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'Saffron dollar' & 'Saffron Pound' (Part II of II)

'Saffron dollar' & 'Saffron Pound' (Part II of II)

Author: Rajesh Sinha
Publication: Organiser
Date: December 29, 2002

In the recent months, the English media in India and the Western media have started attacking the organisations, which are working for the Hindu interests abroad. The "hate campaign" against India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) recently is a good example. The donations from the USA for the noble cause of serving the victims of natural calamity or for any service-based projects to uplift the poor masses in the remote areas of our country has been named as "Saffron Dollar" a section of the English media. Now in the month of December, once again, a section of English media has described the donations from the UK as Saffron Pound", which is collected by Sewa International with the help of 700 registered organisations. The credentials and performance of Sewa Bharati have been judged by the eminent people of the UK. After IDRF, now Sewa International is the target of some groups whose main aim is to frame malicious designs and propaganda against the organisations that are working for the interest of the Hindus. "These groups are using certain sections of the media to act against the said organisations", says the Francois Gautier.

The said media has ignored the commendable jobs done by Sewa International and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) after the earthquakes in Maharashtra, Turkey and Gujarat and after the 1998 super cyclone in Orissa. Although, Sewa International has been blamed for using the funds only for Hindus, it is worth mentioning that Sewa International donated funds for the Ethiopia drought and for the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

A report which appeared in The Hindu on December 14, says: "Sewa International has raised over 2 million pounds for the Gujarat earthquake amid allegations that some of it was later used to fund sectarian violence". How can one allege without having any proof that the amount was used for sectarian violence? If so, then Sewa International officials are ready to face any consequences, says Shantilal Mystry, Chairman, Sewa International. He has reserved his statement on this matter, as it is under investigation by the Charity Commission, UK.

But before blaming one international charity body for a particular religion or for any sectarian violence, one should at least see the villages adopted by it and the schools which are rebuilt by it. The Hindu report further says: "The programme specifically focussed on the activities of the Sewa-funded Kalyan Vanvasi Ashram in Gujarat, whose inmates and officials were alleged to have been involved in attacks on Christians and Muslims."

It is a fact that the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram's self-service for many decades to the tribal people in the field of education and health-care has been ignored by the Indian media, and no media has ever reported the fact that how tribal are being exploited by the Christian missionaries with ulterior motives. Tribal resistance to Christian missionaries' conversion activity is evident everywhere in the world. Not only in India but also all over the world, the missionaries have been instrumental in destroying the tribal cultures. It should be remembered that the opposition to the Christian missionaries is a worldwide phenomenon and it is not restricted only to India.

For decades Saudi Arabia has been funding madrasas, which are openly preaching sedition and are often dens of terrorism, why is the Indian media silent on this issue? Why is it that when foreign Christian organisations are pouring in billions of dollars to deviously convert the innocent Harijans and tribal, teaching them to hate their own culture and country. The 'secular' media maintain studied silence? And why is it that when a few Hindu organisations- collect funds for a harmless programme like Ekal Vidyalayas-which are doing a wonderful job for tribal children- they are attacked as fundamentalists by most Indian publications.

How Sewa International was dragged to Charity Commission Lord Adam Patel, Patron of the Sewa International, resigned from the organisation in August, 2002 after the allegation that, "the charity is a front for controversial militant Hindu organisations". That a campaign of calumny has been launched against such organisations is evident in the following reports. It was reported in the Birmingham Sunday Mercury by investigation editor Amardeep Bassey on August 11, 2002, "very much regret ever having been part of the racist organisation and I will be forwarding my complaints to the Charity Commission". The militant organisations, Lord Patel refers to are the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS). He claims that the Sewa International has strong links with them in order to get funds for 'terrorist' activities rather than providing relief aid, according to the Sunday Mercury report.

Sewa International is a registered charity organisation and is reputed in providing unbiased and unlimited aid to the victims of natural disaster around the world. Sources in Sewa International says that Lord Patel, who was appointed as a patron of Sewa International's Earthquake Appeal in January 2001, resigned from it without ever approaching a single member of Sewa International with his grievances.

Neither had he ever taken up Sewa International's open invitation to go to Gujarat to see any of the works being carried out by the organisation.

The peer, who reportedly openly declared in the House of Lords that the train-burning incident in Godhra of 58 members was committed by the RSS itself, is also a close associate of the Indian Muslim Federation in UK.

In a message from the Indian Muslim Federation's (IMF) President Shamsuddin Agha in a newsletter makes claims about the genocide of Muslims in the State of Gujarat and the persecution of Muslims by "sectarian violence" in India. "We call upon the British Government to ban the presence of extremist and violent organisations such as HSS and VHP in the UK", he says and adds, "and also to ban their fundraising in the UK for their nefarious activities, targeted against religious minorities in India".

Mohammed Zina of the Council of Indian Muslims in the UK, was reported in the Sunday Mercury's article to have written to the Charity Commission and the Home Secretary, calling for the VHP, UK, to be declared a terrorist organisation. Mohammed Zina, is also reported by the Sunday Mercury to have "raised concerns about growing VHP influence on Hindu students in UK".

The campaign of calumny tries to project that 'Hindu terrorism' is taking its roots in India. But absolutely there is no evidence of it at all", says Shantilal Mystry, Chairman, Sewa International. It is interesting to note that when Lord Patel had been approached by Asian Voice / Gujarat Samachar to substantiate his claims, against Sewa International, he was unable to do so.

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