Nine members of parliament from six political parties have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticising the government’s decision to cancel the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences of several NGOs that have been critical of the Centre’s policies. “The decision to cancel the registration is therefore a decision motivated by the politics of vendetta, victimisation and an effort to bully them into silence,” the MPs charged in the letter.
Sitaram Yechury and Karunakaran of the CPI (M), D. Raja of CPI, Supriya Sule and Praful Patel of the NCP, Neeraj Shekhar of Samajwadi Party, P.C. Gupta of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and Ahmed Patel and Renuka Choudhary of the Congress signed the letter addressed to Modi.
They said the licences of these NGOs had been earlier renewed “showing that in the normal course these NGOs had fulfilled the criteria required for registration”.
Criticising the Centre for targeting NGOs that were critical of its policies, the MPs also accused the Modi government of not going after those ideologically aligned with it. “In contrast the Government does not investigate a single RSS-affiliated NGO who collect huge amounts of money abroad and then use it to further a hate-filled agenda. Selective targeting is abhorrent and anti-democratic”.
In light of these circumstances, the MPs demanded that the FCRA licences of the NGOs like Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace run by rights activist Teesta Setalvad, ANHAD run by Shabnam Hashmi, Lawyers Collective founded by senior lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, Greenpeace India, Navsarjan Trust of Dalit rights activist Martin Macwan, Rural Development Research Centre, Ahmedabad, and others be immediately restored.
The Wire had earlier reported how the NGOs had responded to this selective targeting by taking to the social media to express their anger and anguish at the move.