Charitable organizations in West, funneling money for Hindu extremism in India

By March 9, 2004

India (MNN) — An investigation in the United Kingdom indicates some charitable organizations are raising money for violent activities in India, under the guise of humanitarian aid. David DeGroot of Mission India of Grand Rapids, Michigan says the House of Lords investigation indicates millions of pounds raised by the British public went to things other than relief aid.

DeGroot says the investigation looked into donations made to disaster relief. “They’re finding out that a lot of the money was funneled into extremist Hindu material and outreach, you might say, in India. In other words, people thought they were contributing to disaster relief and the money was going toward funding their extremist agenda,” says DeGroot.

One of the groups receiving some of the money was Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (rash-TRY-ah Sway-uhm-SEE-vahk sahng) (RSS), a group known for their attacks against minority Christians. The RSS advacates Hindu supremacy and repression of minorities.

This is just one of many unscrupulous funding schemes from India. DeGroot says, “It underscores the need to know who you’re giving your money to. We highly recommend that people stay with organizations they know about and trust.”

So far, the report hasn’t hurt their fund raising program. “Christian organizations always worry that we are painted with the same brush as these unscrupulous dealers. We don’t want that to happen,” says DeGroot.

While this funding scheme has hurt them, the RSS has. “They cause problems for our people in villages. These problems are involved with brutality, outright persecution, ridicule, humiliation. They have been linked to even much worse crimes than that,” says DeGroot. He says, “It’s just a tragedy that people would be mislead into contributing in any way shape or form to this particular organization.”

Assist News Service reports many professionals are migrating from India to the U-S. Because of that, a group known as the “India Development and Relief Fund” has positioned itself with U-S companies to be included in employee matching contribution programs. Assist says Cisco gave almost $70,000 to the organization, ranking it as one of the top five Cisco charities.

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