23:43 GMT23 February 2020
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    The Indian government dismissed a report published in the New York Times which claimed ideological reasons led to the closure of global children’s aid organization Compassion International in India from March 15.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) The New York Times had said the decision of the government of India was influenced by its ideological predecessor, the right-wing RSS.

    “Any NGO — foreign or Indian, is to operate in India — or for that matter anywhere else in the world — within the laws of the country…We have been fully transparent in this regard, including in our conversations with the concerned on the prevalent situation having been conveyed to all concerned,” says Gopal Baglay, spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

    Earlier, the US had said it will take up with India the shutting down of a Colorado-based donor NGO and sought a “transparent process” for foreign NGOs in the country.

    “Unfortunately, we have seen over the past couple of years a number of foreign-funded NGOs in India that have encountered significant challenges in continuing their operations,” US State Department's acting spokesman Mark Toner said, adding that the US has raised the issue with India through diplomatic channels.

    On the other hand, the right-wing Hindu group RSS condemned the New York Times attempt to malign the image of the organization. “The news published in NYT on March 7, regarding Compassion International’s so-called “back-channel negotiation with RSS representative in Washington DC” is unfair and totally false. RSS works only in India and has no representative in any foreign country. NYT never contacted RSS in this regard. We condemn such an attempt by NYT to malign the image of RSS,” said Manmohan Vaidya, All-India Prachar Pramukh, RSS, in New Delhi.

    NYT had reported that the shutdown of the charity, Compassion International, is on suspicion of engaging in religious conversion, comes as India, a rising economic power with a spirit of nationalism, curtails the flow of foreign money to activities it deems “detrimental to the national interest”.

    Currently, over 33,300 associations/NGOs are registered under the country’s Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) which receive a donation from abroad. In 2015-16, these organizations had received $2.5 billion in donations from abroad. After receiving a complaint of violations, the Narendra Modi government had canceled FCRA registration of 10,081 NGOs from 2014 preventing them from accepting donations from abroad. Many organizations blame RSS, a socio-cultural organization, for this license cancellation.

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