Priyadarshi Siddhanta & Amitav Ranjan
An Intelligence Bureau report on foreign-funded NGOs “negatively impacting economic development” in India has called Greenpeace “a threat to national economic security”, citing activities ranging from protests against nuclear and coal plants and funding of “sympathetic” research, to allegedly helping out an Aam Aadmi Party candidate in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
The allegations are part of the IB’s report, dated June 3, submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office. As reported first by The Indian Express, the IB claims the negative impact of the NGOs’ role on GDP growth to be “2-3 per cent per annum”.
The report, signed by IB Joint Director S A Rizvi, accuses Greenpeace of contravening laws to “change the dynamics of India’s energy mix”. The bureau says Greenpeace’s ‘superior network’ of numerous pan-India organisations has helped conduct anti-nuclear agitations and mounted “massive efforts to take down India’s coal fired power plants and coal mining activity”. Greenpeace will take on India’s IT sector over e-waste among other “next targets”, the report says.
While several NGOs are named in the IB’s 21-page report, that lists seven sectors/projects that got stalled because of NGO-created agitations against nuclear power plants, uranium mines, coal-fired power plants, farm biotechnology, mega industrial projects, hydroelectric plants and extractive industries, the main international one singled out for criticism is Greenpeace.
Throughout, the IB report sees Greenpeace as the prime mover of mass-based movements against development projects. “It is assessed to be posing a potential threat to national economic security… growing exponentially in terms of reach, impact, volunteers and media influence,” it notes. The efforts are focused on “ways to create obstacles in India’s energy plans” and to “pressure India to use only renewable energy”.
The report also accuses Greenpeace, “actively aided and led by foreign activists visiting India”, of violating the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 2010 (FCRA), and financing “sympathetic studies” at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and at IIT-Delhi.
While FCRA provisions debar organisations getting foreign funding from political activity, former Greenpeace consultant Pankaj Singh stood as an Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Sidhi Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh in the recent general elections. Mahan coal mines, against which Greenpeace has been protesting, fall under this constituency.