09/21/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government in India has proposed to add amendments to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) that critics claim will tightly monitor NGOs and silence criticism. Religious minority leaders are especially concerned by the proposed amendments as they feel the government has “misused” existing regulations to discriminate against organizations run by religious minorities.
The proposed amendments to the FCRA would decreased an organization’s administrative expenses from foreign funding and would require the leaders of all NGOs receiving foreign funds to have their roles linked with their biometric identity cards called Aadhaar. The proposed amendments go on to empower the government to stop the utilization of foreign funds by an organization by ordering a “summary enquiry.”
India’s NGO community and religious minority leaders have come out against the proposed amendments claiming they would give the government powers to harass NGOs, especially those critical of the government.
“This is an example of big brother watching – that is, the central government keeping an eye on all those receiving foreign contributions,” Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress told UCAN. “It is mainly directed at minority organizations or institutions.”
“This law is against Christians and Muslims,” a Christian Social Worker told UCAN. “This is a move to target people who speak against the government.”
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