Compassion to wind up India operations

March 09, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 04:20 am IST

Mr. Tiwari, who works with a powerful Indian-American lobby group, allegedly approached CI with a proposal that indicated they were “negotiating with an ideological movement that is fuelling the government.”

In March 2016, the Ministry of Home Affairs had put CI on a “prior permission” watchlist, effectively curtailing its ability to bring in funds for NGOs in India, some of which were accused of carrying out religious conversions. After several appeals, CI announced that it is shutting down its India operations on March 15 this year, after operating here for more than 30 years, bringing in approximately Rs. 292 crore per year.

According to the allegation carried in the NYT, the proposal forwarded was that the [Indian] government “might view Compassion International more favourably if the charity routed a portion of its $45 million in annual charitable donations away from churches and through non-Christian aid groups, including Hindu ones.”

Speaking to The Hindu from the U.S., Mr. Tiwari denied approaching CI, saying that a lawyer for Compassion International, Stephen Oakley, met him in 2016 and asked for advice. “I told them... that if they wanted to prove that they were not into conversion, they should choose partners other than Christian Pentacostal outfits,” he said.

Mr. Tiwari is a prominent member of the Indian-American community affiliated to the BJP and the RSS, as well as a founder of the Washington-based non-profit organisation, US India Security Council Inc.

CI declined The Hindu ’s request for an interview on the allegations, saying in a statement from its USA Communications Director, Tim Glenn, that the NGO is “confident that the local church will continue to do its best to care for children living in poverty long after we have left...”

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