to the prosecutor’s office as unsubstantiated. The prosecutor’s office sought to overturn the court's ruling, but on June 27 and July 16 higher courts dismissed the prosecutor's appeal. On October 7 the Leninsky District Court again dismissed the prosecutor office’s appeal against its director and the organization itself.

    “Coming Out” (St. Petersburg)

    According to the protocol from the Central District prosecutor’s office of St. Petersburg dated April 30, this LGBT rights group receives funding from the Consulate General of the Netherlands and the Embassy of Norway and allegedly engaged in “political activities,” in particular by holding a silent rally using the slogans, “We are for traditional values: love, family, respect of human dignity” (organized by independent activists), by organizing a campaign against the adoption of the ban on “homosexual propaganda” in St. Petersburg (notably, the campaign was conducted before the “foreign agents” law came into effect), and by publishing the brochure, “Discrimination of LGBT Individuals: What, How and Why?” Administrative court hearings started on May 27 and were postponed twice until June 19. On June 19 a St. Petersburg court ruled the group had violated the law and fined it 500,000 rubles (approximately $16,500). On June 25 the court also fined the group's director 300,000 rubles (approximately $10,000) for violating the law. The group appealed the court ruling and on July 25 the appeals court vacated the ruling and returned it to the court of first instance for re-examination. On August 14 the appeals court also vacated the ruling to fine the group’s director and closed the case against her. On September 27 the St. Petersburg City Court also vacated the ruling to fine the organization itself and closed the case against it by formal reason.

    “Side by Side” LGBT Film Festival (St. Petersburg)

    According to the protocol from the Central District prosecutor’s office of St. Petersburg dated May 6, the group published a brochure titled, “The International LGBT Movement: from Local Practices to Global Politics” and participated in a public awareness-raising campaign, “Let’s Stop the Homophobic Bill Together.” Notably, the campaign was conducted in 2011, before the “foreign agents” law entered into force. On June 6 a local court in St. Petersburg ruled the group had violated the law and fined it 500,000 rubles (approximately $16,500). The group appealed the court ruling. On July 26 the appeals court upheld it but reduced the size of the fine to 400,000 rubles (approximately $13,000). The ruling entered into force on July 26. On October 4 the St. Petersburg City Court vacated the ruling fining the organization itself and closed the case against it because of the previous verdict’s procedure violation.

    On August 9 a court also fined Side by Side’s director 300,000 rubles (approximately $10,000) for violating the “foreign agents” law, but on November 11 the appeals court vacated this ruling.

    Regional Public Association in Defense of Democratic Rights and Freedoms “Golos” (Moscow)

    According to the protocol from the Ministry of Justice dated May 13, in December 2012 the group – a member of the “Golos” Association – allegedly received foreign funding of more than 4 million rubles (approximately $133,000) in total and conducted work on the project, “Raising transparency of the Russian electoral process by discussing and promoting a unified Electoral Code.” On June 4 a Moscow court ruled the group had violated the law and fined it 300,000 rubles (approximately $10,000). The group appealed the ruling. On September 17 a higher instance court rejected the group’s appeal.

    Center for Civic Analysis and Independent Research / GRANI (Perm)

    According to the protocol from the Perm regional prosecutor’s office dated June 6, the inspection of the group’s activities in April 2013 revealed violations of the law on “foreign agents.” The group in 2013 received foreign funding of 751,000 rubles (approximately $25,000) and allegedly engaged in “political activities” by shaping public opinion on state policies. In 2013 the group published the results of the study, “Russian non-political activism” conducted in 2012 under a project funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation. In December 2012 the group submitted to the regional legislative assembly proposals for amendments to the draft law on support of socially oriented NGOs in the Perm region, and in January 2013 its leader took part in a round table organized by the Perm Legislative Assembly, which discussed this draft and recommended introducing a set of amendments in line with recommendations by participants. On April 22 the prosecutor’s office issued a notice of violations to the group (as noted in section II) instructing it to register as a “foreign agent” NGO. On May 6 the group replied to the notice challenging it and emphasizing that the group’s staffers are members of several advisory bodies for the state authorities, including the working group of the federal government’s commission on coordinating the “Open Government,” the regional governor’s council on entrepreneurship, and the collegium of the regional territorial development ministry. On May 16 the group’s governing bodies ruled not to implement the prosecutor’s orders, as GRANI’s activities are aimed not at changing state policy but at facilitating its implementation as regards the rights and freedoms enshrined in Russia’s constitution. Once informed of the group’s decision, the prosecutor’s office concluded that the group was in persistent violation of the law on “foreign agents” and referred the case to court. Administrative court hearings started on July 5 and were postponed until July 17. On July 17 the court quashed the case. On July 25 the prosecutor’s office appealed to overturn the court ruling, but on August 14 the appeals court upheld it. On September 18 the Perm regional court dismissed the prosecutor’s appeal.

    Perm Civic Chamber (Perm)

    According to the protocol from the Perm regional prosecutor’s office dated June 28, the April 2013 inspection of the group’s activities found violations of the law on “foreign agents.” The group’s work is mostly financed from foreign sources. For example, in 2011 it received a grant from a foreign donor for the project “Perm United Service for Support of Non-Profit Groups and Organizations.” The group is also a partner in the project “Protection of the Right to Information in the Perm Region” implemented by the Perm Regional Human Rights Center and financed by the UN Democracy Fund.:toilet: The prosecutor’s office stated that an analysis of grant agreements, reports on project implementation, and other information on the group’s activity showed that foreign organizations fund the group’s participation in political activity in the Russian Federation. The prosecutor’s office also said the center’s involvement in “political activity” is also established by the fact that its members shape public opinion on state policies by publishing material that is available to a wide audience on the Internet. The prosecutor's office cited as an example the fact that in February 2013 a member of the Perm Civic Chamber, Igor Averkiev, published news of his withdrawal from the Political Council of the Perm region’s governor on the Internet and it contained criticism of this body’s activity. Previously, on April 25, the prosecutor’s office issued a notice of violations to the group (as noted below in Section II) instructing it to register as a “foreign agent” NGO. After the group publicly declared that it will not implement the prosecutor’s orders, the prosecutor’s office concluded that the group was in persistent violation of the law on “foreign agents” and referred the case to court. At a hearing held on July 17 the court quashed the case. On July 25 the prosecutor’s office appealed to overturn the court ruling, but on September 5 the appeals court upheld the ruling. On October 14 the Perm regional court dismissed the prosecutor’s appeal.

    Perm Regional Human Rights Center (Perm)

    According to the protocol from the Perm regional prosecutor’s office dated July 2, the inspection of the group’s activities in April 2013 revealed violations of the law on “foreign agents.” The group’s activity is mostly financed from foreign sources: from 2010 to 2012 it received 5.6 million rubles (approximately $175,000) from international and foreign organizations for various projects. In January 2013 the group received a donation from the UN Democracy Fund for the project “Protection of the Right to Information in the Perm Region,” aimed at improving transparency of state and municipal authorities. The prosecutor’s office stated that an analysis of grant agreements, reports on projects implementation, and other information on the group’s activity shows that foreign organizations fund the group’s participation in political activity in the Russian Federation. The prosecutor’s office said the center’s involvement in “political activity” is also established by the fact that its members shape public opinion on state policies by publishing material that is available to a wide audience on the Internet. Examples of the latter cited by the prosecutor’s office werePerm at a Crossroads:The Little Man in the Stream of Reform, a book published by the center in March 2013, and articles, “Perm under the reformers’ bombardment” and “Komi-Permyaks – look from the abyss.” Previously, on April 25 the prosecutor’s office issued a notice of violations to the group (as noted below in Section II) instructing it to register as a “foreign agent” NGO. On May 27 the center’s governing bodies ruled not to implement the prosecutor’s orders, as the group’s activities under the UN-funded project cannot be considered political. Once informed of the group’s decision, the prosecutor’s office concluded that the group was in persistent violation of the law on “foreign agents” and referred the case to court. On July 18 a court quashed the case against the center. In late July the prosecutor’s office appealed to overturn the court ruling, but on August 23 the appeals court upheld the ruling. On October 14 the Perm regional court dismissed the prosecutor’s appeal.

    IV. Official Notices of Violations - 18 NGOs

    The groups below received official orders to “eliminate violations,” i.e. direct orders by the prosecutor’s office to register as “foreign agents” within one month of their respective dates of notice.

    Center for Civic Analysis and Independent Research / GRANI (Perm)

    A case was referred to court for alleged persistent refusal by the organization to comply with the “foreign agents” law (for details, please see section III). The group challenged the notice and lodged a judicial appeal on June 7. Court hearings started on July 1 but were postponed until July 11. On July 11 the court further postponed the hearings until there has been a ruling in the administrative case against the group. On November 11 the court quashed the notice.

    Baikal Environmental Wave (Irkutsk)

    According to a notice issued by the prosecutor’s office dated April 23, the group's statue provides for “active advocacy on environmental issues with state and municipal authorities,” which constitutes “political activity” within the meaning of the law. The group filed a written objection to the notice with the regional level prosecutor's office, but on July 18 the prosecutor’s office upheld it. The group then lodged a judicial appeal. Court hearings started on September 9 but were postponed until October 16. On October 16 the Kirovsky district court of Irkutsk dismissed the group’s appeal.

    Center for Social Policy and Gender Studies (Saratov)

    According to the notice dated April 24, both the group’s statute provisions and its current work relate to “political activities.” In April 2013 the group, which receives foreign funding, organized the event, “Review of the social policy in the post-Soviet area: ideologies, actors and cultures” and published the book, Critical Analysis of Social Policy in the Countries of Former Soviet Union, thereby aiming to influence public opinion. On June 25 the group filed a motivated written objection to the notice with the prosecutor's office.

    Information and Human Rights Center (Yekaterinburg)

    According to the notice dated April 26, the group receives foreign funding and participates in “political activities” through carrying out projects aimed at “overcoming totalitarian stereotypes by influencing public opinion with awareness-raising activities, facilitating the establishment of the rule of law by informing citizens about constitutional norms, ensuring the priority of individual rights in state practices and public life by remembrance of terror victims in the past and defending the rights of citizens in the present, as well as countering violent, unlawful, totalitarian ways of ruling the state by organizing public events (rallies, exhibitions, etc.).”:facepalm: Also, in September 2012, the group conducted a round table on the rights of conscripts and military servicemen, addressing a set of recommendations to the Ministry of Defense and the government and therefore trying to influence governmental policies in this area. The group challenged the prosecutor’s notice of violations and lodged a judicial appeal on September 30. On November 20, a local court quashed the notice of violations.

    Regional Public Association in Defense of Democratic Rights and Freedoms “Golos” (Moscow)

    The prosecutor’s office issued a “notice of violations” to the group on April 26. On May 27 the group appealed the notice to the courts. The court hearings were scheduled for June 25 but were postponed twice. On July 10 the court upheld the notice of violations. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice opened an administrative case against the group before the expiration of a one-month period given by the prosecutor to “eliminate the violations” listed in the notice (for details, please see Section III).

    Human Rights Center “Memorial” (Moscow)

    According to the notice dated April 29, some of group’s objectives in its statute relate to “political activity” and the group also carries out programs and projects that monitor politically motivated administrative detentions and criminal prosecutions. The organization challenged the legality of their inspection by the Moscow prosecutor’s office in March 2013 and lodged a judicial appeal. On May 24 the Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow rejected the complaint by “Memorial” as ungrounded. The group challenged the prosecutor’s notice of violations and lodged a judicial appeal on May 28. Court hearings were scheduled for June 28 but have been postponed three times until November 18. On November 18 the court satisfied the group’s motion to postpone the hearings until either the Constitutional Court delivers its judgment on the compliance of the law on “foreign agents” with Russia’s Constitution or the joint NGO application to the European Court of Human Rights is communicated to the Russian authorities. Hearings are preliminarily scheduled to resume on February 4, 2014.

    “Women of Don” (Novocherkassk)

    According to the notice dated April 29, after the law on “foreign agents” entered into force, the group received foreign funding and “carried out activities aimed at shaping public opinion and influencing decision-making by the authorities through conducting events with public participation, publishing propaganda information materials online, as well as [doing so] in the course of private meetings with imprisoned individuals.” :tsk: Thus, the group published on its website policy proposals on police reform and conclusions on the ineffectiveness of current state policy in this field. In April 2013 the group organized an inter-regional seminar attended by the media, the participants of which declared a detention of an NGO leader in Krasnodar unlawful, opened for signing a petition in his support, and addressed an appeal to the Russian President, as well as “expressed negative attitudes regarding the activities of state authorities and highlighted the necessity to solve problems [independently] without appealing to competent governmental agencies.” Also, in April 2013 the prosecutor’s office received a letter from an imprisoned individual who stated that while meeting with him in her capacity as a Public Oversight Commission member, the group’s leader “called him for active actions in support of the group’s activities on changing the legislation regulating the penitentiary system.”

    On July 20 the group’s governing bodies ruled not to implement the prosecutor’s order to register as a “foreign agent,” as it was not involved in any “political activities.”

    Center for Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives / Youth “Memorial” (Perm)

    According to the notice dated April 29, the group’s statute objectives include defending the political rights of youth. The organization aspires to influence public opinion with regard to governmental policies and receives funding from the US-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for a project aimed at “developing democratic activism among Russian youth.” The group also implements a project on human rights education funded by the Germany-based “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” Foundation (EVZ) and published a collection of articles expressing political views of the project’s participants. According to the prosecutor’s office, both donor institutions “define their objective as influencing political processes worldwide.” Moreover, in 2012 the group conducted activities aimed at monitoring rights violations in the military and providing direct assistance to conscripts and military servicemen who suffered abuse. The authorities also flag that the very fact that the organization is well known for promoting the alternative civil service proves that its work relates to “political activities.” The group challenged the prosecutor’s notice of violations and lodged a judicial appeal. Court hearings started on August 6 but were postponed twice until November 27.

    Interregional Human Rights Association “AGORA” (Kazan)

    According to the notice dated April 30, the group implements a project on Internet freedom funded by Internews, supporting “activities of lawyers capable of influencing policy and law enforcement practice” and aiming at “adoption of regulations on administrative procedures for implementing the law on Internet by the government and the State Agency for Supervision of Communications [Roskomnadzor].” The notice also flags that the group is accredited by the Ministry of Justice as an independent expert entity authorized to conduct anticorruption evaluation of legal acts and their drafts.

    “Panorama” Center (Moscow)

    According to the notice dated May 6, the group implements a foreign-funded research project on political processes, which involves holding roundtables and discussions and publishing information regarding the drawbacks of current legislation and the evolvement of public protests in Russia. On June 6 the group’s governing bodies ruled not to implement the prosecutor’s order to register as a “foreign agent,” as it was not involved in any “political activities,” and filed a written objection to the notice with the prosecutor’s office.

    “Lawyers for Constitutional Rights and Freedoms” / JURIX (Moscow)

    According to the notice dated May 7, the group's statute provides for carrying out various activities “in the field of law and public policy.” The group receives foreign funding and its staff members participated in the advocacy campaign against the adoption of a ban on “homosexual propaganda” in St. Petersburg, including by providing legal expertise on the draft law and taking part in the public hearings at the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg as well as televised debates on the issue. The group filed a written objection to the notice with the prosecutor’s office, who rejected the appeal on August 7. The group then lodged a judicial appeal to challenge the notice. Court hearings started on November 18, but the court satisfied the group’s motion to postpone the hearings until either the Constitutional Court delivers its judgment on the compliance of the law on “foreign agents” with Russia’s Constitution or the joint NGO application to the European Court on Human Rights is communicated to the Russian authorities. Hearings are preliminarily scheduled to resume on February 4, 2014.

    “Public Verdict” Foundation(Moscow)

    According to the notice dated May 8, the group carries out political activities, which are mostly financed from foreign sources. In the view of the prosecutor’s office, the group’s activity “is aimed at interfering with governmental policy in the field of law enforcement by proposing legislative amendments, shaping public opinion on the necessity of changing law enforcement policy currently exercised by the authorities, and gaining public support for its actions aimed at exhorting greater influence on the authorities.” The prosecutors consider the following actions as examples of the group’s “political activities”: “involving society in discussing the reform of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, monitoring citizens’ rights observance while conducting public events, providing legal assistance to the individuals accused under the ‘Bolotnaya case,’ preparing and coordinating the work on drafting the Alternative NGO Report to the UN Committee against Torture [on Russia’s compliance with the UN Convention against Torture],” offering “recommendations to participants of public protests regarding [appropriate] behavior at the rallies,” and “organizing and supporting campaigns of petitions to state authorities.”:toilet: The group challenged the prosecutor’s notice of violations and lodged a judicial appeal on June 13. Court hearings were scheduled for June 28, but have been postponed three times until November 18. On November 18 the court satisfied the group’s motion to postpone the hearings until either the Constitutional Court delivers its judgment on the compliance of the law on “foreign agents” with Russia’s Constitution or the joint NGO application to the European Court on Human Rights is communicated to the Russian authorities. Hearings are preliminarily scheduled to resume on February 4, 2014.

    Independent Council of Legal Expertise / NEPS (Moscow)

    According to the notice dated May 6, the group’s work is related to “political activities” and it should register as a “foreign agent” NGO.

    Moscow School of Political Studies (Moscow)

    According to a notice dated May 8, the group’s work is related to “political activities” and must register as a “foreign agent” NGO.

    Yaroslavl Regional Hunters’ and Fishermen Society (Yaroslavl)

    According to the notice dated April 16, some of the provisions in the group’s statute relate to “political activity” and it should register as a “foreign agent” NGO. :thumb:

    Russia: “Foreign Agents” Law Hits Hundreds of NGOs: Updated November 29, 2013 | Human Rights Watch

    Russia: “Foreign Agents” Law Hits Hundreds of NGOs: Updated November 29, 2013 | Human Rights Watch
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  10. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    the above statement of the article is fit with my experience too. those who want to interfere in India believe,

    "if they may buy General Manager of a firm, then they have got the whole firm this way." :rofl:

    "if you may buy those who have influence on the society, then you may control the whole society somehow/ someway." :tsk:

    "to handle Fate of the people of a country, if you may buy all those people who own high positions/ have proper influence on the society then this way you have got a level of control on that certain country this way." :facepalm:

    and hence, i have made my post#6 of this thread, with demanding, "only those can handle fate of a society/ country, who are elected by that certain society. hence, until Mr B.Obama ensures 'equal' voting rights for the common Indian citizens in the general election of USA, he can't interfere in the internal matters of India." :nono:
     
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    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    double post
     
  12. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Activists bristle as India cracks down on foreign funding of NGOs
    May 19, 2013

    Amid an intensifying crackdown on nongovernmental groups that receive foreign funding, Indian activists are accusing the government of stifling their right to dissent in the world’s largest democracy.

    India has tightened the rules on nongovernmental organizations over the past two years, following protests that delayed several important industrial projects. About a dozen NGOs that the government said engaged in activities that harm the public interest have seen their permission to receive foreign donations revoked, as have nearly 4,000 small NGOs for what officials said was inadequate compliance with reporting requirements.

    The government stepped up its campaign this month, suspending the permission that Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), a network of more than 700 NGOs across India, had to receive foreign funds. Groups in the network campaign for indigenous peoples’ rights over their mineral-rich land and against nuclear energy, human rights violations and religious fundamentalism; nearly 90 percent of the network’s funding comes from overseas. :ranger:

    “The government’s action is aimed at curbing our democratic right to dissent and disagree,” Anil Chaudhary, who heads an NGO that trains activists and is part of the INSAF network, said Tuesday. “We dared to challenge the government’s new foreign donation rules in the court. We opposed nuclear energy, we campaigned against genetically modified food. We have spoiled the sleep of our prime minister.”

    In its letter to INSAF, the Home Ministry said the group’s bank accounts were frozen and foreign funding approval suspended because it was likely to “prejudicially affect the public interest.”

    A government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said the government is not against criticism. But when an NGO uses foreign donations to criticize Indian policies, “things get complicated, and you never know what the plot is,” the official said, adding that NGOs should use foreign donations to do development work instead. :toilet:

    The United States is the top donor nation to Indian NGOs, followed by Britain and Germany, according to figures compiled by the Indian government, with Indian NGOs receiving funds from both the U.S. government and private U.S. institutions. :tsk: In the year ending in March 2011, the most recent period for which data are available, about 22,000 NGOs received a total of more than $2 billion from abroad, of which $650 million came from the United States.

    Asked last week about the Indian government’s moves against foreign-funded NGOs, a U.S. State Department spokesman said the department was not aware of any U.S. government involvement in the cases. The spokesman said such civil society groups around the world “are among the essential building blocks of any healthy democracy.”

    The situation in India is not unlike the problems that similar groups face in Russia, where a law passed last year requires foreign-funded NGOs that engage in loosely defined political activities to register as “foreign agents.”

    Action after nuclear protests

    Trouble for many nonprofit activist groups here began more than a year ago when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed groups from the United States for fomenting -anti-nuclear protests that have stalled the commissioning of India’s biggest reactor, a Russian-backed project in Koodankulam in power-starved Tamil Nadu state.

    U.S. officials, including Peter Burleigh, the American ambassador at the time, quickly moved to assure Indian officials that the U.S. government supports India’s civil nuclear power program. And Victoria Nuland, then the State Department spokeswoman, said the United States does not provide support for nonprofit groups to protest nuclear power plants. “Our NGO support goes for development, and it goes for democracy programs,” Nuland said. :ranger:

    Although Singh was widely criticized for his fears, the government froze the accounts of several NGOs in southern India within weeks.

    “All our work has come to a stop,” said Henri Tiphagne, head of a human rights group called People’s Watch. “I had visited [the] Koodankulam protest site once. Is that a banned territory?”

    But the government’s action appears to have had its desired effect. “NGOs are too scared to visit Koodankulam or associate with us now,” said anti-nuclear activist S. P. Udayakumar.

    Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said many NGOs are afraid to speak up about the suspension of their foreign funding approval, which is “being used to intimidate organizations and activists.”

    Analysts say the government’s way of dealing with dissent is a throwback to an earlier era. But Indian authorities have been particularly squeamish about criticism of late. As citizens have protested corruption and sexual assaults on women and demanded greater accountability from public officials, authorities have often reacted clumsily — including beating up peaceful protesters and cracking down on satirical cartoons, Facebook posts and Twitter accounts.

    Donors look elsewhere

    Officials say NGOs are free to use Indian money for their protests. But activists say Indian money is hard to find, with many Indians preferring to donate to charities.

    A recent report by Bain & Co. said that about two-thirds of Indian donors surveyed said that NGOs have room to improve the impact they are making in the lives of beneficiaries. It said that a quarter of donors are holding back on increased donations until they perceive evidence that their donations are having an effect.

    “They give blankets to the homeless, sponsor poor children or support cow shelters,” said Wilfred Dcosta, coordinator of INSAF. “They do not want to support causes where you question the state, demand environmental justice or fight for the land rights of tribal people pitted against mighty mining companies.” :ranger:

    INSAF, whose acronym means “justice” in Urdu, has seen its portion of foreign funding increase significantly during the past 15 years. Now it receives funds from many international groups, including the American Jewish World Service and Global Greengrants Fund in the United States, and groups in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. :facepalm:

    The top American donors to Indian NGOs include Colorado-based Compassion International, District-based Population Services International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    “It is not a question about money, it is a fight for our right to dissent,” said Chaudhary. :thumb: “I don’t need dollars to block a road.” :nono:

    Activists bristle as India cracks down on foreign funding of NGOs - Washington Post
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
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    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    and who exactly are those who send these NGOs to India? once their 'mentality' was explained in my post as below too. and if you allow these shiits in India who comes with every wrong mentality, their mentality made by all these bluffs of Oscars/ Nobel prices, then it simply means that you allow those who always want to discuss something on identity/ belief/ religion/ language/ culture etc to organize different violence in India :tsk: :facepalm:

     
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    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    further to the above post of mine, one major example i give of the news as below. when i was celebrating 3rd rank of Indian economy by 2007 on PPP, at $5.16 trillion in 2007 by the old method which was adopted by both World Bank and IMF till 2007. (i was in Canning Vale in Perth that time, i remember). and within just few months, they changed this old way of measuring GDP on PPP :usa: :uk:

    i do remember Indian economy on PPP came down to even 5th rank by 2008 by this new method, below to Germany too in 2007, and then only "mentality" of these Western War Champions could be fed........ and it was also very similar to my experience of watching attacks on the Indians students doing Master level studies by under high school passed locals. half of them are in fact drug addicted and were proving their superiority over those international students by those attacks :toilet:
     
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    one more example of "direct involvements" of British government in the internal violence of India was discussed in my post as below too :thumb:

     
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    India’s Transition to Global Donor: Limitations and Prospects (ARI)
    India’s Transition to Global Donor: Limitations and Prospects (ARI) - Elcano

    Theme: India has increasingly sought to expand its activities as a donor, both to reposition itself as an emerging power and to use aid as an instrument for engaging with other developing countries. This ARI looks at the current state of India’s donor programme as regards both its size and scope, identifies India’s role within the multilateral aid scenario and evaluates the challenges and prospects for further growth.

    Abstract: India has expanded its aid programme over the past decade, emerging as a serious donor in certain countries. While the amounts remain small, India’s emergence has focused attention on its possible motives.

    The term ‘emerging donor’ has, over the past decade, become an accepted part of the development world’s lexicon, providing further evidence of the rise of emerging economies. This does not mean that the donors themselves are new. What is new is an increased recognition globally that emerging donors are now a viable complement, and in some cases a substitute, to aid from traditional donors.

    The emergence of these donors is particularly evident now because it occurs at a time when the developed world faces fundamental questions about its own socio-economic model. The financial crisis has undermined confidence amongst OECD countries, put their aid commitments in doubt and given rise to questions about their social welfare and free market models. It is into this vacuum that India has willingly stepped in to offer its own philosophy of development and growth.

    Disbursements by emerging donors were estimated at €8.5 billion in 2006.[1] While small (aid by OECD donors in 2006 totalled €103.9 billion),[2] the competition that these donors insert into what was once an oligopoly of high-income OECD nations has caused much consternation in development circles: China’s aid programme has prompted both awe and fear;[3] India’s stirs a mix of confusion and frustration abroad and pride and criticism at home.

    India started its aid programme soon after independence, with the budget speech of 1958 referring to INR100 million in multi-year grants to Nepal and an INR200 million loan to Myanmar.[4] Since then, but particularly over the past decade, India’s aid programme has evolved substantially, growing both in scale and ambition.

    This paper analyses the evolution of India’s giving in recent years. However, rather than simply describing what India gives and to whom, it primarily looks at three related questions: (1) what are the main characteristics that distinguish India’s aid?; (2) as India grows into a global donor, how is it likely to view multilateral engagement?; and (3) against the backdrop of almost certain growth in giving in the future, what are the challenges and options ahead?

    Analysis

    Defining India’s Giving

    At the outset it is worth establishing what constitutes aid in the context of India’s donor programme. Like most emerging donors, India’s aid-related activities do not follow the traditional definition of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Rather, an alternative definition can be considered: spending that furthers India’s standing as a donor. There are three parts to that spending, namely grants and preferential bilateral loans to governments, contributions to international organisations (IOs) and financial institutions (IFIs), and subsidies for preferential bilateral loans provided through the Export Import (EXIM) Bank of India.

    In 2010 India’s aid-related budget allocations were INR36.66 billion[6] (US$785 million in current dollars), a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9% from 2004 to 2010. In addition, the EXIM bank in 2008 approved loans and guarantees worth INR352.47 billion with US$3.75 billion in operative lines of credit (see Table 2 and Graph 1).

    These numbers, while big, cannot compare with the giving of China or any of the established donors (China is estimated to have donated US$616 million in 2007 to Africa alone).[7] Thus, India’s ability to use its aid well depend not on how much it gives, but rather on how it directs its aid and what else it offers.

    Towards this end the country’s multilateral budget has increased rapidly. In 2008 and 2009 India spent INR30,719.4 and INR67,630 million respectively (US$2.1 billion) towards increasing its IMF share quota (IMF investment accounted for 66% of the entire budget in 2009). India has also been an enthusiastic donor to the World Food Programme (WFP).

    Secondly, these deficiencies expose India to the entire risk of aid giving, in particular allegations of neo-colonialism (a criticism often directed at OECD donors) or of undermining human rights (a criticism directed at China). Any move to expand direct aid should thus be made with caution.


    Conclusions: There is no doubt that recent changes to India’s aid programme mirror a more general re-think of India’s role in the world. Responding to increasing ambitions the programme has evolved to be more global, economic and bilateral. India has sought to engage more closely with the multilateral system, while creating its own niche within the development universe by remaining distinct from other donors.

    China has often used aid to facilitate access to natural resources. India’s approach, by contrast, is described by Kragelund[15] as being ‘on a smaller scale, a bit tardier and not spurring the same dichotomous reactions’. It can be argued that this has prevented India’s giving from realising its full strategic potential. However, that smaller scale and tardiness have also prevented India from tripping up on its own good intentions in what is still an early period of its programme.

    The risk is that as India increases its giving it may try to achieve too many things –political pre-eminence in its vicinity, economic links with East Africa and access to strategic resources (natural or military) in Burma or West Africa–. As that happens, India will expose itself to the same criticisms levelled against China and against traditional donors –a risk amplified by India’s institutional limitations that hinder transparency and accountability–. In short, India’s ambitions will continue to outstrip available resources and capabilities.

    Those limited resources should therefore be used as much to gain direct leverage as to promote India’s private and non-profit sectors in the developing world. Collaboration with other donors can happen, so long as it promotes those general principles. What is needed is a more conscious, transparent and cohesive approach to develop this strategy, rather than the current opportunistic one, because these sectors have always been India’s strengths.

    Dweep Chanana
    Advisor to private and institutional philanthropists with a Swiss private bank

    India’s Transition to Global Donor: Limitations and Prospects (ARI) - Elcano
     
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    Neo-colonialism

    Neo-colonialism (also Neocolonialism) is the geopolitical practice of using capitalism, business globalization, and cultural imperialism to control a country, in lieu of either direct military control or indirect political control, i.e. imperialism and hegemony.[1] The term neo-colonialism was coined by Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah, to describe the socio-economic and political control that can be exercised economically, linguistically, and culturally, whereby promotion of the culture of the neo-colonist country facilitates the cultural assimilation of the colonised people and thus opens the national economy to the multinational corporations of the neo-colonial country.

    In post-colonial studies, the term neo-colonialism describes the domination-praxis (social, economic, cultural) of countries from the developed world in the respective internal affairs of the countries of the developing world; that, despite the decolonisation occurred in the aftermath of the Second World War (1939–45), the (former) colonial powers continue to apply existing and past international economic arrangements with their former colony countries, and so maintain colonial control. A neo-colonialism critique can include de facto colonialism (imperialist or hegemonic), and an economic critique of the disproportionate involvement of modern capitalist business in the economy of a developing country, whereby multinational corporations continue to exploit the natural resources and the people of the former colony; that such economic control is inherently neo-colonial, and thus is akin to the imperial and hegemonic varieties of colonialism practiced by the empires of Great Britain, the United States, France, and other European countries, from the 16th to the 20th centuries.[2] The ideology and praxis of neo-colonialism are discussed in the works of Jean-Paul Sartre (Colonialism and Neo-colonialism, 1964)[3] and Noam Chomsky (The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism, 1979).

    Neocolonialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    The non-aligned world

    “Neo-colonialism” became the standard term for Non-Aligned Movement, describing a type of foreign intervention, because of its practical and historical application to the internal affairs (economic, social, political) of the countries of the Pan-Africanist movement

    Neocolonialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
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    Non-Aligned Movement

    [​IMG]
    (Leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement: (L to R) PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Pres. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Pres. Gamal Abdel Nasser of United Arab Rep., Pres. Sukarno of Indonesia, & Pres. Tito of Yugoslavia.)


    The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a group of states which are not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2012, the movement has 120 members and 17 observer countries.[1]

    The organization was founded in Belgrade in 1961, and was largely conceived by Yugoslavia's president, Josip Broz Tito; Indonesia's first president, Sukarno; Egypt's second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser; Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah; and India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.:india: All five leaders were prominent advocates of a middle course for states in the Developing World between the Western and Eastern blocs in the Cold War. The phrase itself was first used to represent the doctrine by Indian diplomat and statesman Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon in 1953, at the United Nations.[3]

    In a speech given during the Havana Declaration of 1979, Fidel Castro said the purpose of the organization is to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries" in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics".[4] The countries of the Non-Aligned Movement represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations's members and contain 55% of the world population. Membership is particularly concentrated in countries considered to be developing or part of the Third World.[5] :truestory:

    Members have at times included the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Argentina, Namibia, Cyprus, and Malta. While many of the Non-Aligned Movement's members were actually quite closely aligned with one or another of the super powers, the movement still maintained cohesion throughout the Cold War. Some members were involved in serious conflicts with other members (e.g., India and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq). The movement fractured from its own internal contradictions when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. While the Soviet allies supported the invasion, other members of the movement (particularly predominantly Muslim states) condemned it.

    Because the Non-Aligned Movement was formed as an attempt to thwart the Cold War,[6] it has struggled to find relevance since the Cold War ended. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, a founding member, its membership was suspended[7] in 1992 at the regular Ministerial Meeting of the Movement, held in New York during the regular yearly session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.[8][9] The successor states of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have expressed little interest in membership, though some have observer status. In 2004, Malta and Cyprus ceased to be members and joined the European Union. Belarus remains the sole member of the Movement in Europe. Azerbaijan and Fiji are the most recent entrants, joining in 2011. The applications of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Costa Rica were rejected in 1995 and 1998, respectively.[9]

    The 16th NAM summit took place in Tehran, Iran, from 26 to 31 August 2012. According to MehrNews agency, representatives from over 150 countries were scheduled to attend.[10] Attendance at the highest level includes 27 presidents, 2 kings and emirs, 7 prime ministers, 9 vice presidents, 2 parliament spokesmen and 5 special envoys.[11] At the summit, Iran took over from Egypt as Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement for the period 2012 to 2015.[12] The 17th Summit of the Non Aligned Movement is to be held in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2015.

    [​IMG]
    Member countries, Observer countries

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Aligned_Movement
     
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    Poor Little Rich Country
    BY PATRICK FRENCH | JUNE 24, 2011
    How do you categorize India, a nation that is at once fantastically wealthy and desperately poor? :ranger:

    [​IMG]

    In May, the Indian government announced that it was giving $5 billion in aid to African countries in the interest of helping them meet their development goals. "We do not have all the answers," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "but we have some experience in nation-building, which we are happy to share."

    The British could be forgiven for being annoyed with Singh's largesse. Britain, after all, currently gives more than $450 million a year in aid to India, and has plans to continue doing so for at least the next few years. The British economy is bumping in and out of a recession, while India's gross domestic product is growing at more than 8 percent a year. This has put the British government in the rather bizarre position of having to sell bonds in order to donate money to Asia's second-fastest-growing economy, even as the latter is itself getting into the philanthropy business.

    The policy is unpopular with most of the British press, which argues that because India has a space program and some flamboyant billionaires, it does not need aid -- especially when Britain cannot really afford it. (When the Labour government was voted out at last year's general election, the departing Finance Minister Liam Byrne left a one-line note on his desk for his successor: "I'm afraid there is no money." It was a joke -- but it was also true.) Nevertheless, Britain still sees itself as a donor nation, with all the obligations and international prestige that entails. This comes in part from a sense of postcolonial guilt: Prime Minister David Cameron spoke recently of a "sense of duty to help others" and the "strong moral case" for giving aid.

    The situation suggests just how dramatically the economic rise of Asia has undone centuries of experience, and the expectation that the West will retain the hegemony it has had for the past 400 years. It is increasingly difficult to classify whether a nation is rich or poor, and terms such as "the Global South" and "the Third World" have to be heavily qualified to take into account the fact that large sections of the population in countries like China, Brazil, and India now have a purchasing power matching that of people in "the West."

    In 1951, the American diplomat Bill Bullitt described the condition of India in Life magazine: "An immense country containing 357 million people," he wrote, "with enormous natural resources and superb fighting men, India can neither feed herself nor defend herself against serious attacks. An inhabitant of India lives, on average, 27 years. His annual income is about $50. About 90 out of 100 Indians cannot read or write. They exist in squalor and fear of famine." Today, it would be hard to make such an absolute statement about India. Poverty certainly remains a chronic problem, but it exists alongside pockets of substantial wealth. An Indian's life expectancy at birth now stands at 67 years, and continues to rise. It is necessary perhaps to think in a different way, and to see that a country like India, like Schrödinger's cat, exists in at least two forms simultaneously: rich and poor.

    The most important change of the last two decades, since the beginning of economic liberalization, has been the transformation of middle-class Indian aspiration. Although the stagnant days of the controlled economy and the "Permit Raj" -- when important decisions depended on a bureaucrat's authorization -- had their own stability, they also stifled opportunity and individual talent. Members of the professional middle class frequently preferred to seek their fortune in more meritocratic societies abroad.

    The modern Indian middle class has a new chance to shape its own destiny in a way that was not previously possible. You can move to your own house using a home loan and live outside the joint family; you can buy a car that is not an Ambassador or a Fiat; you can travel abroad and see how people in other countries live; you can watch your politicians accept bribes or dance with prostitutes on television in local media sting operations while surfing your way to Desperate Housewives or Kaun Banega Crorepati, an Indian adaptation of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Businesspeople who have succeeded on their own merits overseas, such as PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, are presented as national heroes.

    Poor Little Rich Country - By Patrick French | Foreign Policy
     
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    If India doesn't want our aid, stop it now, Cameron told after country labels £280m-a-year donations as 'peanuts' :facepalm:
    6 February 2012

    David Cameron was under intense pressure last night to slash the £1billion in aid Britain gives to India after the country said it no longer wanted the money.

    India's finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the booming country should 'voluntarily' give up the £280million a year it receives from Britain. He told the Indian parliament: 'We do not require the aid. It is a peanut in our total development spending.' :india:

    It also emerged that in a leaked memo dating from 2010 India's then foreign minister Nirupama Rao suggested India should not accept any further aid from Britain's Department for International Development because of the 'negative publicity of Indian poverty promoted by DFID'. :uk:

    Sources in Delhi suggested British officials begged India to accept the aid. :tsk: :facepalm: One commented: 'They said British ministers had spent political capital justifying the aid to their electorate.

    'They said it would be highly embarrassing if [India] pulled the plug.'

    The revelations raised fresh questions last night for ministers who have been struggling to defend the Indian aid programme in the face of criticism from the public and Conservative MPs.

    They also risk raising fresh questions about the Coalition's controversial decision to pour billions more into foreign aid at a time of deep spending cuts at home. Tory MP Philip Davies called for the Indian aid programme to be cancelled immediately.

    Mr Davies said: 'India spends tens of billions on defence and hundreds of millions a year on a space programme – in those circumstances it would be unacceptable to give them aid even if they were begging us for it. :rofl:

    'Given that they don't even want it, it would be even more extraordinary if it were to be allowed to continue. :tsk:

    'There will be millions of hard-pressed families wondering why on earth the Government is wasting money in this way.'

    Fellow Tory Douglas Carswell said: 'This is concrete proof that Britain's aid programme is run in the interests of Whitehall officials and the DFID machine.

    'The fact is that India's economy is growing much faster than our own. We should be encouraging free trade with them and trying to learn from them rather than handing out patronising lectures.'

    Tory MP Peter Bone urged ministers to abandon the 'vanity project' of pursuing a target to hand out 0.7 per cent of the UK's entire national income in aid.

    He said: 'India has its own foreign aid programme so it is absurd for us to be still giving them aid. They are more than capable of looking after their own issues.

    'As for the 0.7 per cent target, it is a vanity project that is being pursued for no good reason at all. I do not understand the Government's position on this and I don't think the British public do either.'

    Some critics in India have also questioned the value of the aid, warning that much of it is lost to corruption and bureaucracy.

    As recently as 2010 the country was the biggest net recipient of British aid, receiving £421million.

    Despite India's rapid economic development the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell decided last year to approve a further £1.1billion in aid over the next four years.

    The timing of the latest revelations is particularly embarrassing for ministers, coming in the wake of India's decision last week to reject the British-built Typhoon fighter jet as preferred candidate for a £13billion defence deal. :toilet:

    Mr Mitchell said last year that the continuing aid programme was partly 'about seeking to sell Typhoon'.

    British foreign aid: India tells Britain 'we don't need the peanuts you offer us' | Mail Online
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
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    the above news is welcomed and its good if the British government live in the above belief. as it would at least avoid "Pig Talks" before any big deal/ tender like MRCA :facepalm:
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013

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