(Letter to Editor, India Post, March 7th, 2003, by Romesh K Japra, Via Email.)
I read with interest and much relief the massive report supporting the India Development Relief Fund (1DRF) released last week by a group of highly qualified individuals--independent in thought, action and ideology - who call them selves Friends of India.
The slander and mudslinging against this benign charitable organization, founded by Vinod Prakash, has gone too far and for far too long, I think. The self-serving leftists who started the anti-IDRF campaign labeled its findings 'Foreign Exchange of Hate.' They went so far as to get mainstream press to cast aspersions on the IDRF`s intentions and bjectives; they sowed seeds of suspicion in the minds of Indian American software giants that donated matching funds for charitable purposes through the IDRF.
To set the facts correct, to date only Cisco has suspended its donations to IDRF, as direct fallout of the anti-IDRF campaign. Oracle decided to do so, on the presumption that IDRF was a religious organization. Sun Microsystems has not suspended its donations nor has Microsoft.
While the real motive behind this hate campaign against IDRF is not clear, the IDRF has emerged stronger from the crisis with more and more right minded people chipping in to support not just morally but financially too.
The impeccable credentials of the persons involved in the Friends of India report, their self-motivated initiative with no influence or funding from the IDRF, speaks volumes for the organization that's been rendering yeomen's service to the poor and needy in remote Indian villages for over a decade now.
What these anti-Hindu groups do not seem to realize is that such a hate campaign based on fallacies would only harm fundraising for any cause concerning India by any organization, in future. Like a Silicon Valley employee, disappointed with the slander against IDRF said, "It's Indians trying to block Indians helping Indians."
Couldn't have put it more succinctly than this.