The NDA government’s decisions to put the U.S. aid agency Ford Foundation on a watchlist, and freezing the accounts of environmental organisation Greenpeace have sparked off a diplomatic row, with the U.S. State Department expressing “concern” and seeking “clarification” over the actions.
“We remain concerned about the difficulties caused to civil society organisations by the manner in which the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act has been applied. We are concerned that this recent ruling limits a necessary and critical debate within Indian society, and we are seeking a clarification on this issue with the appropriate Indian authorities,” spokesperson Marie Harf said in Washington in response to the ruling by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“Interference” The Ministry of External Affairs made no comment, but sources say India is likely to take a stern view of what the government sees as “interference.”
Meanwhile, the BJP’s national spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao tweeted that the US’s “concern raises more questions than the clarifications it seeks to answer.” The government has said that this action has been taken because the activities of Ford Foundation and Greenpeace are prejudicial to “national interest.”