So why is the government going after Greenpeace India?

As soon as our Prime Minister Narendra Modi took off on a weeklong foreign tour, the Ministry of Home Affairs uploaded a notice on its website stating that our FCRA certificate has been cancelled and that our accounts have been frozen. The notice makes several allegations, all of which we are confident of answering. Our detailed response will be in the public domain once it is ready.

So why is the government going after us? Is it because for over a decade Greenpeace India has a solid track record working for a cleaner and healthier environment for all Indians? Surely that’s not something the NDA government is against? Or is it because Greenpeace’s recent work on these fronts has antagonized powerful corporate interests – the same interests widely believed to have financed the government’s 2014 election campaign?

Sample this:

In Dharnai, Bihar, we have shown that India does not need more polluting coal plants and forest-destroying coal mines to bring electricity to those without.

Our work on ecological farming and research showing the high pesticide levels Indians are exposed to in tea has angered the pesticide lobby and companies like UPL.

We have shone a spotlight on the terrible price Delhi’s children are paying for the many decades that politicians have neglected the air pollution problem.

The recent victory in Mahan has meant that the Ruia’s are having to look elsewhere for coal. Greenpeace India is supporting its Australian colleagues in their struggle to protect the Great Barrier Reef (and our climate) from coal projects, including one by the Adanis.

Just yesterday, Greenpeace issued a press statement on how the 3 top French banks have announced that they will not be funding Adani’s Australian coal mine project “due to the number and magnitude of issues linked to the planned coal development projects in the Galilee Basin”. Greenpeace called on the State Bank of India to also refuse funding Adani’s coal mine project in Australia because 11 major banks around the world think that it is a bad idea, and there are better uses for the savings of Indian taxpayers.

We all know how closely linked this government is to these corporate interests, so it is no surprise that the government is now trying to silence us. But we will answer the charges against us, and take the fight to the courts. In the meantime, we are secure in the knowledge that nearly 70% of our funds come from ordinary Indians, spanning all classes, religions and artificial divides. We will continue to fight for the right of all Indians to clean air and water, safe food and a liveable and healthy environment. And most of all, for the right to speak up, to disagree with governments and corporations and tell them that they must put people and planet above profits.

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