pocketed quake aid’
By Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times, London, 26 February original
Donations raised by "activists of the RSS" in Britain
for earthquake relief in Gujarat were sent to certain "extremist
groups" involved or directly implicated in large-scale violence
in the state two years back, a London-based campaign group has alleged.
"Activists of the RSS have been raising funds in the name of
charity for natural disasters like earthquakes and giving them to
extremist organisations that preach hatred against Muslims and Christians," Awaaz-South
Asia Watch Ltd claimed in a report titled In Bad Faith? British Charity
and Hindu Extremism.
The report was released on Thursday to coincide with the second
year of the Gujarat riots. Awaaz was set up last year comprising
British Asian academics and lawyers. It claimed that the 80-page
report was prepared by a group that does not have a Muslim or Christian
The report alleges that the UK-based Sewa International sent £2
million for "the devastating earthquake" in Gujarat in
2001 to "its Indian counterpart Sewa Bharati", which Awaaz
claims is "a front" for the RSS. "Money from the UK
was given to RSS front organisations that are involved or implicated
in serious violence or hate politics in India," alleges the
The report says "much of the money was spent on schools that
promote hatred and fanaticism." It further alleges that "Sewa
International is not registered as a British charity, but is the
fund-raising arm of the registered charity Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
(HSS), the UK branch of the RSS."
"Sewa Bharati is dedicated to creating an exclusive Hindu nation," it
said. "Sewa Bharati's reconstruction work was directly related
to furthering the RSS's political agenda."
It cited the case of one earthquake-stricken Gujarati village, Chapredi,
where a Hindu temple was reconstructed with a plaque "glorifying
the RSS" while mosques and churches that had been destroyed
were apparently not rebuilt.
Awaaz urged the British authorities to withdraw charity status from
HSS and associated charities. "Public sector funding and political
patronage of these organisations should end," it insisted.