Credibility of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)

H.H (Adv.) Suresh Kulkarni

1. Even though Medha Patkar rose to fame as a social activist, she keeps changing her stance !

1A. A criminal case registered against ‘social activist’ Medha Patkar for using money allotted for students for other purposes : It has been reported that a criminal case has been registered against Medha Patkar, who rose to fame for initiating the ‘Narmada Bachao’ Andolan in Madhya Pradesh, ‘Sardar Sarovar’ Andolan in Gujarat, working through her NGO ‘Narmada Nav Nirman Abhiyan’ (NNNA) and fighting for tribals and dam victims. This criminal case was registered against her, her organisation and 11 others. She is accused of misusing the money she received from donations for providing educational facilities to tribal students. The FIR was registered at the Barwani Police station in Madhya Pradesh on the complaint of Mr Pritamraj Badole, a resident of Temla Buzurg Village for the misuse of Rs 13.5 crore. The complainant stated that Medha Patkar received the money, but it was used for ulterior motives instead of providing educational facilities to tribal students. Citing PTI, the District Police Chief Deepak Kumar Shukla said, “This crime involves two States – Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The complainants have provided some documents and since the case is related to old transactions, a detailed investigation will be carried out to verify the facts”.

According to Medha Patkar, a school called ‘Jeevanshala’ had been started in Nandurbar for tribal children through an NGO. When she was asked about this, she said, “I have not received any notice from the Police. The money received by me has been properly audited and documented. This school has been functioning for the past 30 years for orphans who are separated from their parents. This school is audited every year. This complaint is politically motivated. The complainant is associated with RSS and BJP. All this is going on to defame me. I am ready to counter all the allegations”. She further said, “The donations, their use and appropriation are handled by the other members of the NGO. I have nothing to do with it”.

The Delhi Court imposed a fine of a few thousand Rupees on Medha Patkar for repeated failure to appear before it in defamation cases filed by her. Medha Patkar made the Delhi Court reduce the fine from Rs 15,000 to Rs 9,000.

1B. Medha Patkar’s phony love for tribals exposed during the Presidential election : Patkar’s love for tribals seems a bit mysterious and questionable. She made her identity by proclaiming her expertise in fighting for the tribal students, for their land, for their welfare, etc. But when the ruling party announced Draupadi Murmu, a tribal woman as the Presidential candidate which is the highest post in the country, Medha Patkar opposed it.

She conveniently forgot that Draupadi Murmu is a tribal. Patkar asked, “How will Murmu function as President if she could not provide electricity to her own village ?” According to her, the President should not be a ‘Yes-man’, so she supported Yashwant Sinha.

Here, may be her hatred for Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes to the fore instead for (now President) Draupadi Murmu. Hindu Hrudaya Samrat and Shiv Sena Chief (Late) Balasaheb Thackeray supported Pratibha Patil of the Congress for the post of President even when his party was in the NDA alliance, saying that Pratibha Patil was from Maharashtra. His decision was convincing, but Medha Patkar’s logic smells foul.

1C. The similarity between Medha Patkar and the progressives is their hatred for Modi (or Hindus) is evident from some examples : One thing that Medha Patkar, progressives and religious fanatics have in common is that they do not accept but criticize Court judgments against Muslims. Criticizing the Supreme Court over a verdict, Megha Patkar said the verdicts on Ayodhya and Rafael were wrong. Judges who come under pressure from the Government and listen to the Government later get Rajya Sabha posts. Here, Medha Patkar forgot that during the Congress rule for 55 years, Judges did not get Rajya Sabha posts after retirement, but would become members of the Rajya Sabha after resigning. Justice BA Masodkar of the Bombay High Court at Nagpur resigned from his post on 17th June 1986 and filed for Rajya Sabha election as a Congress candidate. Justice Abhay Thipse joined the Congress after his retirement. Not only this, he also testified in favour of Nirav Modi, who was investigated for frauds. During the Congress rule, Chief Justice Hidayatullah was appointed the Vice President of India. Ranganath Mishra became a member of the Rajya Sabha during the tenure of the Congress. When all these people joined the Congress, the progressives did not opposed. Medha Patkar has never criticised them. But now she can’t tolerate this. Why is she opposing when Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was given a Rajya Sabha seat ? The only reason is her hatred for Modi and Hindus.

2. A social activist halting the project of construction of 108-feet tall statue of Adya Shankaracharya !

2A. The MP Government announced the construction of a 108- feet tall statue of Adya Shankaracharya : Recently a report said that the Madhya Pradesh Government is going to build a 108-feet tall statue of Adya Shankaracharya in Omkareshwar, which is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples on the Banks of the Narmada River. This area is also known as Shivapuri. It is situated in the Mandhata Mountain range. King Suryavanshi, father of Deity Shiva’s devotees Ambarish and Muchkund, performed severe penance on this Mountain. There is a legend that Deity Shiva was pleased with him.

The cave of Adya Shankaracharya is under the Omkareshwar Temple. Devotees visit this temple and have darshan after bathing in the Narmada River. They come to this cave and have the darshan of Shankaracharya. Devotees have faith that by doing this they will obtain the merits of having the darshan of all 12 Jyotirlingas. The work of constructing a statue of Adya Shankaracharya was going on. In February 2017, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan approved 3 projects during the Narmada Seva Yatra. One of them was to build a 108-feet high statue of Adya Shankaracharya. A time limit of 2 years was given to complete this project. Besides the statue, the ‘Adya Shankaracharya International Advaita Vedanta Center’ and a Museum were to be built.

2B. A social activist filed a petition in the Madhya Pradesh High Court and obtained a stay on this project : Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kedarnath in November 2021, and unveiled a 12-feet tall statue of Adya Shankaracharya. However, the Congress opposes anything that increases the eminence of Hindus. A social activist of Indore-based NGO ‘Lokhit Abhiyan Samiti’ filed a petition in the Court to oppose the construction of the statue. In the petition, he said that the area will develop with this massive statue, but it will harm the environment. Due to this project, trees will be cut and mountains will be excavated. This will destroy the faith of the locals. Hence, its construction should be suspended. On this, the Jabalpur Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court issued a show cause notice to the State Government, Khandwa District Collector, the representatives of the DFO and the State Archaeological Department. Needless to say, this activist filed a petition in the High Court and obtained a stay on the construction.

3. The so-called ‘social organisations’ conveniently ignore a hideous event such as the ‘Sunburn Festival’

When anti-cultural and hideous events such as the ‘Sunburn Festival’ are organised in Goa and Pune, etc. these NGOs/individuals never file a petition to prevent environmental damage and protect Hindu culture. Does ‘Sunburn’ promote our culture ? If the current stay is lifted after a few days, who will compensate for the work that has been stopped due to this stay ? Citizens may wonder about such incidents.

4. GDP of the country is getting negatively affected due to these social organisations which obstruct developmental projects

Recently the Indian Express reported that some social organisations are creating hurdles for major developmental projects in the country (such as nuclear power plants, hydroelectric power plants, dams). For this, they organise agitations and file petitions in Courts. As a result, these projects are stopped and development is hampered. NGOs do all this consciously. They get huge donations from countries such as the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, etc. The hurdles created by these people in developmental projects are negatively affecting the GDP growth by 2-3 per cent per year. A report in this regard has been given by the Intelligence Department to the Prime Minister’s Office on 3rd June 2022.

The sole aim of these NGOs is to obstruct development projects of building uranium mines, coal-fired power plants, large industrial estates and hydro-electronic projects. These NGOs are also creating obstacles in the developmental projects of Par Tapi Narmada River Linking Project and Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor. Therefore, all such things should be investigated and stringent punishment should be meted out to the concerned people and their true nature should be exposed. Such action will stop unwarranted and baseless Public Interest Litigations.

|| Shrikrushnarpanamastu ||

H.H. (Advocate) Suresh Kulkarni (Founder Member, Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad and Advocate in Bombay High Court, 15.7.2022)

Editorial viewpoints

  • Government should expose the true nature of the NGOs which are stalling developmental projects in the country by getting funds from abroad.
  • Exposing the true nature of people with NGOs will help stop unwarranted and baseless Public Interest Litigations !