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India

Global concerns over rights violations in India

Ultranationalist government attempts to stifle conversion by attacking NGOs

Ben Joseph

Ben Joseph

Updated: October 23, 2020 10:41 AM GMT
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Global concerns over rights violations in India

Journalists watch India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi address to the nation at a journalists' club in Siliguri on Oct. 20. (Photo: AFP)

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often minced no words to cite the ancient Indian ethos of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) as the platform for his pro-Hindu government’s global engagement and forays.

India under Modi has openly courted global capital and technology. However, his right-wing government with brute majority in Parliament has shown an aversion to a select category of global ideas and ideals such as environmentalism, religion, human rights and civil liberties.

To survive in a Hindu India, institutions and non-government organizations (NGOs) are often called to wear patriotism on their sleeves as and when necessary to be in the good books of the ultra-nationalist government.

Modi’s  Bharatiya  Janata Party (BJP) has been alleging that foreign money is being diverted and used for religious conversions in India. Since the party came to power in 2014 it has hinted at changes to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

The FCRA, adopted in 2010, governs civil society organizations that receive funds from abroad. The Act empowers the government to scrutinize the donations that organizations and individuals receive from a foreign country for social work.

Thousands of NGOs work among the disadvantaged in the fields of education, health, people’s livelihoods, gender justice and democracy in India, where government agencies are conspicuous by their absence.

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