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Response from Chandan Mishra

Response from Chandan Mishra

URL: http://www.geocities.com/chandanmishra/STOPFUNDINGINDIAcampaign.htm

Following report was created to document the funding of hate which IDRF does.
As a disclaimer I want to say that I dont know anyone from IDRF and haven't donated a single penny to it. The kind of work they do doesn't even inspire me much, as I have entirely different concept of charity/development work. But the above report does make me rise to their defense for them getting labeled as hate/terror funding organization.
When people purportedly working against communal hate jump their guns, overstretch their imaginations and use "below the belt" tricks to attack the organizations they think are hateful, they hurt overall campaign and lower their credibility. Who knows IDRF might be actually funding hate, but unless actually find out that to be true in REALITY rather than through implied insinuations, we all will play into hands of people who might have their agenda beyond fight against communal hate.
Regardless of what people feel about IDRF or its projects, I do want to restate the argument, which I use for people who strongly criticize Madrassahs or Islamic schools. We may strongly disagree with the kind of education imparted in these schools, but we should just remember that if those projects aren't run, the students studying in those schools wouldn't have any education at all. Its always better to have imperfectly educated individuals than illiterate ones. And also people stopping the IDRF funding should realize that they are stopping a small but still important foreign exchange flow to our country.
Lets look at following "below the belt" tricks used in the above report ad nauseam.

1. Guilt by association: This is the standard trick used across this report. If some organization's name gets mentioned in website of some other organization, it would mean that former organization is completely associated with and controlled by latter. And report seems to imply that if latter took part in communal riots, former should also be considered guilty.

2. Hindu cultural events = communal hate frenzy : Multiple places this report has tried to imply that since a particular organization organized some Hindu cultural event, it was a communal hate spewing organization.

3. Extra-Extrapolation of Newspaper articles: Newspaper articles cited in this reported, have their conclusions completely extrapolated beyond the factual contents of that newspaper article. Many times the newspaper articles cited simply have no relation to the context of accusations where they were cited in.

In summary:

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

2. The writers of this report seem 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.

3. The writers of this report also seem annoyed by funds going to people suffering from "terrorist war" (please note the quotes used in the report).

4. Arguments used in this report can be used to brand many of the Gandhian NGOs or other similar NGOs hateful NGOs.

5. And the same line of flawed logic can be used to prove that some of the organizations behind this report are India-hating, pro- pak jihadi organization.

I will cite some examples where false logic, guilt by association, strong insinuations are used by writers of this report to reach the conclusion that IDRF is a hate funding organization.
[This shows the ideologies of the writers of this report. It shows their selective sympathy for victims of hate. THIS REALLY PLACES QUESTIONS ABOUT CREDIBILITY OF THE WRITERS OF THIS REPORT. They have got no sympathy for victims of terrorism in Kashmir]
In Appendix B.2 of the report:
"Martyrs for National Integration Fund: This is an in-house IDRF fund-raising effort to generate money for "families of security personnel, and of civilians" in order "to assist those who have suffered from the terrorist war being waged on our nation"[98] [the "terrorist war" here refers to the conflict in Kashmir, particularly along the Indian-Pakistani border]."
[guilt by association, same logic is used for all of the IDRF organizations. just because its mentioned in RSS website, it becomes a hateful organization]
In Appendix B.1 of report:
"In Sangh literature, the origins and growth of Vikas Bharati is described as follows:
The Vikas Bharati stream, which originated in the fountainhead called Sangh, has been quietly flowing towards the ocean called society, gathering many additional streams on the way.[13] (emphasis added)"
[SVRDS becomes an abhorred organization for organizing competitions on Krishna Jayanti!!!!!!!!!!, what a hateful disgusting act!! It doesnt matter that almost all of the schools in India give a day off to their students on this day]
In Appendix B.1 of report:
"While the stated goal of SVRDS is rural development and education of tribals, considerable documentation exists to show its emphasis on tribals learning practices that surround Hindu religious festivals.[15]
15. In a report to the IDRF, SVRDS states that it conducted competitions for Krishna Jayanthi (a Hindu Festival) in which the school children participated enthusiastically. It should be kept in mind that these tribals do not consider themselves Hindu, nor do they usually observe Krishna Jayanthi."
[ Typical flat accusations without any substantiations. For last statement of this paragraph no proof has been cited]
In Appendix B.1 of report:
"While VKA and its affiliates claim to work for the 'welfare' of the tribal population, they are in fact mainly working to 'Hinduise' the tribals and demonize the work of Christian missionaries in tribal area"
[ Typical example of "guilty by association". They forgot to mention that Mr. Jois is governor of Jharkhand. Again no connection with the "hate which this whole report has been blasting IDRF about]
In Appendix B.2 of report:
"The President of Bharat Vikas Parishad is Justice Rama Jois, who is actively involved in the VHP movement for rebuilding a Hindu temple at the site of the 16th century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya that the VHP had demolished in 1992. As reported in an Indian daily, "Though his formal position in the Sangh Parivar is as the president of the Bharat Vikas Parishad, an RSS frontal organization, Mr. Jois is known more for his legal assistance in the 'Ayodhya movement [to build the temple].' He has even attended a meeting at the Prime Minister's house last March when Atal Behari Vajpayee held extensive consultations in an attempt to deal with the VHP-imposed deadline of 'March 12' [97]" [this 'deadline' refers to the date set by the VHP for the government to allow it to start the temple construction or to face a nationwide stir]."
[ The link mentioned below has NO such quote.]
In section
Swami Ashimanandji is in charge of the Ashram's activities in this district. though is as some (sic) only before 18 months he is well known as respected by the community. [45]
45. http://www.idrf.org/news/vanvasi/
[ Typical act of overstretched insinuations. Since IDRF president was in area where there was trouble, it means he must be involved in it]
In section
Further, it is not difficult to explain the presence of an IDRF vice president in Gujarat and his reporting on the activities of the Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad in Waghai. The Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad is a direct beneficiary of the IDRF. It is listed under the title "IDRF Supported Projects in Gujarat." [46]
[ Again a blatant attempt at lies, see the evidence given and the final conclusion derived. No evidence is given that IDRF organizations were involved in Gujrat riots ]
In section 4.4.2:
The anti-Muslim pogroms that took place in the state of Gujarat this year had a surprise element in them-the active participation of the adivasis in the violence against the Muslims. Several commentators have noted the role played by Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad and the Vivekananda Kendra (both funded by the IDRF) in actively communalizing the tribal mind, and creating the anti-Muslim ethos[47]. An affiliate organization, the Vanavasi Seva Sangh, has also been identified as an active participant in the anti-Muslim, anti-Christian indoctrination of tribals. [48]
In section 4.4.3:
In summary at all levels, the IDRF's implication in sectarian work, including support for organizations of the Sangh that are directly implicated in violent actions over the last four years, is well documented. The documentation presented leads us to a simple and single conclusion - the IDRF does fund hate.
[ Again a blatant attempt at lies, none of the links cited mention that there was any violence started by the organizations mentioned ]
In section 4.4.3:
Such cases of the IDRF funding of organizations directly implicated in the violence is not restricted to Gujarat alone. Documentation exists also for a similar role played by the IDRF in supporting organizations such as Sewa Bharati, Ekal Vidyalays and the VKA implicated in violence against Christians in Madhya Pradesh[49]. The implication of Sewa Bharati, Madhya Pradesh in anti-Christian violence has been recognized by the local State government, which has taken an extreme step of revoking the license of Sewa Bharati, an the IDRF funded organization, because of its part in spreading anti-minority violence[50].
49. Sewa Bharati and Ekal Vidyalays organized the Hindu Sangam in the tribal belt in Madhya Pradesh earlier this year. A report from Sewa Bharati is available at http://www.hvk.org/articles/0102/98.html. The aggressively anti-Christian flavor of the meet, and the concomitant tensions it created are described in RSS temples for tribals spell trouble for Digvijay, Yogesh Vajpeyi, Indian Express, January 7th 2002 . For Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram's role, see Appendix F.

50. RSS outfit stripped of its licence in MP, Yogesh Vajpeyi, Indian Express, February 28th, 2002
This anti-IDRF campaign forces us to think about something very important regardless of our personal viewpoints, which is intellectual honesty in any kind of public issue debate and not losing sight of the actual goal. Many of us (including me) may not care about IDRF and some of us might be opposed to the way it does charity. But the key is not to become hostage to dogma of our own personal ideologies that we start hindering the work of people working towards the same goals shared by us. This campaign against IDRF didnt help a bit against communal forces in India, but it might leave some tribal children illiterate.

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