British Donations For Gujarat Relief Went To Hindu Extremist Groups:
PakNews.com, February 27, 2004 original
NEW DELHI, India
: Feb 27 (PNS) - Massive donations by British Public for the relief
fund to Gujarat have been sent to Hindu extremist groups, directly
implicated in a large-scale campaign of violence and anti-minority
hatred in India.
A report, released on the second anniversary of the post-Godhra
riots in Gujarat reveals the unsavoury links between prominent
fundraising organizations in the UK and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS), an extremist outfit of BJP.
The report "In Bad Faith: British Charity and Hindu Extremism," to
be released at the House of Lords on Thursday, according to the
leading Indian daily "The Asian Age," uses site visits,
to Gujarat, interviews and commentary and photographic evidence
to prove that under the cloak of humanitarian charity following
the Gujarat earthquake, massive donations from the British public
were sent to Hindu extremist groups directly implicated in large-scale
campaign of violence and hatred in India.
According to the report, the money from the UK was also given
to other Sangh Parivar outfits like Vanvasi Kalyan. Sewa International,
the fundraising arm of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK, sent Pound
two million to its Indian counterpart Sewa Bharati, a front for
the RSS, as part of its quake relief fund to Gujarat.
Nearly a quarter of those funds was spent on RSS schools that
promote fanaticism and large sums went to RSS front organizations,
said Chetan Bhatt of Awaaz, the UK-based organization behind this
report. The activities of the HSS and Sewa International have been
under investigations since 2000 when UK's Charity Commission launched
an inquiry into charity's links with proscribed organizations.
The Commission staff sought Indian visas last year to ascertain
how the charitable funds collected for Gujarat relief had been
applied, but the officials were denied entry by the Indian government,
said the Daily.
"The main aim of our inquiry has been to confirm that the
charitable funds raised by HSS have been applied properly. In the
course of investigation, we have looked at the charity's connection
with the international organization RSS, which was previously proscribed
by the Indian government. We have received some documentary evidence.
However, we are now waiting for further information from the trustees," added
the daily quoting a spokesperson from the Charity Commission.
The funds were collected by the Leicester-based registered charity
HSS, and its fund-raising arm Sewa International, the report said
adding, the HSS and Sewa International are UK branches of the RSS
and the main purpose of their fund-raising is to channel money
to RSS fronts in India.
This new report, Awwaz hoped will further the Commission’s
inquiry and eventually lead to revoking HSS’charity status
and put an end to corporate funding and political patronage for
the group. The HSS, registered charity, is a branch of the Indian
RSS and is modeled on the RSS, actively promotes RSS ideology and
shares the RSS’ aim of turning India into an exclusive Hindu
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK and the Kalyan Ashram Trust UK, also
registered charities, are other branches of the RSS family operating
in tUK, stated the report. " Most British donors would be
horrified if they knew the nature, history and ideas of the RSS.
British individuals raised funds and donated in good faith to Sewa
International's Gujarat Earthquake appeal, but would not have done
so had they known that the organizations raising the money, were
closely linked to the fascist- inspired and extremist RSS”,
Awaaz added. “Sewa International has tried to dupe politicians,
donors and the general public. Its main purpose is to fund, expand
and glorify hate-driven RSS organizations, several of which have
been at the forefront of large-scale violence, pogroms, or hate
campaigns in India.
"It's claim to be a non-sectarian, non-political, non-religious
humanitarian charity is a shame", Awaaz Spokesman Suresh Grover
has been quoted as saying.