April 23, 2019

Pseudo Custodians of Society


#NotInMyName has been a signature campaign of few NGOs whose Foreign Contribution Channels were blocked by Ministry of Home Affairs, the campaign has witnessed a host of social, retired and other groups being pooled and raising of voices in media discourse. it is about time to invest time and intellect into studying this ecosystem and draw some Interpretations.

Sovereignty is a very different vertical away from independence, India won independence in 1947, but that does not mean it can retain its sovereignty without making efforts.

Most of interventions made by Foreign Powers is always through the NGO Route. Sometimes in the garb of *civil rights*, Sometimes in the garb of *sustainability in development*, More often than not, popular governments and their actions, are tarnished using the *Lack of Civil Rights* route, and *Development is blocked using the Lack of Sustainability Route*, we have seen this in Kudankulam and elsewhere.

NGOs are the frame which hold the picture with a lot of promise, governments usually fail to keep pace with realistic requirements on ground zero, and the NGOs act as soundboards, but like all aspects of human and social life, there are vitiations. Few NGOs perching on high ground of Civil Liberties have failed to carried out any research or bid for everlasting solutions like *Police Reforms*, neither have they ever filed petitioned for Judicial Reforms, their outrage has nearly always been selective, targeting political individuals who are political impediments to their survival, proliferation or both.

Most of these NGOs use foreign funds, and thus need government clearances, if that is squeezed, the whimpering starts, if that is allowed to flourish, the song and dance resumes.

It’s not that such initiatives have no value, but more often than not, there is no charity involved between nations, remember, Desmond Tutu famously said, “When the Missionaries arrived in Africa, they had the Bible, and we had the land, today, we have the Bible, and they have the land”. The European Interventions in Africa were not aimed at proliferating the *Message of Jesus, but the the European Economy*. If asked an opinion, everyone deserves Christ’s message, and it ought to be left to the individual citizen to decipher it, but none should loose land and other dispossession’s.

An enlightened citizen is the one who ought to be ready to defend his nation, from its own government, if the need arises, it is this central dictum which should guide us to dissect these NGOs, their core-competence and core-agendas and seek to validate if they run concurrently to national aspirations, and whether they treat all the citizens equally.

*Religion is a sub servient trojan horse used by countries for furtherance of their Geo-Political ambitions and high moral grounds such as Civil Liberties and Sustainability in Development are made mascots and van-guard elements of this geo-strat game of Foreign Direct Investments of Interventions by Nation States into one another*.

So, is it that we can broad-brush everything and let nationalism become a bogey to sustain the cause of Rabid Majoritianism? Can we stand for such a situation whereby we seek to make India into a Saudi Arabia…Bastion of a single religion and an extreme reading of Holy Books? The answer ought to be an emphatic no. But on the other hand, there can be no hypocrisy allowed. Hypocrisy is the outer and final manifestation of selective amnesia, it’s never a medical condition, it’s a political condition…

When these 150 Armed Forces People chose to write to all and sundry, under the #NotInMyName campaign run by the NGOs one wonders where did they forget their pens when one of their own, Lt Col Srikant Purohit, was put in jail for four years with-out any charge-sheet, which as per regular law, should not take more than 90 days. That was, to a jurisprudent mind, a very apt time to run a campaign and go into higher spheres like the Police Reforms and Judicial Reforms. One wonders if these Armed Forces guys have done any real study of the topic and statistical data or they are basically a group of attention seekers (lot of them write to PM these days, including those whose girlfriends don’t want to marry them).

To a simple yet well informed citizen, another evidence arises from their letter, by keeping the Central point and onus on such lynching’s on a single religion, (and they themselves named it) Hinduism, the glaring lacunae in their agenda surfaced, we all know terror has no religion, but can lynching be attributed to any religion ? They should have known that the prism of religion, for or against, produces vitiations which have far reaching effects.

By including Dalits, the central essence again goes naked, they seem to be, at best, *Award-Waapasi 2.0*

Had their agenda been *Indian Citizens and India*, they would not have divided Indian Citizens into Dalits and Non-Dalits, Muslims and Non-Muslims. They have utterly failed to expand their horizons to be include all citizens in their arc of euphoria.

We can now expect the others to ask them why the lynching of  Basirhat and Kerala (where a lynching takes place every 15 days) do not form part of their euphoric activism. In fact, they have been so selective in their outrage, that they failed to mention Mohd Ayub Pandit, the Dy SP who was mob lynched to death in Srinagar outside a mosque.

The Indian Landscape, historically, has been exceptional at protecting it’s minorities, in fact, it’s been magnanimous to a fault, enshrined at the very beginning of the Constitution, from Article 25-30.

Right from the Jews who rightly claim that Indians are the only people who have not persecuted them, to the Gujrati King who invited the Parsis of Iran, under duress of the Arabian Islamic Caliphate’s Sword, found themselves bring provided an area of 20 kilometres, where no local Gujarati would enter since their holy flame and belief systems desired so. Similar were the contents of *Nehru-Liaqat Pact*. Looking to safeguard the interest of entire minorities in South East Asia, the pact was signed for the benefit of all minorities in South East Asia, unfortunately, India’s minorities flourished from 10% to 22% and Pakistan’s reduced it from 18% to 2% today. Going strictly by data and figures, the Indian nation expects explanations, but does not owe any.

So, why this case for introspection for certain sections and certain NGOs? The devil has always been in the details.

This is not the first attempt by the #NotInMyName bandwagon, there have been instances earlier, factually, two of them. A day after the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims were gunned down by terrorists on July 10, protests were held throughout India. One of them which stood out was this newly formed group – ‘Not In My Name’. In fact, it was their second protest meeting – the first one was held on June 28 to condemn the killing of teenager Junaid Khan in Ballabhgarh, Haryana.

However, on both the occasions, *Not In My Name* largely *disappointed those who were longing for an unbiased and a secular group, in the true sense of the term, to come on the horizon the country’s activism.*

The group is clearly biased in favour of a section of the society and is tilted heavily against the mainstream population.

When #NotInMyName campaign held a vigil at Jantar Mantar to mourn, what it called, the “death” of Amarnath pilgrims. They could have used a more apt term, the words *killing* or *murder*. Instead they used the word *death,* which is generally used for death also of people in landslides and other natural calamities… Even those who die naturally. The group had published a letter to call the meeting to mourn the *death of the Amarnath pilgrims*. The letter had glaring biases and acts of omission and commission. It had the undertones of being the apologists of the Kashmiri separatists.

For instance, they failed to categorise it as *terrorists” or “terrorism”* to describe the incident. Instead, it wrote *attackers* *elements* and *political violence*.

While talking about the Amarnath pilgrimage victims, they mentioned the Kashmir violence but from the point of view of the separatists. That was not the only give away, they went on without mentioning the stone pelters, and broached the issue of those injured by pellets, trying to magnify the overall construct into a repression of selective populace without the needs of the associated law and order mandate.

*That, for a conscientious citizen, is totally unacceptable.*

The story of the family tree of #NotInMyName is yet not over.

Noted social activist Shabnam Hashmi returned the National Minority Rights Award, apart from her, few celebrities joined hands, another personal basher of the erstwhile Guj CM, Teesta Setalvad took Centre stage. To exercise cautious citizenship is a duty, but to be a proverbial anti-establishment is non grata.

In fact, Shabnam Hashmi’s brother died of lynching on the outskirts of Delhi, few decades ago, but it finds no mention in the #NotInMyName Campaign, so, what’s the deep seated reason behind this Lynching Drama…?

In very recent past, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) cancelled the foreign funding license of prominent NGO – Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD). ANHAD is run by Shabnam Hashmi, cancellation of ANHAD’s license comes close on the heels of annulment of another social activist Teesta Setlavad’s controversial NGOs, alongside Greenpeace India. A third NGO of Setalvad, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), was put under the prior permission category, and so does not qualify for renewal. Clearance was also not granted to Rabid Islamic Preacher-Zakir Naik’s NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), others include Marwar Muslim Education and Welfare Society, Gujarat-based Navsarjan and Rural Development Research Centre, Ahmedabad.

These NGO’s have been managed by many celebrities and everyone has some sort of financial connection with them. These NGO’s were flourishing for last many years or decades, everything was working just perfectly, but the current dispensation has just ruined their party.

Whereas other NGOs work with great sweat and spirit, toiling hard to achieve their mandate, this network has not displayed any possible layout to share data, put it under one umbrella to draw out vital reading through *Data Interpretations*. Unfortunately, very few governments have shown that promise. Earlier, they merely chose a few, included them in the Decision Making Mechanism and even included *Wheels within Wheels* outside the original framework of Constitution twisting it with self-servient logic such as *National Advisory Council* (which even had a Foreigner as Member).

*Solution Based Soch and Approach*

It is futile to What the leftists and market forces have been harping upon has been a *Revolution* whereas the Indian Way has been *Evolution*. Usually, primacies differ with respect to revolution and evolution, networking and integrity being two factors and co-efficient, *Revolution is a product of Networking Primacy* whereas *Evolution is a result of Integrity Primacy*.

In the short sighted parlance, *High Network Individuals* (HNIs) will thrive, but the sustainability will be a built on the bedrock of *High Integrity Individuals*.

We need to replace the primacy of Networking with Primacy of Integrity, though never liquidate any of them, *Balance, you see, is the only true romance*.

We need to rely more on data than the words, replacing linguistics with figures, once we capture data, put data warehousing mechanism in place, put our heads together with data interpretation, this can usher in an era of centralised planning and decentralised application. This cannot be too far, with internet penetration now reaching the next level with Volte, we are somewhere around the corner.

More often than not, the NGO network has been at the forefront of *Zeitgeist Kamph* the battle of discourse setting, it has barely been an instrument of governance except occasionally throwing up quality leaders with ground experience worth dying for, but should the governments write them off with a whiff…? *No*…

The NGOs will always be a participatory column in the national life, we will be half-informed without their wisdom, any government trying to sideline them will do so at its peril, yet, if the NGOs want to use the tax money, it has to be fore-locked with prior explicit policy framework and post audit insight, that is the way forward to get into a *Quality Circle* if we have to replace the current *Vicious Circle*.

If the NGOs want to contest the governments of the day, the most plausible constitutional arrangement are the elections, however, they do have another role, that of informing citizens and raising awareness of citizenry. The average Joe has a rue of not understanding politics, but that can be best said of electoral politics, everyone must be readied to discuss policies, and that is the reason why we include civics classes in basic education.

The nation will preserve its sovereignty better if we choose evolution over revolution, integrity over networking, secularism over pseudo-ism, data over linguistics, information over emotion and most importantly, local over foreign.

Picture Credit: Screenshot from Twitter


About Dr Shobha Shrivastava 4 Articles
Mother, Columnist, Dreamer, Nationalist
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