Government’s Mantra – If you don’t like the message shoot the messenger, says Greenpeace
NGO urges MHA to be transparent and stop making baseless allegations
New Delhi| July 9, 2014| Greenpeace India is shocked and dismayed over the arbitrary manner in which the government has attempted to muzzle voices of dissent in democracy in the name of financial scrutiny. Greenpeace India has followed all laws of the land and is open to any kind of scrutiny. But in the absence of any communication from the government the NGO is forced to believe that the government attempting to malign and discredit Greenpeace India in order to proceed smoothly with its pro-corporate agenda.
Greenpeace India reiterated that they have not received any official communication from the Home Ministry and demanded that the government should immediately respond to its queries. For the sake of transparency, Greenpeace India will file RTI applications to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Reserve Bank of India seeking details of what triggered the actions against Greenpeace India.
“On June 23, 2014, we had requested for a financial transfer from Greenpeace International, who transferred the money the very next day. Normally it takes three-four days for the funds to transfer into our accounts. However, on June 30, we were denied the money on the grounds that our bank, IDBI had received instructions from the Reserve Bank of India that they would not be able to transfer the money unless they received a go ahead from the MHA. We had read about this move in the newspapers but had received no intimation whatsoever from the government either to review our FCRA compliance or informing us of this move,” says Samit Aich, Executive Director, Greenpeace India.
The irony of this situation is that the accused, which in this case is Greenpeace, has been kept completely in the dark. “This is completely antithetical to the principles of transparency in a democracy as constantly referred to our Prime Minister himself. It’s a shame that in the world’s largest democracy, people who oppose unfair policies and fight for justice are left with no voice at all,” says Aich.
In the interest of transparency Greenpeace would like to know:
a. What irregularities are Greenpeace India being accused of?
b. What investigative procedures have been undertaken so far?
c. What information/ evidence are the allegations based on?
d. Has the copy of the letter to the banks been made public?
The government seems to have passed a judgement based on the findings of highly questionable IB reports and media stories, without any transparent investigation or any attempts of engaging with Greenpeace India.
Almost a month after the leak of the malicious Intelligence Bureau reports that alleged that foreign aided NGOs, (Greenpeace in particular) were responsible for stalling India’s development, yesterday for the first time, Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs, admitted in the Parliament, that there have been intelligence inputs on the issue. The Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, however, today ordered a probe into the leak of the IB reports. But it is too little and too late.
“The leak followed a media blitzkrieg, yet all along Greenpeace did not receive any official communication from the ministry. We repeatedly tried to engage with the ministry, but to no avail. Instead of discreetly leaking malicious reports in the media, it is moral duty of the ministry to answer us, for the sake of transparency,” says Aich.
Greenpeace India slams such attempts to crush any kind of opposition and hopes that the month-old BJP government serves the people and not parties with vested interests that see NGOs like Greenpeace, as roadblocks in their way of personal profits.