THE CAMPAIGN TO STOP FUNDING HATE

BRITISH CHARITIES LINKED TO GUJARAT TERROR

By Subuhi Jiwani

World War 3 Report, December 23, 2002 original

Dec 13, the UK Charity Commission--a government-funded charity watchdog--filed a formal investigation into allegations made by Britain's Channel 4 about the channeling of funds from British charities Sewa International and Hindu Swayamsevak Sabha (HSS) into sectarian violence in India.

The HSS is the sister organization of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sabha (RSS), ideological think tank of the Sangh Parivar, an umbrella organization of Hindu nationalist groups including the ruling Bharitya Janata Party (BJP), the Vishwa Hindu Parhishad (VHP), the Bajrang Dal, and others. Sewa International is the service arm of the HSS and claims that it collects funds for "relief and development" projects in India.

In its expose, Channel 4 profiled the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, an organization which claims it has converted thousands of tribal people to Hinduism. Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram's purpose, as stated on its website, is to "[wean] tribal people away from the evil influence of foreign missionaries and anti-national forces." Sewa International, the expose reveals, filed its accounts with the Charity Commission in 1997, the same year the conversion campaign began.

P.B. Sawant, a retired Supreme Court Judge, who has heard the testimonies of several Gujarat massacre survivors, had this say: "The organization called Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, through which the tribals are being indoctrinated into communal philosophy, was roped in [for the violent attacks], and all those who were trained there were also enrolled for violence."

The HSS and Sewa International, which share a common charity registration number, have denied the allegations--much like their US counterpart, the India Development and Relief Fund. Sewa International which had collected 2.5 million pounds for the Gujarat earthquake relief, admitted that it had donated "a couple of thousand pounds to the Kalyan Ashram for sponsoring one or two students for education." (Times of India, Dec. 13; Channel 4, Dec. 12)

See also "Activists Tell Corporations: 'Stop Funding Hate' in India"



2002-2003 THE CAMPAIGN TO STOP FUNDING HATE.