Somebody Tell Manmohan That NGO Mischief Goes Beyond N-Plants
The good news is that the UPA government has finally woken up to the rising menace of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). The bad news is it has selectively targeted only those who are fighting against the setting up of civil nuclear plants.
Over a dozen crucial infrastructure, power and mining projects worth Rs 30,000 crore are stuck because of the silly objections and roadblocks raised by various NGOs in many part of the country. All of them are working in the areas of environment, health and children welfare. They have also been receiving money from abroad and are misusing these funds for the purpose of blocking developmental activities. A large of number of them have also been accused of settling scores against those who opposed the UPA government. Some other NGOs have been charged with or have been accused of forcible religious conversions in some communally sensitive states. Truthfully speaking, NGOs have become the most powerful pressure groups for settling intra-sector or intra-party disputes. In fact, the growth of the NGO is never affected by the economic fluctuations of an economy. On the contrary, it thrives on natural calamities, economic deprivation and human conflicts. While the number of NGOs has risen by over 100 per cent over the past decade, their funds have grown by almost 500 per cent. According to unofficial estimates, there are over 2.5 million NGOs operating in India, who directly or indirectly employ around 20 million people. In other words, there is one NGO for every 500 people in India, as against one doctor for 1,000 persons. These NGOs raise amounts varying between Rs 80 crore to Rs 40,000 crore annually. Over 21,000 NGOs collectively received foreign contributions to the tune of over Rs 49,968 crore during 2005-06 to 2009-10. The dominance of the NGO sector is the outcome of a liberal democratic set-up. Big corporate houses, retired civil servants or their wives and left-of-the-centre intellectuals have set up most of these organisations. Rebels by nature and opulent by lifestyle, a large majority of them have always been working against liberal economic policies and nationalist culture. They have, knowingly or unknowingly, been used by the ruling party to target its opponents in every state. Now, when its most pampered monster threatens mayhem, the UPA has unleashed all its weaponry to go for the kill shot.
Undoubtedly, foreign-funded and controlled NGOs pose a serious threat to India’s economic growth, political stability and cultural harmony. The success of the government lies in taming them, irrespective of the colour of the causes they espouse or oppose.
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