There should be a complete ban on foreign funding of NGOs in India, and only overseas Indians should be allowed to donate for the limited purposes of preservation of ancient Indian texts and culture, former CBI acting director M Nageswara Rao has written in an article for the latest issue of RSS mouthpiece ‘Organiser’.
Rao is currently Director-General of Home Guards, Fire Services and Civil Defence.
It is rare for a serving IPS officer to write for a publication clearly identified with the ruling dispensation. Service rules for IPS officers state that they can write articles in publications only for scientific, cultural and literary purposes, and such articles must carry a disclaimer stating that opinions expressed are their personal views.
Rao was appointed the CBI acting director on October 23, 2018, when, in the wake of a turf war between then CBI director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, the government had to send them on forced leave.
Rao was given his current posting in July 2019.
In the article, titled “The Dangers of Foreign Funding”, Rao wrote: “It is heartening to note that the present Central Government has been very sincere and proactive in enforcing the FCRA [Foreign Contribution Act]. Yet, it hardly has any impact on the quantum of remittances for the simple reason that the problem is FCRA itself. Therefore, no amount of tweaking of the law can mitigate the danger. Hence, the only way to save the country from this serious menace, which is endangering its unity and integrity by causing civilisational osteoporosis, is by banning all sorts of foreign ‘donations’, whatever may be their purpose.”
He, however, sought an exception for Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs). “Donations made by overseas citizens of India in their individual capacity from their personal funds, and not acting as agents or conduits for others, that too for the limited purpose of preservation, study, promotion and propagation of ancient Indian texts and traditional Indian knowledge, may be allowed,” he wrote.
Quoting figures that more than Rs 2 lakh crore has been received by various Indian NGOs over the last two decades from abroad, Rao questioned why foreign organisations are funding Indian NGOs instead of spending money back in their own country. He indicated sinister plans behind these donations.
He has written that besides influencing the executive, the legislature, and judicial, political, religious and economic processes of our country, “foreign funds have been the prime mover for changing the religious demography, interference in our indigenous religious traditions and practices, creating hurdles in our socio-economic progress, creating and aggravating various fautlines and the consequent unrest, colonising our minds and subverting our national discourse to suit certain sinister purposes.”
Rao wrote that Indian NGOs are least funded by the Indian society, which shows these NGOs have no connect with “civilisationally-rooted common Indians”. “Therefore, no self-respecting sovereign country much less a civilisational nation with aspirations of super power, can afford such blatant meddling in its domestic affairs,” he wrote.
Nageswara Rao is 1986-batch IPS officer of Odisha cadre. To accommodate him as D-G, Home Guards, the government had to downgrade the post to ADG level.