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Ford Foundation in India since 1950: Can the mess be cleaned up?

Author: Vicky Nanjappa
Publication: Oneindia.com
Date: July 6, 2015
URL:   http://www.oneindia.com/india/ford-foundation-in-india-since-1950-can-the-mess-be-cleaned-up-1798048.html

Junkets, goodies and loads of cash. These are some of the usual tactics that the Ford Foundation had adopted while penetrating to undertake a wave of cultural terrorism in India. Interestingly the Ford Foundation push into India is not a new story- in fact it is a continuing story and the first instance was reported during the Nehru years.

The irony was when the Ford Foundation and the Rockefellar foundations penetrated into India, the government of the day had not an inkling of what was coming. The bureaucrats were the first targets and before anyone could realize they had bitten the bait in the form of junkets and scholarships.

Biting the bait

The investigations that were conducted by the Sunday Standard threw open some interesting and startling revelations. These would come in handy as the CBI readies to probe the Teesta Setalavad run NGO which has been accused of receiving 200,000 US dollars.


The CBI has been asked by the Home Ministry to probe into various aspects which deals with the foreign funds that the NGO received to address communalism and caste based discrimination.

The Sunday Standard investigation would show that the Ford Foundation had come into India without any oversight by the government. Scholarships and junkets were doled out to senior officials in the government back in the 1950s and this despite the government not giving a clearance for the same.

The officials according to the probe were selected by Ford Foundation and the government of the day had no clue about the same. It was also found that the then Commissioner General for Economic Affairs in the Indian Embassy at Washington, B K Nehru had advised that there should be no insistence on the clearance of funds by the foundation to government employees.

Clearing up the mess

While the government has put on watch all activities of the Ford Foundation in India, the question is how deep can it probe. A Home Ministry official informed OneIndia that there has been a lot of penetration into the system and this is just the beginning.

Various think tanks have been funded with a specific purpose of changing a thought process. Funds have not just reached NGOs or organizations, they have landed up in the hands of individuals as well, the official also informed. It has been on since 1950 and the Foundation does not feel it has erred in anyway.

Funding will need to be controlled

The best way to beat the problem is to control the funding. The move by the government to bring all donations made by the Ford Foundation under the purview of the RBI and also the Home Ministry is a start.

The problem will exist as long as there are funds. We are not in anyway suggesting that we are against all forms of funding. There is a need for transparency and funds cannot come in for one purpose and used for an entirely different issue, the Home Ministry official also informed.

The official also informed that it is wrong to suggest that this is a campaign out to target a certain section of people. Let the funds come in and let there be transparency. We are not against the funds, we are against the agenda, the officer also added.


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