03 July 2014
'Van Satagrah' Peaceful Protest at the Collectors Office in Singrauli © Ankit Agarwal / Greenpeace
In the last couple of weeks the Intelligence Bureau has managed to crack the puzzle of slow growth rate courtesy a top secret report which was leaked to many media houses. This top secret widely circulated report named around 23 foreign funded NGOs as being a threat to India's economic security and engaging in anti-national activity. Greenpeace was singled out in this report and a startling revelation of the century was made in this report which has sent the world's best economists into a tizzy.
The report alleged that Greenpeace received 45 crores in the last seven years as foreign funding from Greenpeace International and its activities alone have managed to dent India's GDP by 2-3%! Think about it, if at the cost of a flat in South Mumbai, Greenpeace has managed to have a negative impact on India's GDP by up to 3% which is 3.3 lakh crores which is more than the coal and 2G scam put together then pigs can definitely fly and Ned Stark is still alive.
This was one of the many ridiculous allegations made in the TOP SECRET widely circulated report which Greenpeace still hasn't officially received a copy of in spite of writing to the MHA nine days ago. While we continue to wait for the so-called classified report that's being written about by every newspaper and a certain journalist who is a custodian of all of nation's questions and has been waving a few A-4 sheets and quoting absurd facts from this report. For all we know he could have been reading lines from a photocopy of Amar Chitra Katha because everyone else except Greenpeace has received a copy of the report.
On Friday the 13th a report claiming to be the IB report was uploaded on www.scribd.com and we uploaded a point to point rebuttal of that report because as an independent organisation funded by individuals we are not only accountable to them but also other fellow Indians who have every right to know the real truth. It had not even been four days since that report was uploaded when part two of the IB report got leaked in the media which was all about Greenpeace and what followed were many news reports saying that Greenpeace's foreign funding will be cancelled, or put under review. While we still wait to see either the report or a notice from MHA, its becoming more and more evident that Greenpeace is being pronounced guilty without a trial and the Judge, Jury & Executioner is being played by the Government which has done a Manmohan Singh by refusing to comment on this ridiculous report.
There's a clear picture that has emerged in the last 30 days. We have a new Government which has the absolute mandate to leap frog India as the world leader as soon as possible, The first milestone would be to overtake China and by what it's looking like, we are set to repeat the same mistakes that china did, refuse to learn from them, even out do them in doing the same mistakes with an absolute disregard for our environment, air, water and communities who have the first right on the natural resources according to the law. The mantra is clear, 'development at any cost'.
If there are large groups of farmers who have organised themselves to protect our food from harmful pesticides and genetically modified food then all of them are anti-national because it stops multinationals like Monsanto from investing millions to destroy our agricultural biodiversity.
If fisher folks who are protesting for their safety and livelihood because of an upcoming nuclear power plant then call them anti-national because how else will Russia pump in millions in our country selling a third-grade outdated technology.
If organisations are protesting to protect one of Asia's oldest Sal forests from being ruthlessly butchered then call them anti-national because that creates a roadblock for the UK companies like Essar Power from investing millions in the destruction of India's environment.
India right now is standing at the crossroads where she has to decide which route to take towards development. The one where any attempt by individuals or civil society to question the growth model will be silenced by the sound of chainsaws, bulldozers plundering our environment, where a few cities continue to grow at the cost of millions of poor farmers, tribes, rivers & forests.
The development model which in true sense is, "Sabke Saath, Sabka Vikas," where even a landless farmer or a forest dweller gets equal rights compared to a resident of south Delhi or Malabar Hill. An India where no one has to be displaced to get access to either electricity or jobs.
While India decides which route to take towards development, we have the privilege of being a few years behind China and the rest of the world. We have an opportunity to ensure that we are not repeating the same mistakes. And I have absolute faith in the citizens of this democracy who have stood up in the past and will continue to stand up and protest if required to take our country in the right direction.
Brikesh Singh is an activist with Greenpeace India.