Statement on Home Ministry’s autocratic actions against INSAF

Statement on Home Ministry’s autocratic actions against INSAF

                                                                                      Date:  May 31, 2013
Shri Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister
Government of India
New Delhi

Subject: Statement by eminent citizens and organisations seeking immediate review and withdrawal of order of Ministry of Home Affairs tosuspendthe FCRA account of Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) and inquiry there on
Dear Shri Manmohan Singh,
This is with reference to the suspension of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act registration of Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) by the Home Ministry's FCRA department in it's autocratic order dated April 30, 2013 (attached).
The attached "Statement on Home Ministry's autocratic actions against INSAF" has been signed by several prominent intellectuals, activists and NGOs. The statement condemns the actions against INSAF as "yet another attempt by the state to undermine the democratic process and dismantle Constitutional guarantees of rights and freedoms under the pretence ofnational securityandnational interest. We stand with INSAF in asserting the Constitutional right of every citizen of India to participation in governance, which includes the right to question, challenge and oppose the policies of the state through peaceful, non-violent and democratic means."
In view of these observations, we urge your government and the FCRA department of the Home Ministry to review and withdraw the order of suspension of the FCRA registration of Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) and inquiry there on.
Your immediate reply and action in this regard will be highly appreciated.

Yours Sincerely
Chitranjan Singh
General Secretary

CC: 1. Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde, Union Minister, Home Affairs, Government of India
2. Shri Mullappally Ramachandran, Minister of State, Home Affairs, Government of India
3. Members, Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs
4. Secretary, Home Affairs, Government of India
5. Joint Secretary (Foreigners), Home Affairs, Government of India
6. Director, FCRA. Home Affairs, Government of India


We the undersigned are shocked and dismayed at the Government of India's action against INSAF, a national coalition of 700 people's movements, social action groups and progressive intellectuals with an active presence in 15 States of India. According to a communication from the Home Ministry dated 30th April 2013, the INSAF bank account has been frozen because its activities are “prejudicial to the public interest”.

Over the last few years, INSAF has established its identity as a platform where independent and autonomous secular and democratic groups can come together in pursuit of their common aims of “protecting democracy, resisting iniquitous forms of globalisation and combating communalism”.  INSAF members have been in the forefront of democratic protests against religious fundamentalism and communal violence. INSAF has consistently highlighted and opposed violations of human rights irrespective of whether they are perpetrated by state agencies, corporations or political parties. INSAF is  noteworthy for its rapid response to human rights violations in remote and isolated areas of the country, bringing them to the attention of other groups and networks as well as making visible their connections to and impact on wider social, political and economic processes.

INSAF has made important interventions in public debates on issues of national concern including land grabs by Indian companies in Africa, violations of technical and statutory norms in respect of mining, deforestation and nuclear energy generation projects, in the deployment of “black laws” such as AFSPA against human rights defenders and with respect to State violence against Dalits, Adivasis and minority religious groups.

Far from being “prejudicial to the national interest”, INSAF's work has expanded the space for those affected by state policies thereby helping them to bring their issues to  national attention, and for those affected to claim their democratic right to intervene in and influence the course of national development.

INSAF has been among the most vocal critics of the recent changes in the legal and regulatory framework aimed at criminalising those who question the authority of the state or challenge its policies. INSAF has petitioned the Supreme Court to knock down the new FCRA Rules that give the government unchecked and unbridled powers to throttle the activities of organisations working for public causes by branding them "political" and blocking their access to foreign funds.

The INSAF petition highlights  the draconian nature of Rule 3(vi) which debars NGOs from “political actions”. Under these Rules, the government arrogates to itself the power to take action against any group that “habitually indulges in bandhs, hartals, rasta roko, rail roko, or jail bharo” - all non-violent and democratic forms of protest and assertion that emerged from our freedom struggle and are now recognised around the world as legitimate forms of protest. This ridiculous rule can be used against almost any of the organisations that support rights-based mobilisation of practically any group – women, landless farmers, Adivasis and Dalits, students, minorities – irrespective of whether  they are, or are not, aligned to any political party.

Ironically, action has been taken using powers under Section 13 of the new FCRA Act against the  only organisation challenging the Home Ministry! 

The action against INSAF is yet another attempt by the state to undermine the democratic process and dismantle Constitutional guarantees of rights and freedoms under the pretence of “national security” and “national interest”. We stand with INSAF in asserting the Constitutional right of every citizen of India to participation in governance, which includes the right to question, challenge and oppose the policies of the state through peaceful, non-violent and democratic means.

1.    S P Udaykumar, People's Movement against Nuclear Energy - PMANE, Tamil Nadu
2.    Farah Naqvi, Writer and Activist, Delhi
3.    Harsh Mander, New Delhi
4.    Admiral L Ramdas, Former Navy Chief
5.    Lalitha Ramdas
6.    Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune
7.    Praful Bidwai, New Delhi
8.    Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Professor, JNU
9.    Anuradha Chenoy, Professor, JNU
10.    V.S. Roy David, National Convener, National Adivasi Alliance
11.    Ram Puniyani, EKTA, Mumbai
12.    Achin Vanaik, former Dean of Social Sciences, Delhi University
13.    Saktiman Ghosh, National Hawkers Federation, Kolkata
14.    Gautam Bandyopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha
15.    Amar Kanwar, New Delhi
16.    Amita Joseph, New Delhi
17.    Gautam Navlakha, New Delhi
18.    Anand Swaroop Verma, New Delhi
19.    Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party (India)
20.    Anand Teltumbde, Mumbai
21.    T Peter, National Fishworkers Forum
22.    Vinod Raina, Alternatives Asia
23.    Manisha Sethi, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association (JTSA)
24.    Adv Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai
25.    Ranjana Padhi, People's Union for Democratic Rights - PUDR, New Delhi
26.    Soumya Dutta, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha,
27.    Anuradha Mittal, The Oakland Institute, USA
28.    Pierre Rousset, Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières (ESSF), France
29.    Tina Ebro, Asia Coordinator, Asia Europe Peoples Forum (AEPF), Philippines.
30.    Eric Toussaint, Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt ( CADTM), Belgium
31.    Kalyani Menon Sen, New Delhi
32.    Karuna Raina, Greenpeace India
33.    Vijay Pratap, Socialist Front
34.    Rayyan Hassan, NGO Forum on ADB, Philippines
35.    Hemantha Withanage, Friends of the Earth, Sri Lanka
36.    Ana Maria R. Nemenzo, KAMP -Campaign for a Life of Dignity for All, Philippines
37.    Dr John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council, Government of India
38.    Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns-Bangalore
39.    Maria Theresa Nera-Lauron, Peoples’ Movement on Climate Change, Philippines
40.    V. Thirunavukkarasu, Politbureau member,NSSP
41.    Mick Armstrong, Socialist Alternative, Australia
42.    Vasanth Kannabiran, Hyderabad
43.    Dr. Malem Ningthouja, Campaign for Peace & Democracy India
44.    Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD, New Delhi
45.    Nandini Sundar, New Delhi
46.    National Trade Union Movement of Nepal, General Federation of Nepalese trade Unions (GEFONT-Nepal)
47.    Babloo Loitongbam, Human Rights Alert, Imphal
48.    P. Joseph Victor Raj, State Convener, Puducherry Environment Council (PUDENCO)
49.    Arundhati Dhuru, National Alliance of People’s Movements, Lucknow
50.    Fr. Cedric Prakash sj, PRASHANT, Ahmedabad
51.    Danielle Sabai, France
52.    J. Vincent Manoharan, Chair – NFDLRM,
    New Delhi
53.    Jubilee South - Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD), Manila
54.    Prof. A.K.Maleri, Distt. President, Association For Democratic Rights, Punjab
55.    Ratan Bhandari, Nepal
56.    South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE)
57.    Henri Tiphagne, Honorary National Working Secretary,All India Network of Individuals and NGOs working with National  / State Human Rights Institutions [ AiNNI] 
58.    Human Rights Defenders’ Alert –India [HRDA]
59.    Saheli, New Delhi
60.    Herman Kumara, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, Sri Lanka
61.    Myriam Bourgy (General Secretary - CADTM), Belgium
62.    Arvind Sivaramakrishnan
63.    Tanushree Gangopadhyay, Mediaperson, Gujarat
64.    M. V. Ramana
65.    Burnad Fatima
66.    Dayamani Barla, Ranchi
67.    Avilash Roul
68.    Kaveri R I, Bengaluru
69.    Society and Law, Tajikistan
70.    Nandini Oza, Pune.
71.    Satya Sivaraman
72.    Prasad Chacko, Human Development and Research Centre, Ahmedabad
73.    Ashish Awasthi, Lucknow
74.    Sreedhar, Mines Minerals & People (MmP)
75.    Keshab Khadka, All Nepal Peasants’ Federation (ANPFa)
76.    Hozefa Ujjaini, Gujarat
78.    Clarissa V. Militante, Philippines
79.    Armando Popa, Damodar — For a People’s Democracy
80.    Karen Orenstein, USA
81.    Debjit Dutta, Kolkata
82.    Dr. Daya R. Varma MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
83.    Biju Negi
84.    Anil Chamadia
85.    S Raghavan, President, Lok Raj Sangathan
86.    New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India)
87.    Sonaki Roy
88.    Savad Rahman, Journalist, Kerala
89.    Noorjahan,  BMMA
90.    Vidya Dinker, Citizens Forum, Mangalore
91.    Azamattyk Kuryltay - The citizens’ assembly,  Kazakistan
92.    Earth in Brackets
93.    Akhil K. Srivastava, Managing Trustee, Antardrishti
94.    Food & Water Watch, U.S.A.
95.    Sushovan Dhar, Radical Socialist, Kolkata
96.    Richard Macwan
97.    Migrant Forum in Asia
98.    Rathod Dahyabhai K
99.    Prafulla Samantara, Lok Shakti Abhiyan
100.    Vijay Bharatiya, South Asia Peace Alliance
101.    Rita Roy, South Asia Peace Alliance
102.    Dodarbek Saydaliev, Director, CSSC “Shahrvand”
103.    Gulmairam Egemberdieva, PF DCCA
104.    CHRD, Mongolia
105.    National NGO Forum on Development and Cooperation, Mongolia
106.    Dilorom Atabaeva, Consortium of Initiatives, Tajikistan
107.    Runu Chakraborty
108.    Ashok Choudhury, NFFPFW
109.    Pratip Nag, Radical Socialist, Kolkata
110.    Avinash Kumar
111.    Bakhadur Khabibov, Consumers Union of Tajikistan
112.    Subhash Gatade, New Socialist Initiative
113.    Antony Arulraj
114.    Sharmila Karki, Chairperson, Jagaran Nepal
116.    Feroze Mithiborwala
118.    Feroze Ahmed, Kashmir
119.    Buta Singh
120.    A.K.ARUN, Editor in Chief -YUVA SAMVAD
121.    Jothi SJ, Kolkata,
122.    Saeed Baloch, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum,
123.    Dr. Virendra Vidrohi, Pradesh Sarvodaya mandal Rajasthan
124.    Maulana Hanif, Jamin Bachao Aandolan, Alwar
125.    Ashok Mathur, ACTION Bikaner   
126.    Dinesh Sharma, Vedkumari Trust Alwar
127.    Kumar Sundaram, New Delhi
128.    Sarba Raj Khadka, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), Nepal
129.    Prashant K Anthony, People’s Responsible Organisation of United Dharavi (PROUD).
130.    Nikhat Fatima, Hyderabad
131.    Maharashtra Rajya Suraksha rakshak Kamgar sanghatan Sanghatna, Nagpur
132.    Daniel Mazgaonkar, Sarvodaya Activist,
133.    Bodhisatwa Ray, Radical Socialist, Kolkata
134.    Abhishek Srivastava
135.    Afsar Jafri
136.    Ali Asghar, Convenor – Hyderabad Aman Manch (HAM)
137.    Aliza Yuliana, Solidaritas Perempuan – Indonesia
138.    Anil Chaudhary, New Delhi
139.    Anivar Aravind, Bangalore
140.    Hiren Gandhi, Ahmedabad
141.    Maris Della Cruz-Cardenas, Secretariat Head, Asia Europe Peoples Forum (AEPF), Philippines.
142.    Mary Ann Manahan, Philippines
143.    Pradeep Esteves, Bangalore
144.    Prakash K Ray,
145.    Pritarani Jha, Peace and Equality cell, Gujarat.
146.    Rajendra Ravi, New Delhi
147.    Ranjan Panda, Water Initiatives Odisha
148.    Renu Singh, Coalition for GM Free India
149.    Renu, New Socialist Initiative (NSI)
150.    S. Kumar, New Delhi
151.    Sanjeev Chandan
152.    Sanjeev Kumar, Delhi Forum
153.    Saroop Dhruv, Ahmedabad
154.    Satyam Srivastava, SRUTI
155.    Seela M, New Delhi
156.    Shalini Gera, CMM
157.    Shree Prakash, Convener, UDFI, Indore (MP)
158.    Shreya Jani
159.    Shripad Dharmadhikary, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, Badwani (MP) & Pune (MH)
160.    Shweta Tripathi, SRUTI
161.    Sohaib Ahmed, JTSA
162.    Stan Swamy & colleagues, Jharkhand Bachao Andolan
163.    Chhatisgadi Kalayan Sanstha, Nagpur
164.    Subodh Raj Pyakurel, Chairperson, INSEC, Nepal
165.    Sudha Varghese- Bihar
166.    Sukla Sen, Mumbai
167.    Sumesh Mangalassery, KABANI- the other direction, Kerala
168.    Tarun Kanti Bose, New Delhi
169.    Gopal Krishna, New Delhi
170.    Tridib Reeves, Kolkata
171.    Trisha Agarwala, New Delhi
172.    Uma V Chandru, PUCL-Bangalore
173.    Vidula Ramabai
174.    Vilas Sukhadeve, Nagpur
175.    Vinay Bhat, Santa Clara, CA, USA
176.    Gharelu Kamgar Molkarni Sanghatna, Nagpur
177.    Zohrab Ismayilov, PAAFE (Azerbaijan)
178.    Anjuman Ara Begum, Guwahati
180.    Asad Zaidi, Writer and Publisher
181.    Ashim Jain
182.    Ashok Dube, President, Roopankan, Indore (MP)
183.    Badrul Alam, Bangladesh Krishok Federation
184.    N.M.C Evajdar Kamgar Sanghatna, Nagpur
185.    Balaji Narasimhan
186.    Benny Benedict, ViBGYOR Film Festival Collective, Trichur
187.    Bezwada Wilson, Human Rights Activist, New Delhi
188.    Bhasha, Jan Sanskriti Manch, New Delhi
189.    Bhupen Singh, New Delhi
190.    Bipin Kumar Rai, New Delhi
191.    Bondita Acharya, Purva Bharati Educational Trust, Wing-Assam
192.    Dharmender, Lokadhikar, New Delhi
193.    Dr. Lubna Sarwath, Economist & Activist,
194.    Dunu Roy, Hazards Centre, New Delhi
196.    G.Manicandan, Forum Against FTAs, New Delhi
197.    George   M K, New Delhi
198.    Hasan Mehedi, Humanitywatch, Bangladesh
199.    Imran Ali, Advocate, New Delhi
200.    Irfan Ahmed, Lok Manch (Bihar)
201.    Jammu Anand, Nagpur
202.    Jitendra Chahar, New Delhi
203.    Jyotilal Longjam, Imphal
204.    N.M.C Evajdar Kamgar Sanghatna, Nagpur
205.    Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangath, Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh
206.    Krishnakant, NAPM (Gujarat)
207.    Mahi Pal Singh, New Delhi
208.    Mahtab Alam, New Delhi
209.    S.Balasubramanian, State secretary, CPI (ML) Liberation, Puducherry
210.    N.M.C Employees Union Sanghatna, Nagpur
211.    Manohar Elavarthi, Joint Secretary,Praja Rajakiya Vedike, Bangalore
212.    Mansi Sharma, New Delhi
213.    Maya Eralieva, Samdhana fellow, Kyrgyzstan
214.    Md. Abbas Ansari, New Delhi
215.    Nishank, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA)
216.    P.T.George, New Delhi
217.    Panini Anand, Outlook magazine
218.    Piyush Manush, Salem, Tamil Nadu
219.    Arun Khote, PMARC, Lucknow
220.    Tanushree Gangopadhyay
221.    N.M.C Thekedar Kamgar Sanghatna, Nagpur
222.    Ramesh Pimple, Film maker,
223.    People’s Institute for Development
and Training, New Delhi
224.    Madhuresh Kumar, New Delhi
225.    Benny Kuruvilla, New Delhi
226.    Sirish Agarwal
227.    Dr.Prakash Louis
228.    Pravin Patel
229.    Guman Singh, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan
230.    Xavier Dias, Editor, Khan Kaneej Aur ADHIKAR (Mines minerals & RIGHTS)
231.    Kruha-Indonesia
232.    Shashkiya Karmachari Sanghatna, Nagpur
233.    Diana Gulton, DEBTWATCH, Indonesia
234.    Zohrab Ismayilov, PAAFE (Azerbaijan)
235.    Siddharth Kalhans, President, Lucknow Working Journalist Union
236.    Badrul Alam, Bangladesh Krishok Federation
237.    M. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Equity BD, Bangladesh
238.    Ghanshyam Shah, Ahmedabad
239.    Edwin, OpenSpace, Bangalore
240.    Anti Debt Coalition-INDONESIA
241.    Souparna Lahiri, All India Forum of Forest Movements (AIFFM), New Delhi
242.    Utkarsh Kumar Sinha, Center for Contemporary Studies & Research, Lucknow
243.    SANLAKAS Philippines
244.    DIS Suraksha Rakshak Kamagar  Sanghatna, Nagpur
245.    Freedom From Debt Coalition, Philippines
246.    Vaishali Raj Patil, Ankur, Maharashtra
247.    Qiqo Punzalan Simbol, Thailand
248.    Shubhradeep Chakravorty, New Delhi
249.    Jiten Yumnam, Co-Convenor, Committee on Natural Resources Protection in Manipur
250.    Tasneem Q Khan, New Delhi
251.    Joe Athialy, New Delhi
252.    Ecologistas en Acción (Spain)
253.    Mamata Dash, Delhi
254.    Dorothy-Grace M. Guerrero, Thailand
255.    Muatar  Khayadarova, Society and Law
256.    Piyush Pant, Editor, Lok Samvad,New Delhi
257.    Andrew de Sousa, Thailand
258.    Ashish Ghosh
259.    Ashok Agrwaal, Advocate, Committee for Information and Initiative on Punjab
260.    Nagendra Singh
261.    Dr.Michael Martin,  Social Activist,Gujarat
262.    Fatima.N, Tamil Nadu Dalit Women’s Movement.
263.    Ikrom Mamadov, YGPE (Tajikistan)
264.    Arun Kumar Singh
265.    Vineet Tiwari, MP PWA.
266.    Sujata Gothoskar, Mumbai
267.    G. Gautama, Chennai
268.    N.M.C Parwana Dharak Plumber Sangh, Nagpur
269.    Rita Manchanda
270.    Ravi Hemadri, New Delhi
271.    Farooq Tariq - Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee
272.    V T Padmanabhan, Kerala
273.    Antonio Villavicencio, Ecuador
274.    Toni Leino, Finland
275.    Ish Mishra, New Delhi
273.    Nasim Ansari, UP
277.    Samit Carr, Jamshedpur
278.    Amanul Haq, Bangladesh
279.    Melba Tutor, Philippines
280.    Mahesh Mishra, Mumbai
281.    Nayanika Chattopadhyay
282.    Gururaja Budhya, Bangalore
283.    Kunal Chattopadhyay, Kolkata
294.    Aparajita Sharma
285.    Lankesh Chakravarty, Ahmedabad
286.    John Dsouza, Bangalore
287.    Rajendra Nath, France
288.    Anuradha Talwar, Kolkata
289.    Ishteyaque Ahmad
290.    Himanshu Thakkar, New Delhi
291.    Wanda Ballentine (USA)
292.    Diana Roa, (Philippines)
293.    Rahul Banerjee
294.    Umakant Chaubey, JNU
295.    Kris Vanslambrouck, Belgium
296.    Feroz Mehdi, Canada
297.    Sunil Yadav
298.    Karen Joyner
299.    Jagdish Vetale
300.    Priyanka Choubey
301.    Anita Dixit
302.    Abhilash Babu
303.    Ashok Shrimali
304.    Sameer Dossani, New Delhi
305.    All Nepal Women's Association (ANWA)
306.    S. Adamyan, Center of Bird Lovers, Armenia
307.    Asia Pacific Research Network
308.    Dr.Mohammad Arif, Centre for Harmony and Peace
309.    Sanjeev Singh, Vancouver, Canada
310.    D.Leena, Legal Consultant, Delhi
311.    John D'Souza, Centre for Education & Documentation
312.    Azra Shad, Women Workers Help Line, Pakistan
313.    Arun Prasad Dihudi, AVIYAN
314.    Asia Pacific Research Network
315.    Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)
316.    Programme Against Custodial Torture &
    Impunity (PACTI)
318.    National Movement For Land, Labor & Justice-NMLLJ, Lucknow
319.    Dipen Dutta
320.    OJ Metei, United NGOs Mission-Manipur
321.    Joseph Bernard, Sight & Sound communication resource, Bangalore
322.    A.K.ARUN, Editor-Yuva Samvad
323.    Rajeev Ahal
324.    N.K.JEET Advocate, Advisor, Lok Morcha Punjab, District Courts Bathinda.
325.    Gabriele Dietrich
326.    Vijay Chawla, Kanpur
327.    Himalaya Niti Abhiyan  Himachal Pradesh
328.    Video Volunteers
329.    Prem Piram, Jagar Uttarakhand
330.    Pranay Krishna, Gen. Secy., Jan Sanskriti Manch
331.    SRUTI Team
332.    Ulka Mahajan, Sarvahara Jan Andolan, Maharashtra
333.    INHURED International, Nepal
334.    Balram Banskota, All Nepal Peasants' Federation
335.    Yogesh Bandhu, Uttar Pradesh
336.    Surendra Rajput
337.    Bindu Singh, Sajha Sanskrit Manch , Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
338.    Tamil Solidarity- For the rights of all workers and oppressed in Sri Lanka.
339.    N Jayaram, Bangalore
340.    Arati Chokshi, PUCL-Bangalore
341.    R.MANOHAR, SICHREM, Bangalore.
342.    Amulya, Odisha Chas Parivesh Surakshya Parisad