The government of India’s new pro-business Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks set to act against Greenpeace and other foreign-backed NGOs after an intelligence report found their anti-industry campaigns were “negatively impacting economic development.”
The intelligence report, first disclosed in the Indian Express last month, claims the negative impact of the NGOs’ role on GDP growth to be two to three per cent per annum. It accuses Greenpeace of “contravening laws to change the dynamics of India’s energy mix” and “mounted massive efforts to take down India’s coal fired power plants and coal mining activity.”
According to the Indian Express, while several NGOs are named in the report as being involved in “agitations against nuclear power plants, uranium mines, coal-fired power plants, farm biotechnology, mega industrial projects, hydroelectric plants and extractive industries,” the main international NGO singled out for criticism is Greenpeace.
It says Greenpeace has been “actively aided and led by foreign activists visiting India.”
Now the environmentalist organisation says it fears a clamp-down. “The government is adopting scare tactics,” Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, told the UK Guardian. “It wants to ensure that nobody comes in the way of big projects.
An anti-nuclear campaigner, Achin Vinaik, said: “We are fearful that this is a kind of witch hunt with longer term implications to repress all kinds of popular struggles.”
IN 2000, Vanaik was awarded the Sean McBride International Peace Prize, a prize named for a former Chief of Staff and Director of Intelligence for the IRA.
In a statement published in the Times of India, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties described the intelligence report as an attempt to “intimidate, slander, throttle and terrorise the voice of various citizens’ groups, NGOs and individuals,” who raise issues relating to human right violations.