VIGIL book on NGOs -
NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds
Page 5 of 41
4. Anyone can give or receive an award
One unique method by which these stalwarts conduct their self-promotional campaigns is to get one component of the coalition to confer awards on another component. This tactic is similar to that which is employed by the ´eminent historians´ club where Romila Thapar will make adulatory references to Irfan Habib and Irfan Habib will extol the works of S Gopal and so on. Hindus who lived through the trauma of Jayalalithaa unleashing demoniac forces which arrested and incarcerated the two venerable Acharyas of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham remember how barely a few months before she embarked on this asuric invasion, she had been awarded the title of ´Golden Star´ by some unknown and insignificant human rights organisation with roots in the Ukraine. Jayalalithaa celebrated the obscure (Christian?) and dubious award with a self-congratulatory orgy. There were street slogans on house walls, huge life-sized and larger-than-life posters of the lady, eulogizing her for receiving the human rights award. As I said, just about anyone can give or take an award; but when such awards are given to politicians it is usually given either expecting a favour involving use of political power or as an expression of gratitude for favours already bestowed.
5. The Indian Muslim Council (IMC) - USA
The IMC-USA, one of the member organisations of the Coalition against Genocide, since its birth in 2002, has been generous in this regard and very purposeful in the innumerable awards that it has given precisely with this objective - expecting or returning favours. The IMC-USA crowned Shrikumar Poddar with the (not surprising at all) Bahadur Shah Zafar award ´for promoting pluralism and community harmony in India´.6 Now this is weird; Shrikumar Poddar and other NRIs arebeing conferred awards by the IMC-USA for their work in India - ´promoting pluralism and community harmony in India, for selfless service towards the uplift of the poor and the oppressed classes in India, for selfless service towards the uplift of Muslims in India and for courageously serving India and India´s interests.´ One would have thought that such a gigantic task would involve a life-time´s dedication if even one small pocket in India has to yield expected results. And yet the IMC-USA is bestowing these awards to non-resident Indians residing in the US! As I said, just anyone can give and receive awards.
In October 2005, the IMC-USA, at its third annual convention in Detroit, conferred upon American Congressman John Conyers the Malik Al-Shabbazz award for ´his leadership in the field of human rights.´ Originality, it would seem, is not the forte of the IMC-USA too. Accepting the award, the American Congressman, living up to my generally poor opinion of the intelligence of the average American politician and completely in keeping with the new American policy of courting and wooing Muslims as a sop to soften them over what is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Iran, made gratifying noises about the persecuted religious minorities in India. He is also reported to have congratulated the Muslims in India for fighting religious persecution ´adopting non-violence as the way to do so just as Gandhi and King had done.´ Conyers obviously hadn´t heard about the bloody vivisection of 1947 or about the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus by the Kashmiri Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir. Talk about ignorance being bliss or was the Congressman too singing for his supper?7 The award was bestowed upon the Congressman as a rewarding carrot for having moved a resolution in Congress in March of the same year to prevail upon the US State Department to deny Narendra Modi a visa to visit the USA.