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Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
Wednesday, 06 June 2018 06:23

Saffronisation of the Social Welfare Sector - P J James

The recent information on packing of the Central Employment Guarantee Council( CEGC), the apex body in charge of monitoring MGNREGA, central government's flagship rural employment program with NGO leaders, voluntary activitists and intellectuals, having close association and allegiance with Sangh Parivar as "non-official members" is very revealing indeed. When the UPA government inaugurated the MGNREGA in 2005, the then CEGC, apart from government officials, was composed of renowned social activitists and economists. But today when the central regime is controlled by RSS which itself claims as world's biggest voluntary organisation, a whole set of NGOs and voluntary agencies affiliated to it are directly involved in both policy making and implementation of several rural development and social service schemes of both central and state governments.

As a matter of fact, the fast spreading of large number of Parivar NGOs into social service and rural development sectors have been a time-tested strategy of saffron penetration in to the grass roots. In this regard, the RSS has been emulating the international experiences of the Chritian Church which is often characterized as the 'mother of philanthropy and charity'. Parallel to the activities of Christian organisations, right from the 1980s onward, RSS has been in the forefront of establishing several international and domestic NGO networks in this regard. Today, with an international umbrella of ashrams, missions, trusts, mutts, societies and so on led by various Hindutva outfits and Hindu godmen and women and having their headquarters in the US, both in terms of funds mobilised and activities undertaken, the Hindutva Parivar have surpassed the other religions in this regard.

With State power at its command following the ascendancy of the Modi government, several RSS affiliated international NGOs formerly engaging in fund-raising in the US and UK have started orienting themselves towards India. For instance, in recent years there have been a perceptible reduction in the funds collected by these agencies from abroad. A best example is that of the Maryland- based IDRF(India Development and Relief Fund) which was already accused of channeling funds to "sectarian and communal uses" in India. Of course examples galore in this regard.

To be precise, the penetration of RSS-affiliated NGOs, media persons, intellectuals, spiritual leaders and so on into the India's official development programs, especially rural and social development sectors is to be viewed in this over all context. Though a less-noticed aspect in mainstream media, this needs to be evaluated as a critical component in today's saffron fascistization.

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