One of the key agenda of the Narendra Modi government since the year 2014 has been to regulate foreign funding being pumped into NGOs. While there is no bar on such funding, provided the rules are followed, the problem lies with the hidden agenda, when it comes to sending such huge sums of money into India.

Between the years 1998 and 2018, the total amount of foreign funding into the NGOs stood at a whopping Rs 2,08,096 crore. IPS officer, M Nageshwar Rao in an article speaks about the foreign donations with a hidden agenda. He says that this agenda poses a risk to national security.

Relentless rise:

Collecting data on foreign funds is very difficult. Rao writes that this discussion does not factor in the number of foreign funds that gets into the country through illegal routes or are otherwise camouflaged as foreign investments.

He further says that as on April 1, 2017, the total amount brought forward by the FCRA-NGOs as unspent money from past foreign donations is Rs 15,907 crore, with more than 50% lying with about 2% of the FCRA-NGOs. The question is, why does so much funding continue to come in, when the NGOs are already sitting on piles of cash?

Staggering numbers:

Several officials have questioned the need for so much of foreign funding. An Intelligence Bureau officer who was part of this investigation in the year 2014 tells MyNation that the extent of the funding is not small.

We found that some 23,172 NGOs had received foreign funding in 2014. It was found that NGOs in Delhi topped the list with funding to the tune of Rs 1,815 crore. Tamil Nadu, with Rs 1,663 crore and Andhra Pradesh with Rs 1,342 crore came second and third on the list.

It was also found that the United States donated the most at Rs 3,400 crore. UK with donations of Rs 1,220 crore and Germany with Rs 1,097 crore stood second and third. Netherlands and Italy pumped in Rs 529 crore and Rs 419 crore respectively, investigations also revealed.

The hidden agenda:

Both the Home Ministry as well as the intelligence agencies say that there are several NGOs which have been pushing their agenda. Further it has also been noticed that many NGOs have been fronts for terror groups, the Naxal movement and also those indulging in money laundering.

It has also been found that the money has largely been used to fund the Christian missionaries in India, the left-wing thinkers, political class, judiciary, bureaucracy and also the mainstream English media.

The missionaries in particular have used the money to drum up an anti-Hindu agenda. Money is being used in large sums to carry out conversions, church planting. Through the media a false narrative is played out, which often leads to violence. This is when the missionaries step in, set up relief camps and then undertake a conversion drive.

The hue and cry:

Rao writes that the data makes it evident that notwithstanding the political colour of the Central Government and the best efforts of the present one which has a better record of FCRA enforcement, the quantum of FCRA funds has been on the relentless rise. He asks, why should foreigners donate such huge amounts, unless they have a hidden agenda? Why this love for India and Indians to the exclusion of their own people.

When Pune Police began investigating the Bhima Koregaon case, it was found that a large part of the anger was with regard to the tightening of the FCRA norms. It was not easy to bring in the money after 2014 and the accountability had become high.

Former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, Amar Bhushan says that one of the main reasons why these people are angry is because of the crackdown on the NGOs. The urban Naxals, missionaries are bound to get agitated due to this and hence they keep looking for various ways to break the nation, by stage managing protests and putting out a false narrative to create violence.

Take for instance the protests around the newly amended citizenship law. The Enforcement Directorate has found several suspicious financial transactions linked to Muslim groups. The ED says that there are external elements fanning the protests and adds that there is a direct co-relation between the withdrawals of these amounts and the ongoing protests.