Our first Shifting Trends topic follows a slew of brazen acts against non-profit organisations by the Ministry of Home Affairs in India—a disturbing trend in the region Noshir H. Dadrawala, CEO of Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy, calls "a violation of natural justice." Dadrawala's recent message to WINGS:
For years the Government of India has viewed funds coming from outside the country to NPOs, NGOs and CSOs operating in India with suspicion. In February 2012 Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh blamed the "foreign hand" for putting the brakes on both the Koodankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu and the commercialisation of GM food crops.
Statistics provided by the government of India indicate that more than 40,000 organisations are registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) which is a license required before accepting funds from any "foreign source". Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cancelled the registration of more than 4,000 organisations, under the pretext that they are dormant accounts with no activity. Several organisations have faced cancellation despite filing regular returns and staying legally compliant.
The MHA has acted in a very arbitrary and reckless way, denying NPOs the opportunity to be heard. No clear reason has been given for the cancellations, other than a cryptic "violation." It causes on to wonder—a violation of what?
What do you think about the situation in India? What are some of the challenges faced by non-profits in your region?