Hate funding report: why malign IDRF?

(Letter to Editor, India Abroad, January 3rd, 2003, by Sanjay Acharya, Piscataway, NJ.)

Recently, a few Indian immigrants with Marxist-Communist leanings got together to produce a report called Foreign Exchange of Hate (India ‘Abroad, December 6), which alleges the India Development and Relief Fund is a fundamentalist organization funding hate in India. Nothing could be further from the truth. IDRF’s web site www.idrf.org clearly states the activities they fund with charitable funds donated mainly by Hindus in the us- one teacher school, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams working for the uplift of villages along with funding major relief drives like Orissa flood relief, Gujarat earthquake and even Indian Army welfare after the 1999 Kargil War.

The report against IDRF is written with malicious intent and its objective is to stop or at least decrease the flow of funds to the poverty-stricken people of villages in India, who will be the ultimate victims of this anti-Hindu campaign. These people need the funds to sustain their lives and develop their future by educating their children. But the report tries to malign the noble cause of funding such projects as Hinduizing the people of India.

What is ‘Hinduization?’ The report clearly depicts 70 percent of IDRF funds go towards ‘Hinduization’. This ‘Hinduization’ is nothing but one-teacher schools teaching contemporary subjects like math and science and are not like Islamic madras’s that teach only ideology, fundamentalism and use of weapons to kill innocent people. ‘Hinduization’ includes hospitals, healthcare, village cleanliness, ambulances and women empowerment.

According to the report’s author all this is Hinduization but what evangelists and missionaries do in India is out of pure goodwill. If they call this Hinduization so be it, but they should not forget the act of charity far outweighs the motive for the act.

Foreign Exchange of Hate is full of glaring holes and contradiction -- the report says only two percent of IDRF funds go towards religious, then why do the authors allege this is a fund for Indication? The report also alleges 80 percent of the funds go to Hindu organization and institution. If this is a fact there is no question of Hinduization, because the receivers or benefactors are already Hindus.

The report uses the following tricks to propagate anti-Hindu agenda: -

Ø      Guilt by association: This is the standard trick used across this report. It come organization’s name is mentioned on the web site of another, it would mean the former is completely associated with and controlled by the latter, viz Sangh organization. The report also seems to allege Sangh organizations took part in communal riots and hence even the IDRF should be pronounced guilty by association. This is nonsense and a blatant lie.

The riots in Gujarat following the Godhra incident were not orchestrated as alleged by the Marxist-Communists. The Godhra attack by Muslims, in which 58 Hindus -mostly women and children - were burned to death sparked off retaliatory attacks and there is no basis to the argument that Hindus and Sangh organizations orchestrated the riots.

     The report does not cite one shred of evidence to prove this, except citing articles and news written by their compatriots. The Marxist-Communist authors of this report also imply Hindus should endure Himalayan pains so that Muslims in India can be pampered and appeased beyond need - as they are already - and that Hindus should endure acts of Islamic terrorism with patience and peace to prove they are not extremist. This is sheer nonsense and an act of superior bigotry.

 Ø      Hindu cultural events equal communal hate frenzy. In multiple places, the report has tried to imply that since a particular organization organized some Hindu culture event, it was a communal hate spewing organization. However the authors are the first to jump and defend the missionaries and evangelists in India who seem to be spreading conversions by force or inducement which results in creating divisions in society and breaks the socio-cultural links of the converted individuals.

 Ø      Extra-extrapolation of newspaper article: Newspaper article cited in this report have their conclusions completely extrapolated beyond the factual contents. Many times the newspaper articles cited, simply have no relation to the context of accusations.  

In summary, not a single proof has been cited that IDRF funded organizations actually took part in promoting hate. No actual legal convictions. No actual linkage of these organizations to the riots in Gujarat has been shown.

The writers of this report seen more annoyed with the Hindu overtones in the work of IDRF organizations and quickly jump to the conclusion that these organizations spew hate because their activities have Hindu overtones.

The writers of this report also seem annoyed by funds going to people suffering from terrorist war.

Arguments used in this report can be used to brand many Gandhian NGOs or other similar NGOs as hateful NGOs by extending the logic used by the authors.

Having said this I would request you to stop helping anti-Hindu and anti-India authors of the report in propagating their hate document using your publication. I also request you to print and publish articles and views of Hindus and supporters of IDRF to present a balanced perspective to India Abroad readers.

                                                                                                                  Sanjay Achharya

                                                                                                               Piscataway, NJ.