February 10, 2017

No Curbs on foreign-based Hindutva outfits that can to send funds for hate campaigns in India: USCIRF (report in The Citizen)

Radical Foreign-Based Hindu Outfits Free to Fund Hate Campaigns in India": US Body

Thursday, February 09,2017
NEW DELHI: The United States Commission on International Freedom (USCIRF) criticising the crackdown by the Indian government on foreign funded organisations has noted that “Hindutva support organisations have never come under the scrutiny of the FCRA” and that under the new amendment these foreign based “radical Hindu organisations” will be able to send funds to India for “hate campaigns.”

The USCIRF has also reported at some length on cow protection related violence, and using the Dadri lynching to illustrate its point has noted that “cow protection laws are often mixed with anti-Muslim sentiment.” And points out in some detail how armed mobs search for victims, and once caught, “they strip him naked, make repeated abuses against his professed faith, beat and torture him, and upload a video of the assault to YouTube or Facebook.”

The latest report Constitutional and Legal Challenges Faced by Religious Minorities in India comes after the controversy last March when the Indian government denied USCIRF the visas to visit the country. The powerful US Religious freedom body that exercises considerable influence on the US Senate and Administration had at that point described the situation in India as “worrisome”

The report is clear that the FCRA is being used by the Indian government to discriminate. Citing the case of Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand specifically the report states: “The FCRA controls foreign funding for NGOs, but the government has used it to block funds to hamper the activities of NGOs that question or condemn the government or its policies. Recently, the Indian government has been accused of targeting human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand, for allegedly violating the FCRA and receiving funds unlawfully.”

The report then adds, “While the Indian government continues to use the FCRA to limit foreign funding for some NGOs, Hindutva supporter organizations have never come under the scrutiny of the FCRA. With the new amendment to the FCRA, these foreign-based radical Hindu organizations will be able to send funds to India, without restriction, to support hate campaigns. Under the new definition of the FCRA, so long as the foreign company’s ownership of an Indian entity is within the foreign investment limits prescribed by the government for that sector, the company will be treated as “Indian” for the purposes of the FCRA.”

The report details the protection accorded to cows in India and how the issue is often used to target religious minorities says that “cows are considered to be sacred in Hinduism. Article 48 of the Indian Constitution and most Indian states (24 out of 29, as of 2015) significantly restrict or ban cow slaughter.31 Those found guilty of cow slaughter are subject to fines, imprisonment, or both. Cow slaughter in India has remained a perpetual source of tensions between Hindu and Muslim and Dalit communities. The ban on cow slaughter is often termed as “food fascism” by the religious minorities’ activists.”

“The cow protection laws are often mixed with anti-Muslim sentiment. One of the most recent and clear examples of Muslim persecution through the politics of cow protection is the killing of Mohammad Akhlaq by Hindu mobs in September 2015. Mr. Akhlaq, age 50, was dragged from his home in the village of Bisara—45 miles from the capital of Delhi—and beaten to death by an angry Hindu mob due to rumors that his family had been eating beef and storing the meat in their home,” the report adds.

“Radical right-wing Hindu groups have started their own gangs, known as Gau Raksha Dal (Cow Protection Front), across India. These groups are mostly armed with firearms, batons, and swords. They patrol major cities and highways, attacking people transporting cattle or possessing, consuming, or selling beef. Once the victim is caught, they strip him naked, make repeated abuses against his professed faith, beat and torture him, and upload a video of the assault to YouTube or Facebook,” it elaborates. [. . .]

SEE FULL TEXT HERE: http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/NewsDetail/index/1/9900/Radical-Foreign-Based-Hindu-Outfits-Free-to-Fund-Hate-Campaigns-in-India-US-Body